While the nation bemoans a "gridlocked" Congress and Comedy Central's Messrs. Stewart and Colbert aptly ridicule both presidential candidates for a disregard of specificity on one hand and hubris on the other, I have borne witness to a very different vision of our elected leadership.
As we recognize the 16th anniversary of the "look back" eligibility requirement for federal foster care assistance, the time has come to urge Congress to change direction. It's time for all us to join together and stand up for all children.
If politicians like Rick Santorum want to promote stable families, they should start by respecting all families. I can think of a lot of things that are making "the fabric of this country fall apart." Loving single parents are not one of them.
Children are routinely cited as the beneficiaries of the ideas politicians suggest, whether tax cuts or hikes, increased spending or less of it. But it's hard to recall a single instance of a candidate advocating a specific programmatic initiative with children at its core.
An estimated 5,100 children are now living in foster care because their parents have been detained or deported. Parents who love their children and who, for the most part, have done a good job of caring for them.
When reading the diary entries it is clear there are some recurring themes, such as relationships between children, the experience of living in a group and the importance of staff support. One young person shares her thoughts and experiences on entering the world of work after living in care.
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.
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.