It stinks to know that my community (family, friends, & business associates included) are committed to policies that guarantee America maintain the industrialized world’s highest;
Some states have quality of life indices for children that rival Afghanistan. Child poverty in Mississippi, uninsured children and births to preteen mothers in Texas, infant mortality and child death in Louisiana are comparable to conditions in third world nations.
23 of the 24 industrialized nations have universal health care, paid maternal leave at child birth, & family dependency grants. Almost all of the rest of the world provide prenatal care and medical programs to guard against early childhood diseases. The U.S. does none of these things.
America believes it is saving money by ignoring the needs of young families and poor children.
Poverty and abuse begets poverty, abuse, crime, & lifelong dysfunctional behavior.
All the children I worked with in child protection wanted to be “normal, successful, children”. I believe that all of them could have achieved it with a little more help from us (doing the right thing).
Instead, a troubled system, low on resources & training, provided inadequate services to five and nine year olds that will struggle to develop coping behaviors to live among us.
Because my community refuses to support what it takes to build normal, successful children learning in (and graduating from) school, we live with juvenile crime*, school failure, and seriously troubled youth becoming problematic adults, draining instead of contributing to our community.
This is opposite a values based, or economics based approach to a problem that is only getting worse in this troubled economy.
The cost to my community of each child failing to procure the tools to learn & become a productive citizen is far greater than just the drain on schools, crime & institutionalization. Consider the generational impact of their children having families just like the one that brought them into the world. The average number of children born to mothers incarcerated in Cook County Illinois jails has grown from 2 to 4 over the last ten years.
Who admits to defunding day care, early learning programs, and blaming teachers for failing schools?
This nation full of Christians has abandoned the weakest and most vulnerable among us and forsaken the very heart of biblical teaching.
To quote Minnesota’s last Governor, (said to Andy Dawkins & David Strand when asked his opinion about child friendly programs, Tim Pawlenty stated that ; “children that are the victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the State of Minnesota”
It is public policy in some states to deny help to abandoned children (even if it costs the community money, safety, and successful schools).
*60% of youth in juvenile justice have diagnosable mental health issues and half that number have multiple & serious diagnosis. Former MN supreme court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz has stated that 90% of the youth in juvenile justice have come through the child protection system.