A lesbian couple – with extensive experience working with abused and neglected children – wants to parent a special-needs child in Missouri but the state’s Dept. of Social Services denies them.
My response (besides “What the…?!”) is:
“Hey Lisa and Dawn, please, move to California! We’d love to have you take care of one of the 80,000 kids in our system here. And we’re opened-minded!”
Cross your fingers! There’s someone in State Congress who really cares. Karen Bass, D-Baldwin Vista (Los Angeles County) has requested a Select Committee on Foster Care to make the 80,000 kids in foster care a state priority. The Chronicle’s editorial explains all about it, but the most important part of the whole editorial is the second to last paragraph, pasted here:
“Those on the committee should remember that they — as much as every resident of California — bear responsibility for these children.”
I totally agree! And I commend the Chronicle on saying so (again!) and keeping foster kids in the forefront of California’s social issues. Unfortunately, when you mention foster care, it seems most people jump to blame and complain…. about the system, the foster families, the kids, the money, the resources, the birth parents, social workers, courts, lawyers, schools, government, and on and on. If everyone spent as much time doing something positive instead of talking trash, things might look different.
Time for my favorite Quincy Jones quote:
“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing.”
What are you good at doing?
Hey, if one good thing comes of out Hurricane Katrina, it’s that families who never thought about it before are now considering foster parenting. Nice article shows how our own kids can inspire us.
Here’s some recent data from the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. I always knew California’s numbers where high, but 18%?! That is WAY TOO MANY. By comparison, consider your child’s classroom of 25 students… seven would be in foster care. Btw, the above link takes you to the main page of Pew Commission, not the report… the report is in pdf format (which I hate…why don’t sites offer another viewing option?).
I know Arnold signed in some bills to help foster youth, but could someone please explain what they really mean?
For instance, Bill AB1412: “Gives foster youth more of a voice in the system by giving them the right to be involved in his or her own case plan for permanent placement.” Who will hear their voice? Right to be involved how? I’m not trying to be confrontational, I just want to understand through real-world examples what positive changes we can expect.
Anyone? Anyone? Arnold? (here is info on all the bills he signed)
There are two bills currently in Congress that would forgive law school loans for lawyers representing foster youth. Sounds a-okay to me! The SF Chronicle reports on a study released by the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles.
Binders aid youths leaving foster care
I like this idea…emancipating youth not only get a list of resources out there to help them, but they get invaluable personal info from their time in foster care. Is there anything missing from these files that emancipating youth wish was included? Let me know!
Thanks to KPIX Channel 5 and Eye on the Bay!
The station put together a whole half hour show highlighting foster and adoptive families in the Bay Area. It was wonderful. You can see the show on their site. Look for the Oct 18 episode in the little Eye on the Bay monitors on the right side.