Many of you know the story behind my beginning the Family Care Network. One of the driving forces behind it was my frustration of working so many years within the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare systems and the horrible, unconscionable way foster youth were exited from the system--“There’s the door; have a nice life.” Youth were basically forced out on their own, some taken directly to homeless shelters. They had no family, no skills, no resources and were given no support whatsoever.
Category: Voice of our CEO
Stop right now. Lift up your hands and inspect them carefully. What story do they tell? For some of us with more than a few years behind us, they may be scarred, twisted with arthritis or calloused from years of work. While for others, they may be beautiful, well-manicured and happy appendages. Hands are essential. They are a critical connection to others, to our environment, to our success, to our pleasure--to our survival! For a moment, imagine your life without your hands!
It must be my imagination--at least I wish is was--but it seems that time is vanishing at an ever increasing rate. It’s like the more I accomplish, the more there is yet to be done. How disgusting it is to reach Friday, only to wish it was Monday because there is too much left on my “to do” list. And it can’t really be Friday, wasn’t it just Sunday? What a convoluted picture. But, I have a sneaky suspicion that many of you are nodding your heads in agreement. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the human services business--an unfortunate side effect of life!
We have reached the end of May and National Foster Care Awareness Month, a well-deserved acknowledgment of the incredible, selfless work done by the thousands of individuals and families providing family-based treatment, care and supervision. Having worked with Foster Parents for over 40 years, I have unwavering respect for these children’s champions, along with some strong opinions about our foster care system.
I named the “Family Care Network” with a specific intent. FAMILY is our most important social institution and every effort should be made to support and strengthen families. A society exhibiting the disintegration of Family, is a society at great risk! The health of families is the most important ingredient to a healthy civil society. The stronger our family structure, the stronger and healthier we are as a nation. There is no disagreement--every child needs a healthy family! Let’s do our best to make sure this happens.
As I stated in Part One, America’s system for caring for foster children is in serious need of change. The system is based on archaic practices, often contrary to the best interest of children and contradictory to current science; and by and large, does more damage than benefit to children! But, I do believe there is the will and opportunity to improve our Child Welfare-Foster Care system, and here is how we should do it.
America’s system for caring for foster children is in serious need of a change. Our current system is based on archaic practices, often contrary to the best interest of children and contradictory to current science; and by and large, does more damage than benefit to children!
As we conclude National Social Worker Appreciation Month, I would like to present another picture of the Family Care Network, and the environment in which our Social Workers and other clinical staff operate. As a Human Service Organization, how we SERVE is mission-critical. But for us this term has a double entendre, SERVE is also an acronym for the domains that define how we serve, plan, evaluate and implement important changes. In essence, SERVE is the framework that supports the Family Care Network.
Do you ever get weary of our arrogant, bombastic culture; talking heads who “know it all” but just spew meaningless hot air? How did we get to the place where rude is cool, where one’s personal opinion is better than anyone else's, where “my way or no way” rules the day?! Our current president is a prime example of arrogance and haughtiness at its pinnacle – but he is only a symptom of much deeper corruption in our cultural values and social mores. As a society, we have created an environment which encourages and nourishers people like this to thrive.
As 2018 comes to a close, I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to everyone who has made this year a tremendous success. As you have heard many times, the mission of the Family Care Network is “to enhance the wellbeing of children and families in partnership with our community.” Thankfully, 2018 was another demonstration of the power of partnership in serving the most needy children, youth and families on the Central Coast.