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Your Views: Foster system is broken; animals have more rights

POSTED: September 12, 2012 1:00 a.m.

We have more rights and laws in place for animals, than we do for foster children. Surprised?

Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes we forget that we are so blessed. That’s been my life story, it wasn’t until after I had four kids and a broken marriage that I realized there are many people with lots of difficult situations. Through God and finding myself lost and selfishly looking for answers, I met a truly heartfelt woman.

We were at my son’s baseball game and I couldn’t help but notice a lady that looked to be in her late 50s with a 3-year-old and twin babies in car carriers. Like most, I wanted to see the little twins and while speaking to the woman, found out they were foster children. She started telling me how the 3-year-old is terrified of his own shadow because of the abuse he experienced (he was hospitalized for a month and still had a cast on). How heartbreaking!

This is how my journey began. First, I started researching what happens to foster children and how the state works to help these little angels and their families. After just a few clicks, it was obvious the state can’t help much. In fact, there are more actively followed laws for animals. Not to belittle their needs, but these children have no voice and cannot be heard. Where is their protection? Where are the activists for them?

When a child is taken into state custody they are placed in typically six to 10 homes in the first six months (most children stay in the care of the state for that long or longer). And even though there are laws in place to keep siblings together, due to a lack of foster homes and funding, these laws are broken.

This is only one of many, many glitches in our foster system. We need to see the situation for what it is and fix the problem. We do not need to rely on the state to fix this. We know all too well the result of government fixes: padded pockets and more feel- good talk with few changes).

I have a few ideas, but, need more voices and resources. Here’s one: There are approximately 22 vacant GM properties due to closures. Why not use the space for the many lost little angels who aren’t graced with a stable home and a loving family?

You can email me at clark.noel@ymail.com if you want to help or if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

Noel Clark
Gainesville


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