According to a May 17 article in AP News; more and more foster care leaders and politicians are advocating for shorter stays in foster care facilities. According to New York based Children’s Village CEO Jeremy Kohomban: “the longer kids stay in institutions; the less capable they are of reintegrating into society.”
The article goes on to say that, over a 10 year period, available beds at the Dobbs Ferry campus had decreased by a third. Over the same period, the number of children receiving help more than tripled. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch proposed a bill seeking to cut federal funding for long term placement in half.
The potential impact of being “wrong” on how care should be managed is scary! According to Fosterclub.com, by the year 2020:
- More than 10 million kids will spend some time in foster care
- Over 20,000 kids will die from abuse before they turn 5
- More than 300,000 young people will leave foster care (due to age) unprepared for the next phase of life
According to the Holy Bible, we are to look after the weak and needy, and make sure the afflicted and destitute have a voice. But, according to one Christian husband and father, this is much easier said than done.
“Foster children sometimes come with emotional baggage. My first obligation is the protection of my children. Second, so many families are struggling without taking on an extra mouth to feed. Others see dollar signs and underestimate the impact of raising another child. The decision to cut the time a person spends at a facility is a bad one. The safest place for the children right now is at the foster care facility.
The short and long term welfare of children will always be a sensitive issue. The impact of such changes to the number of available beds or length of stay may not be felt or understood for a decade. Do you believe that shorter stays at care facilities will lead to a better adjusted child?
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Source: AP News