When a mother goes to jail, the impact on her family can be devastating. Most moms are the primary caretakers for their children at the time of their arrest, and the sudden absence of a mother leaves a void in a child’s life that is almost impossible to fill. In most cases, relatives step forward to care for and support the child, and while we know that parental incarceration places children at unique risk for low self-esteem and behavior problems, with family support and ongoing contact with their moms, many of these children do well and even thrive.
To some people, the prospect of doctors and lawyers working collaboratively toward patient health is somewhat counter-intuitive. Yet, to all of the members of a burgeoning movement, known as Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP), the benefits of having not only doctors and lawyers, but also social workers, nurses, and health care administrators working in concert to deliver comprehensive, patient-centered care, are obvious.
As I sat to write this message on December 11, I was already overwhelmed by the fact that in Philadelphia 2012 may be deadlier than 2011. As I sat updating it after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I was both deeply saddened and weirdly hopeful.
Lately, it seems that barely a week can go by without a terrible case of bullying showing up in newspaper headlines. Bullying is not a new problem, and research shows that youth bullying behavior has actually decreased over the last couple of decades. Nonetheless, publi