After our post on a Lake Highlands woman who tried to sell her baby, several readers commented on what might have led the woman to this. One commenter who calls himself/herself “LH since 1981” pointed out that many area residents are just struggling to survive. Almost 60 percent of all students in RISD are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch or other “public assistance,” according to the 2010-2011 RISD Annual Performance Report.

Regardless of the woman’s personal circumstances, it’s undeniable that there are LH residents with great need. Yet our neighborhood and the city have many resources and organizations for struggling parents, leading us to wonder what this woman and others could have done differently. If parents were to find themselves in a situation in which they could not care sufficiently for their child, what could they do?

Child care assistance: Through an array of programs, the ChildCareGroup (CCG) can provide low-income parents with resources including medical and dental health services, nutrition counseling, and help for children with special needs. Interested parents can visit the website to see if they are eligible and contact CCG at 214.943.6800 or by email.

Child and parent education: Government-funded Head Start focuses on providing pre-school kids with an early education, including creative, technology and science-based curriculum and dual language instruction. Parents who meet federal poverty guidelines can enroll in GED, literacy and English-as-a-Second-Language classes.

Parenting classes: Teen mothers can receive pre-natal guidance and classes on how to care for a baby from Joshua Blessings. The nonprofit works to empower young moms to continue in education, learn to parent their baby, and nurture a healthy sense of self-esteem.

Holistic helpBuckner Family Pathways can offer several services to families including housing, child care, “financial assistance, vocational training, parenting education, budget training, life skills and individual and group counseling.”

In cases of domestic violence: The Genesis Women’s Shelter provides emergency shelter and transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence, including children, but it goes beyond that. Survivors can participate in counseling and parenting classes to learn how to break the cycle of violence with their children. Other services are listed online.

Last resort: Parents can contact agencies to place their children in adoption or foster care. Also, a Texas safe haven, or “Baby Moses,” law allows parents to leave an unharmed infant up to 60 days old at any hospital or fire station, where they are then placed in the care of Texas Child Protective Services.