Yesterday, (December 29th,2005) I had the opportunity to speak on Ember Reichgott Jung’s radio show* on the topic of Invisible Children. It was a terrific conversation that has further convinced me that there exists a core issue that must be addressed before meaningful change can take place. It is that people in positions of power and influence do not understand the nature or severity of the problems we speak of. Without understanding there will be no positive discourse that can build public support for systems and programs that work.
It is because the topic is complex and unhappy that we avoid it. Because those people who make and enact public policy do not comprehend the magnitude and seriousness of the problem chose not to discuss it. Because there is such limited discussion (and media coverage) the average citizen is largely clueless as to what good public policy would be.
Child Protection, Schools, Health and Juvenile Justice systems are filled with well meaning hardworking people that are frustrated with their own failure to achieve positive results. Everyone has a perspective, but no one knows what good comprehensive public policy needs to be.
Our institutional systems remain anathema to the healthy development of millions of American children. Until we accept the realization that dialogue must precede action (intelligent action) we will continue to abuse neglected children within our public institutions and our communities will suffer the grim results of millions of preteen mothers and adolescent felons.
Children deserve better, we deserve better than what we are now experiencing. Let’s all work to learn and raise awareness by starting this very important dialogue.
*Type “tikkanen” into the search box & the show will pop up and start to play.