It is no secret that many families in the state of Oregon are facing poverty. Children in families living in extreme poverty face severe toxic stress that can have harmful impacts on their development.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal program works to aid and assist low-income families to hopefully ease the burden on children in these situations. However, under TANF, some families regularly lose their eligibility due to change in earnings or an increase of hours working, even though they would still be considered low-income.

House Bill 2032, currently before the Oregon Legislature, would specify the benefits that would be provided by the Department of Human Services to these low-income families that have lost eligibility for TANF.

As a college student studying the field of human services, I have learned about the severity of damage done by toxic stress on a child’s development and future success. Families living in poverty must have the resources available to be able to provide a healthy environment and meet their children’s basic needs. This is a relevant issue today and every day, yet one that is often forgotten. I believe that as a community we need to come together in support of this bill to promote healthy development for the children of our future.

Karli Plucker

Corvallis (May 1)

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