November is National Adoption Awareness Month, so media outlets nationwide will be writing stories about children whose lives are improved as a result of moving from foster care into permanent, loving families.
Without doubt there are a number of amazing homes for displaced youth around the world, but what makes the story of In The Nest that much more compelling is not its subject, but the storytellers themselves.
If by creating short term programs to teach the necessary skills prior to turning 21 and by providing some additional support for a limited period of time afterwards, we can put that young adult on the path to a successful productive life. Isn't that worth it?
Child welfare makes sure children are housed, clothed, and fed. It makes sure they go to school. It tries to address their medical needs if they have any. This is great and it's a good thing we have it. But a system isn't a parent. Even the system knows this.
As rampant unemployment and housing foreclosures ravage families across our nation, an increasing number of children are living in households headed by grandparents and other relatives, often three generations sharing scarce resources due to the recession.
Surprise, your children have children -- but they aren't caring for them well. All of the sudden you become the parents of your grandchildren, and your life takes an unplanned turn. This is now the reality for a growing number of senior citizens.
Currently, there are about half a million children residing in foster care within the United States. There are approximately 300,000 young adults, ages 18 to 25, who have spent at least one year in foster care. This is reason for concern.
We had two cleaning ladies, Mary and Nancy, a pair of sisters who alternated their weekly visits. One day, Nancy came to work in tears, unable not to cry in front of my mother. "They gonna take Mary's kids away," she sobbed.
I spend a lot of time persuading people that selflessness can be selfish. Arguing self-interest in philanthropy may seem like an oxymoron, but it is often the difference between success and failure in fundraising.