- Kristin Eapen
Sliding Scale- Access for all
Updated: Nov 12, 2022
It is my belief that every person deserves access to birth support and it is our job as birth workers to dismantle barriers to accessing this support. With this in mind, I offer a sliding scale to support social equality, justice, and access to services. A sliding scale, as described by Little Red Birth Botanicals;
'[A sliding scale] is intended to be a map, inviting each of us to take inventory of our financial resources and look deeper at our levels of privilege. It is a way to challenge the classist and capitalist society we live in and work towards economic justice on a local level.'
'A wide range of payment options across the scale promotes broader accessibility, while insuring fair compensation to the producer. Paying according to one’s available resources creates a more equitable system for pricing of products and services.'
Below are general guidelines about how I currently price my sliding scale and to help you determine where you fall on it.
The highest dollar cost reflects the true cost of services/support- $1,250 (or paying a little more to help others pay for services who might not be able to afford it ) It is the cost that is charged to all clients in the absence of a sliding scale. If you have access to financial security, own property or have personal savings, you would not traditionally qualify for sliding scale services. If you are able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life, you have economic privilege and power in our community. This price is for you.
The middle cost- $700-$1100 Reflects the doula's acknowledgement that paying the full cost would prevent some folks from being able to receive support, but who do not honestly find themselves reflected in either descriptions for the highest cost or the lowest. If you are struggling to conquer debt or build savings or move away from paycheck to paycheck living but have access to steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, child care, etc., you belong here. If you, however, can ask others for financial support, such as family members, partners, or friends, please consider using those personal resources before you use the resources of the sliding scale and limit opportunities for others.
The bottom cost- $400-$700 Represents an honest acknowledgment by the doula that there are folks whose economic circumstances would prevent them from accessing support if there was not be a deliberate opportunity made for them to access services at a cost that is reflective of their economic realities. If you struggle to maintain access to needs such as health care, housing, food, child care, and are living pay-check to pay-check or are in significant debt, you probably belong here. Even when the lower tier is still prohibitive, I will work with folks to offer extended payment plans and other solutions.
I shaped/developed my sliding scale using ideas and insight from; http://www.wortsandcunning.com/blog/sliding-scale http://www.littleredbirdbotanicals.com/consultation-fees/