Mark Arend (arend@CENTURYINTER.NET)
Fri, 5 Sep 1997 07:09:10 -0500
The latest trend, at least in the public sector, is outsourcing--turning
work over to a private company. Here's an interesting article that's been
making the rounds in Library circles--thought some of you might enjoy it too.
CANBERRA, ACT - Peter Fyfe, Director, Residences at the University of
Canberra and father of two, has announced plans to outsource his
children to a private enterprise specializing in child rearing as part
of his family's cost saving effort. Fyfe said that his request for
proposals will go out very soon, and that he hopes that a contractor
will be in place by Christmas 1997.
Fyfe says that he anticipates saving 25% of his child rearing
expenses by hiring a company which specializes in the field. He
believes that between the things that his kids destroy, the wear and
tear the kids put on the family residence and vehicles, and the other
expenses such as school and activities, he should be able to pay a
private firm about 75% of what he currently spends on his children.
Although his children have expressed concern that being raised
by non-parents would be impersonal and would deprive them of
some of their current privileges, Fyfe has worked to alleviate their
fears. He held a family dinner meeting to announce the decision and
told the kids that mere parents don't really know how to raise kids
until the kids are grown. This is obvious because every grandparent
on the street has advice to give to any parent they meet. A
professional child rearing service would already know how to raise
children and not make the mistakes of a rookie parent.
The outsource proposal requires companies to provide the
children with benefits at least the same overall level as they
receive at home, with some benefits (TV hours for example) expanding,
while others (parental attention) declining. The proposal mandates
certain "core" benefits, such as food, clothing, and schooling; but,
leaves the non-core (music, sport, television) at the discretion of
The outsourcing would phase in over a six month period, with
the children initially spending daytime hours at their outsource site
and sleeping at their parent's home; but, as space becomes available
offsite, the children will begin spending all their time away from
home except when they are desperately needed at home (for example,
when the yard needs "patrolling").
The children originally expressed dismay at residing off-site,
but Fyfe told them that they would have weekly visitation to the
house to retrieve any personal belongings, get new books, 'perform'
on their musical instruments or talk to, their parents. This would
also allow the kids to visit their pet (one dog), at least until
phase 2 of Fyfe's cost cutting spree, which includes outsourcing the
family pet. Fyfe would not say where he came up with the idea of
outsourcing the children, other than to admit that he and his wife
were having a discussion about family finances which illustrated the
need to raise the family in a "better, faster, cheaper" mode.
Although his wife was initially reluctant to have the children
raised offsite, Fyfe convinced her to accept the scheme because she
too was eligible for "outsourcing."
(Through the years I've had a Scout or two I wouldn't mind "outsourcing").
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library
311 N. Spring St. Outside of a dog, a book is
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 man's best friend. Inside of
(920) 887-4631 (fax 887-4633) a dog it's too dark to read.
Scoutmaster, Troop 736
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City