Child Welfare in the 21st Century

  • November 2014
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As the World Turns….

Posted by lboyd544 on November 7, 2014

Yesterday was a tough day.

News outlets reporting terrible voter turnout on Tuesday. Regardless of whether you are thrilled or devastated about specific races, a 30-40% voter turn out nationally is alarming and shameful.
Speculation now swirls that with the shift in some states from Democratic Governor to Republican Governor, expansion of Medicaid for those making 133-400% of poverty may be at risk of repeal.

AND I received calls from three sets of desperate parents looking for a placement for their teenagers (two are boys, one is a girl) sons who are shortly to be dismissed from three different inpatient facilities and who cannot return to their biological homes due to fear of danger toward family members via anger, depression, or sexual acting out. None of these youth are in the custody of the state. These families cannot meet the needs of their children, although none will give up and each wants to participate in therapy with their youth….hopefully while the teen is in a therapeutic foster home. If you are in this field in child welfare, you know as you read this that available placements in therapeutic foster homes are a premium. I have 100 state custody youth on a waiting list in Oklahoma!

I am flummoxed. I am depressed. I am worried.

As a citizenry, have we become so deflated or so complacent that we do not acknowledge the freedom, privilege and responsibility of representative democracy? Can’t we handle a little rain and get out to vote?
Do people only run for office as a next job or next stepping stone forward versus desiring to truly lead, offer policy and change ideas, and commit to the fabric of this country? Are they willing to risk election or defeat only when they can reasonable predict the outcome ahead of time: incumbency, open-seat, money, “party machine”?
Do we not accept mental illness as we would any illness, so that families struggling with children’s need can reach out and find services and supports before the entire family pays an unaffordable price?
Why do we only have passion for our own kids and not open our homes to those youth needing the interest and investment (if not the ‘love’) of healthy, caring adults through temporary foster care?
How is that we have become so litigious that public child welfare goes far beyond ‘best interests of the child’ in accepting foster families and creates more barriers than pathways through background checks, references, home studies, and training approaching a job application to the FBI!

I am basically a “Pollyanna”. I am an optimist. However, yesterday (and perhaps today) was a tough day.

But not nearly so tough as the day(s) these families and youth are facing!

We must hear these pleas. It has to bother us. They have to matter. We are America, aren’t we?

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