Here we are, in the 21st century, and yet, we are still operating our Child Welfare Services (CWS) system on outdated, residual principles and practices from the 19th century! Seriously. Consequently, we have done little to mitigate child abuse and neglect (now called “maltreatment”), or enhance the wellbeing of children and families across culture. It is time for a change.
Tag: Child Welfare Services
While growing up, I think I had an above-average level of exposure to the foster care system. I had close family members and multiple friends who fostered and/or adopted kids. Also, two of my best friends in high school had been in foster care.
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.
“I am a child, I'll last a while. You can't conceive of the pleasure in my smile. You hold my hand, rough up my hair. It's lots of fun to have you there...” Children, each an amazing gift, are totally dependent on parents for love and comfort; for life and survival; for health and safety; for training and development; and for joy and laughter. Every child embodies innocence, creativity, imagination, energy, unique skills and talents, and unimaginable potential. And yet, on the day you read this article, eight children in America will die of abuse and neglect. It’s unimaginable.
How well I still remember one of the anthems of my generation “… For the times they are a changin’.” And yes, how applicable these words continue to be; especially in our world of Child, Youth and Family Services. It seems that the past One and half decades has been a blur of major public policy and service delivery paradigm shifts—but, these are changes for the better.
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.”