It's high time that we understand the lost human capital of foster care children and be proactive in our approach to to usher them into adulthood -- really, just another three to five years -- the right way.
Ending child poverty in the world's largest economy should be a no-brainer. Children cannot afford the burden of poverty. And our nation cannot afford the costly economic and moral burden of child poverty.
Of New York's 1.1 million public school students, one in 12 are homeless. Many live doubled up with extended family or are temporarily housed in hotels or motels. But more than 23,000 live in family shelters on any given day.
Late spring 1993, a widow and her three children became homeless. Tyeast Boatwright had managed to get by after her husband's death. She'd had a good job coding pediatric medical records for the University of Chicago, but administrative cuts eliminated her position.
Imagine she retreats to a shelter where aggressive, belligerent, or intoxicated people accost her, make snide comments about her child, and multiply the fears that first led her to the shelter. Should she stay? Would you?
Children are so vulnerable. Their wellbeing has little to do with how hard they work, or their "grit" or persistence. It has everything to do with circumstance. Let's make 2014 a new kind of commitment to our world's children.