The following letter has been sent to each of the major presidential candidates as well as each candidate for Congress. I am a registered independent and this issue and how a candiate addresses it will be one factor used by me in considering who I will support:
There are thousands of American children who are in desperate need for our leaders to “defend their lives”. Over 500,000 currently reside in our nation’s foster care system…1114,000 lanquish in he system while currently eligable for adoption.
American children are being abused and neglected in record numbers. It is outrageously despicable that in a great country such as ours these innocent lives are not being protected. There are American children who are suffering abuse repeatedly. It appears that “parental rights” gives someone the right to abuse, neglect, and molest our littlest victims.
Many of these children are placed in foster homes to have their broken bodies, minds and hearts mended by loving foster parents, only to be returned over and over again to their abusers. Many are eventually murdered.
It is time a fierce stand is taken to protect these innocent lives. Current laws are not effective in preventing violence against children. Current laws do not give children in foster care the stability and permanency they so deserve. Current laws do not do what our children need them to do, protect them and consider their best interest. There is a need for laws and regulations to provide safe, loving, nurturing environments for our children to live and thrive in.
Many, many foster care children are never adopted, many of them age out of the system. They age out of the foster care system into our prison systems, homeless etc. This is because after being repeatedly abused, neglected, and reunited with their perpetrators they are so severely traumatized that they become mentally ill.
The federal government has in the past used incentives such as bonuses to the states for the adoption of foster children over the age of nine. These children need adopted in their early years. They are hardened by the very system set-up to protect them. By the time these children are nine years old it is hard to find families willing to adopt a child who has numerous behaviors issues. Issues that they developed by the trauma they suffered while in the “system”.
Over the years there have been token changes to the laws, regulations, and other governmental acts that were suppose to protect abused and neglected children. None of these have made a meaningful or useful change for the children. Children are still languishing in foster care. Children are still being reunited with their abusers only to be returned to the broken foster care system, time and time again. When are we going to “defend their lives”?
I the undersigned had my life touched forver by the foster care system. I was thrust into on the day of my birth and remained until I aged out. I went through sixteen moves, sexual abuse and other humiliations during those years. The last move was being thrust onto the streets to fend for myself when I reached eighteen.
I am not a one issue voter. However, this is one of the main issues I will be looking at and how you as a candiate will address it. I don’t want the usual political spinning, more studies or commissions. I want proposals with action to correct what I consider to be a national crisis.
I urge you to consider legislation, if elected, to the Presidency, a Representatives or Senator to make unprecedented changes that are “in the child’s best interest”. The current system of “state run systems” have failed these youth. I believe that if the foster care system was a federally ran system there would be more consistency and uniformity in the protection of the United States foster children. We need action now, before more innocent lives are lost.
Will you please “stand on my side” as I and others “defend” these little lives we so desperately want to protect?
I will be listening and reading for your reply on this issue.
A Concerned Former Foster Youth