Every year, some 26,000 young people who live in foster homes or group homes turn 18 (or in some states, 21) and "age out" of the system. Gone is any consistent, responsible adult presence or guidance. Gone is their health care coverage.
In thinking about fatherhood on Fathers Day, I thank all those men, biological or adoptive dads or father figures, who through their involvement have been lifting up new generations of young people so they can grow into the kind of responsible and interesting adults I see in my sons.
Children who grow up in abusive homes can become healthy adults. They need positive role models, therapy and support. Fortunately, there are systems and programs in place to help these children. Some are funded through the Violence Against Women Act.
Surely, our country's leaders did not intentionally pull the rug out from under hundreds of thousands of children. I have to believe the elimination of funding for the Victims of Child Abuse Act was an error.