This is scary: give people the option of dropping their children off at a local hospital, no questions asked, and people will take it. Nebraska has had 35 children of all ages dropped off in hospitals since they passed a “safe haven” law this past summer, meant to prevent infants from being abandoned unsafely. Yesterday, the Nebraska legislature voted to limit the age of children acceptable for drop-off to 30 days after birth.
CBS News investigated some of the dropping-off parents and found that many were struggling with unmanageable and violent behavior from their children. Here is a link to the full story.
As a clinical social worker, it doesn’t entirely surprise me. It is clear that some parents really don’t know what to do to help their children and have struggled with them for so long that they are ready to give up, especially if they think there might be a better option out there provided by the state. Also, you have to wonder if the sinking economy and the pressure from shrinking budgets to limit mental health services are also factors in these situations.