Nelson Mandela said it simply and profoundly, "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." In a country as wealthy, ingenious and resourceful as the United States, one would think that our Care and Treatment of Children would be stellar, the very best. But that’s just not the case. Truth is, using Mr. Mandela’s axiom, I think America has lost its “soul.”
Welcome to our Blog! We post weekly articles written on a variety of topics from a variety of people, including our staff, volunteers, community members, and our parents and youth. The Voices of our Blog are opinion pieces, reflecting the diverse experiences and viewpoints of our community. These articles are not meant to represent the views of everyone at FCNI, our Board of Directors and staff, or present a definitive policy statement, but are designed to be informative and thought-provoking.
Since inception, the Family Care Network has utilized an annual collaborative strategic planning process. This process becomes the foundation for the development of our Annual Strategic Plan, which FCNI’s short and long term goals. This process gets kicked-off with an annual all-day, all-staff strategic planning meeting, where various workgroups of staff, Board members , volunteers and other agency partners openly discuss current priority topics as well as dream up big ideas for FCNI’s future.
In the summer of 2012, the State Legislature enacted SB 1013 which mandated the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to launch a broad-based, stakeholder process to determine how to reform California’s foster care system by creating a “continuum of programs and services that promote positive outcomes for children and families”, and provide a comprehensive recommendation to the Legislature by the end of 2014. Thus, began an intense two and half year process in which I was honored to be a participant.
For me, all that is worthy in the world begins with families who function holistically—loving families who raise healthy children. In contrast, all that is awry in the world begins with families who lack the skills or resources to find wellness and struggle to meet each other’s needs, especially the needs of their children. Through my journey, I found Social Work to be the most effective and meaningful path by which I could support and empower at-risk and high-needs families; it is the role that is most authentic to who I am and what I value.
March is Social Worker Appreciation month and as a long time foster parent I wanted to weigh in on my experience with these intrepid, hardworking souls. Let’s be honest, no one becomes a Social Worker to make big bucks or to become famous. They do it because they want to make a difference in the lives of children and families. Most of the Social Workers I have worked with over the past 25 years have had 25 to 30 children on their caseloads and yet they make sure to see each child at least once a month—no matter where s/he might be.