So, I don’t know about your state, but mine is broke. And, assuming you’re from the States, your country is broke, too.
I’m sure you hear about it. You might even be feeling the pinch of your own financial struggles. I know that the economy has been rough on all areas.
But, what’s it really costing?
An article was posted on a fostering board that I frequent (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gq1yhAPK8txoVpGAPujSMUK9wz5gD9HULPCG4)
Turns out that the number of kids in care has gone down.
The interesting thing to me was that virtually all of the people who read the article on that board had the same view. It’s easy to assume that the number of kids in care has gone down because we’re educating parents more. Or, you can look at the aid that’s given to families in need–maybe that’s alleviating some of the pressure and preventing abuse and neglect.
But, those of us in the thick of things have a different thought. Maybe it’s because there aren’t enough people to investigate… Maybe there’s fiscal pressure from above to leave children in their homes (not in all cases, but in those borderline cases..).
The truth is that we don’t know.
And we won’t for a long time.
My guess is that as the economy changes, there will be more changes in policy and more cut backs. And there will be fewer and fewer children in foster care. There will be fewer caseworkers to investigate and less funds for preventative measures.
Then, there will be a tragedy or two or three or one hundred. And all of a sudden, people will wake up. They’ll demand to know why children were left so long in unsafe conditions. There will be a public outcry. And then the funding will return.
The real question, in my mind, is how many children will be sacrificed? How much do we need to see and know before we want action?
And, more importantly, what can we do now to stop this?
I think that it starts at home. Do you know your neighbors? Are there any that need help now? What about at your work place… is there a family in need? Do you interact with children? Have you seen the signs of abuse? If you have, what are you doing to help? What about your family, do you have someone close to you who’s an addict? Are there kids involved that you can step in and help?
I think the best thing about this economy is that as a whole, we’ve been force to reevaluate. We’ve started looking differently at debt and value and expenses.
Let’s move some of that focus to our neighborhood and the children and people around us. We can make a difference.