News came out this morning of an incident of child abuse and neglect inside the foster care system. This is appalling. It is horrible that a child is ever abused or neglected. It is shocking and horrific when a child is abused or neglected in a system that is supposed to bring stability and safety.
The first story that came across my news feed was the agonizing tale of abuse in Las Vegas by a purported expert and author. The abuse spanned many years and the details are similar to torture in war. Here is a link to that story: Foster Care Author accused of Child Abuse.
Abuse and neglect claimed the life of 1,545 children in 2011 and 1,640 in 2012. Think about that statistic! If you were to fill a school bus with 40 children in each bus, it would take over 40 bus loads to equal the number of children that perish at the hands of evils related to abuse and neglect. That is shocking. One child death is too many.
In 2012, 686,000 children were victims of child abuse and neglect in the United States. These children represent the shattered lives and broken bones of many children that, unfortunately, go unreported. Sadly, the efforts of government to protect children is failing. But, we must remember it was never the governments job in the first place. (Click here for the full 2012 Child Abuse Maltreatment Report)
Abuse and neglect happens every day in your neighborhood and your community. You are the answer to the question of “how can we protect the children?” You are the voice that can shout out for help. You are the one that can stand in the gap and request an investigation. You are hope!
Please be an advocate for life and for children. Take on the task to be vigilant and report. You may save a life. It is extremely easy to sit back in judgment and shame those that fight in the field of child welfare. It is easy to take “pot-shots” at foster parents, social workers, lawyers, the system and so on. It is easy but wrong. Get involved. Be the hope!
Please read the following fact sheet from the Administration for Children and Families regarding recognizing abuse and neglect and being involved in the solution.
If you would like to discuss being part of the solution in Kern County, California, please contact Covenant Community Services, Inc. and ask about mentoring, foster care, transitional housing or any of the services Covenant offers foster children, former foster youth and foster families.