More Like "Big Nanny": Lest anyone reading your post think this site is always well thought out and rational, I thought I'd lend a rant. First off, Dean's proposal goes along with my thesis: "Liberals - Nice but Inept; Conservatives - Mean but Efficient". Dean no doubt has the most wonderful ideals in his heart for helping overwhelmed moms keep their kids healthy and safe. In his mind, the monetary cost is justified by the savings in social costs, and one could extrapolate, health costs.
I'll tell you, my bigger concern is not so much the costs, but the possible further trampling of the 4th Amendment - which you address. I guess I really wonder about how far the "concern for children" can be taken. What if the friendly government-funded nanny happens to see a bong laying around the coffee table? Or maybe you keep a gun cabinet? Or what if you have two or three large, white Siberian tigers...hmm, well okay, maybe my examples have run out.
Still, the question remains once you "invite" this person into your house, what powers and/or obligations does she have that go beyond her "official" roles? If she hates guns, can she all of the sudden decalre your house unsafe? Does the Gestapo come barging in later with an arrest warrant to search for controlled substances? There's no clear guidelines to this and simply waving it away by saying that it only will help to serve stop the most "severe neglect" does little to assuage me. I dunno, something about this smells funny - and it's not the diapers.