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Commission on the Status of Women Diaper Drive to Benefit Infants and Toddlers in Family Wellness Court

Partnership with Office of Women’s Policy, Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and Community to fill safety gap need

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – Today, the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women and the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy launched the 60 days of Diapers Drive. The goal is to raise $5,000 for one year’s supply of diapers for local infants and toddlers currently served by the Family Wellness Court.

“The clients in Family Wellness Court are working hard to be better parents, better neighbors, better members of our community,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor George Shirakawa, Chair of the Board’s Public Safety and Justice Committee. “Our support is crucial because their success ultimately makes our community a healthier, safer place for all our children.”

All 200 families in Family Wellness Court have children up to three years old, and one of their greatest needs is diapers. A healthy infant uses 10 to12 diapers in 24 hours; a healthy toddler uses 6 to 8. Commercial Laundromats forbid cloth diapers and diaper services are not economically feasible when families are struggling with other basic needs like housing and food.

“That diapers aren’t covered by general assistance is a serious gap in the safety net,” said Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Director of the Office of Women’s Policy. “Although people might not connect diapers to policy decisions, dirty diapers raise both health and economic concerns for court-involved families with small children. Dirty diapers are often one of the things cited in cases of child neglect.”

The Commission on the Status of Women has committed to raising $5,000, essentially one year’s supply of diapers (approximately 13,500 diapers) for the infants and toddlers of the Family Wellness Court. They’ve partnered with the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, the YMCA Cupertino and the Indian Community Center to collect diapers in all sizes and tax-deductible donations to the Diaper Drive 2010. A $20 donation will supply one week’s worth of diapers for a child in the Family Wellness Court.

“These are challenging times for everyone, but for those of us who want make a difference right now, every dollar helps,” said Suzanne Doty, Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women. “Each one of us can make a small donation that will have a big impact for these babies. I hope others in our community will contribute too.”

“The Jewish Federation supports programs that provide pathways out of poverty for families,” added Diane Fisher, from the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, one of the key partners in this effort. “The Family Wellness Court is a great example of effective collaboration that truly provides hope and transformative services.”

The Diaper Drive 2010 will end on September 12. People interested in additional information on the drive, drop-off sites, how to make on-line donations or where to send a check to support the drive can call 408-299-5152 or visit http://owp.sccgov.org

About the Family Wellness Court

On November 13, 2007, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors authorized the Social Services Agency Director delegation of authority to create a dependency drug treatment court for mothers with children age zero to three.

The Family Wellness Court (FWC) is a collaboration between the Social Services Agency, the agency’s Department of Family and Children’s services, Superior Court, the Dependency Advocacy Center, the Department of Alcohol and Drug Services, the Mental Health Department, Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, County Counsel, Child Advocates, the Domestic Violence Intervention Collaborative, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and numerous Community based organizations.

The Family Wellness Court operates through a $3.7 million dollar, five-year grant which is matched with funding and in-kind services from FIRST 5.The primary objective of the Family Wellness Court is to develop a system of care that can adequately serve families that come to the attention of the Child Welfare Department due to parental substance abuse.

Media contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Esther Peralez-Dieckmann/Carla Collins, Office of Women’s Policy (408) 299-5142.
Posted: July 20, 2010