Grounded in compassion and learning, we must act forcefully to promote transparency, understanding and change to reform how abused and neglected children find safe permanent homes and deal with the traumas that brought them into child protection. Beginning this year with mental health parity, the ACA makes advanced mental health services available to traumatized children giving them a chance to heal and thrive.
This effort requires focused support for achievable objectives.
When we’ve done that, we will have transformed the System.
Possible actions include:
Activist organizations uniting in every community to push for awareness of and changes to policies that are failing or demonstrably superior.
Action teams in each Congressional district communicating regularly with their Congressperson (support these teams where they are and create them where they don’t exist).
Child-affirming activist communities whose members build awareness and understanding of programs and policies impacting at risk children can improve those laws and policies.
With this approach, we can address the child, the family and the system.
Creating transparency and accountability for people and programs along with concern for the child, families, social workers, educators and other service providers allowing policy makers a clearer perspective of what is working and what must change.
This approach is rooted in peer support and deep respect for the people involved in the system and is critical for change to occur.
In this effort, it will help to understand what abused children are up against.
The System today almost requires families and providers to defend their territory, failing practices and thwart reasonable attempts for transparency and accountability.
In fairness, most service providers are overwhelmed, under-resourced with unworkable models and a history of unsuccessful past changes.
Fear of failure, being found out, job loss, professional and personal embarrassment explain much of the resistance and stonewalling within our systems.
These realities must be understood and managed if we are to succeed.
Replacing fear with empowerment needs to be the new dynamic bringing us together and not forcing us apart.
Replacing unconscious denials and defensiveness with conscious awareness and compassion and concern for the children we represent needs to be the PRIMARY focus in child protection & public policy impacting them.
No more scapegoating and demonizing “enemies,” being dogmatic, and failing to nurture compassionate hearts and minds.
This team effort is driven by smart caring people integrating the internal and external social, institutional and personal conditioning & protocols that have made life so painful for at risk kids, our communities and all of us dealing with abused and neglected children.
Our major institutions, courts, education, child protective services, healthcare and justice must fit together to form a more humane and effective System that heals children, provides safe permanent homes & happy productive communities.
By integrating the external and the internal, we will transform the System and create a just, sustainable and self-correcting institution worthy of the children that need it.
To strengthen that effort, we who sign this statement urge activist organizations to help their members unlearn conditioning and policies that undermine effective treatment and child protection, with each member defining their own goals.
If you agree with these principles, please endorse this statement by making a comment of YES, or a longer statement.
Share this post widely with your friends and networks (it takes a village) and provide feedback that this effort can be improved and ongoing.
All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children
1) Our documentary on the needs of at-risk children and breaking the cycle of abuse
2) Our second book, a collection of micro-bios following at-risk children through their journey
Accepting all donations, small and large. Their lives will not improve without help.