Child Welfare in the 21st Century

  • September 2012
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Obama/Romney: Who will stand up for kids?

Posted by lboyd544 on September 27, 2012

Next Wednesday, we are all awaiting the first of the Presidential debates. There is much for the candidates to discuss. Will vulnerable children and families get any notice on the national stage?

There has been little mention of this demographic thus far in any election speeches and dialogues. That is worrisome to child advocates, especially as we look at the federal budget and discussions of reducing Medicaid (vs. expanding Medicaid in the health care act). What about one of the most vulnerable populations: foster youth?  Has anyone heard any mention of the 400,000 foster youth nationally in state care?

According to Voices for America’s Children, children are mentioned only about 2% of the time in public campaigns and debates. Yet 22% of America’s children live in poverty. Surely “kids’ issues” warrant more than 2% of the discussion by the candidates.

Let’s go a step further. A new poll commissioned by the First Focus Campaign for Children shows that, among likely voters who have heard or seen the presidential candidates talk about children’s issues at all, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) feel the presidential campaigns should increase their focus on children’s issues. The survey also found that 82 percent will consider a candidate’s position on federal budget issues affecting children (and 40 percent to a significant degree), when casting their November ballots.

You can help. Email the moderators of the debates and ask them to pose a question to the candidates directly. Here is the issue. Here is a recommended question. Send it on to the moderators. Do it now.

Issue: Nearly 5.9 million children nationwide are reported abused and neglected each year.
Question: What are your plans to keep children safe, strengthen their families ‘ability to care for them, and best serve those children in the foster care system?

First Presidential Debate – October 3, Denver, University of Colorado
Jim Lehrer, moderator, domestic issues
 
First Vice Presidential Debate – October 11, Danville, Kentucky, Centre College
Martha Raddatz, moderator, all issues
 
Second Presidential Debate – October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, Long Island
Candy Crowley, moderator, town hall format
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