By: Daniel Knight
During this week the Social Work students were able to experience two viewpoints of the organization of The Development of Integrating Families, “Desarrollo Integral de la Familia” (DIF). DIF began with The National Agency to Family Development, which in Spanish is “Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia” (SNDIF). The organization DIF began in the early 80s and has worked to improve the wel lbeing of children and the families with lack of resources. While in our rural home stays, we had a visit to the DIF offices and then in the beginning of this week, we were able to speak with a DIF representative, who was a workerof one of the programs in the organization, Defense of Minor and Department of Adoption. It was quite interesting to hear that they did not vary much in their programs compared to the United States.
DIF is very much in comparison with the United States in many ways. They make sure there are programs for the elder, children, and families who are in need of assistance. They do not quite have the same payment plans as the U.S., but there is nonetheless assistance. For instance they have a program, Social Assistance, which supports children living on the streets and/or with disabilities. The program also helps with food services, scholarships and grants for single mothers, and shelters for all age groups. This program is very similar to our WIC program in the United States, which helps out young children. Another similar program is the food stamps because they too, like the food services, allow families to buy a good amount of food for themselves. It is always nice to see that fellow countries are doing their part to keep families together and healthy, but there were some things stated during our visits that would seem different than what we are used to in the social programs and organizations in the United States.
As we continued asking about certain programs and what else is offered for families with certain situations, the topic of leadership and positions were brought up. We learned that many of the times the new governor of each state and/or municipality tends to appoint any female relative to be the president of the DIF. This shows some of the irregularities that happen in many organizations, sometimes that we as US citizens would not be accustom to.
|Una Familia en el Zocalo|
As the president began talking more about the programs they were working, there was definitely a sense of caring and also sadness for the families she interacts with. She spoke about the fact that she would not be able to see the results of her programs since every six years there is a reelection for a new president in the DIF offices. This really shows just how unstable some of the social programs can be and consistency is needed more than ever. Another thing that was very strongly demonstrated as we visited these organizations were the way services were ran for children without parents, or parents that could not take care of them.
After our visit to the DIF we were able to meet with a worker in the Defense of Minor and Department of Adoption. We learned that in México, there is no such thing as foster care. Here in Morelos, there is no foster care, and she did say they are working on that. The reasons she gave for why foster care has not yet been implemented was because then the child’s heart will be broken if the family decides they do want them anymore. It would just be more loss for the child so they try to find one of their family members first and then if that is not possible then a shelter, which is like an orphanage.
A lot of the organization deals with kids and sometimes it does not always seem ethical, or ethical to us, but who are we to judge. Maybe our ways do not seem ethical to them. Every social worker is still working on what is ethical compared to what is not. To what we have heard, it seems DIF has definitely progressed since it first began, but there is so much more that needs to be addressed. All they want to do is focus on keeping families together and hope that they are doing our best!