“Defining our institutions by what they actually create instead of what they were designed to create”* would be the first step in making the changes necessary to fix our poorly understood and vastly under-resourced system.
A recent study indicates that up to 80% of children aging out of foster care are leading dysfunctional lives. A Minnesota judge has provided me the Prozac, Ritalin, and other psychotropic medication prescriptions taken by children in her courtroom (most of them under ten years old) and it points at one of the key issues thay might explain why so many youth leaving the foster care program find it hard to cope with life.
More importantly, supporting day care for disadvantaged children is the right thing to do for all Minnesota’s kids.
In a public meeting at Hamline, Rolnick lamented that this ‘no brainer’ idea is overshadowed at the Capitol by wasteful sports stadiums (and cries for lower taxes*).
More of us need to raise our voices for children if there is going to be a change in public policy toward the weakest and most vulnerable among us (children have no voice but ours in this political system).
* authors words
At that time in Minnesota there were 15 child psychiatrists in the entire state (population about 4 million) and the student to counsellor ratio in MN high schools was 900 to 1.
As a child advocate (long time guardian ad Litem) I strongly feel the need for mental health therapy for those who need it. The children I work with have been severely traumatized and need adequate attention paid to their needs.
A few weeks ago I listened to Larry Rosenstock from High Tech High in San Diego talk about his inner city high schools that send one hundred percent of their graduates onto college. It is real, it is achievable, and it is simple in how it works. Educators and students are given ample…
People respond to money. Most of us can’t grasp the long-term costs to the community of a child born into a dysfunctional family that never has the opportunity to develop the social skills necessary to lead a healthy life. The ability to learn, play well with others, and live in society is not delivered by the stork.
Because the waiting list for subsidized daycare is one year into the future for the father of the children I represent (as a county guardian ad-Litem) there is a good chance that his two small children will be taken from him by the county and adopted by someone he has never met.
It is also possible that he may not be able to visit his children if they are adopted.