Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Every Child Is My Child


This is a long post but please take time to read to the end. 

In the province of Alberta 145 children have died while in the care of the government over the last 14 years. Only 56 deaths were revealed in annual government reports. A further 287 died in the care of their parents while being monitored by a government agency. It took seven years of legal action, by the Edmonton Journal, to force the government to release the information. Recently another 189 deaths were admitted to by the government but they were unable to provide details as no records had been kept. How can you not know what happened to 189 dead children? Some deaths were unavoidable such as prematurity or terminal illness but this accounted for less than 20%.

In Florida Pam Graham, a social work professor at Florida State University reported 432 as the number of children who died in that state from abuse and neglect in 2012, 40% were already involved with the Department of Children and Families.

In England, a national review in 2013 revealed in its first annual report into children's social care that 20 of England's 152 local authorities – one in seven – were "inadequate", with an "unacceptably poor" standard of child protection. Only one in four local authorities was good at safeguarding children, the report found.

Here is the point I want to make. These agencies and departments and political offices are all funded by our tax dollars to act on our behalf.  I realize I made a mistake when I handed over my taxes, I didn't make it clear that I expect the government to provide services that MEET MY STANDARDS. Yes, I'm shouting, because every child is my child in one way or another. Morally we all have a collective responsibility for the well being of the next generation. Many of us, like me, take our responsibilities more personally. I figure if we know what it is to love a child then we should let no child go unloved.

I'm asking you to do the research in your location. Contact your public servants and political representatives at all levels of government. Ask questions. If you don't like the answers make it clear you expect more. I will be writing  letters requesting services carried out in my name meet my standards. Isn't that something we should all be able to rely on, especially our children?

10 comments:

  1. excellent post. without children we have no hope for the future and what we do to them or for them we do to ourselves as well.

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    1. They are the hope for the future, it is up to us to make it a good one.

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  2. Of all places not to meet your standards... children are the worst of the worst. Funny you said that you had an imaginary cabin! I did too, for many years. Aactually got mine from a painting of Steven Lyman. I copied it, and laminated it, and kept that picture with me everywhere I went. I imagined also all of the things that were in it... comfort things, including my grandmothers feather bed. Might post a blog post about this... It was so comforting to me. Actually, after awhile, imagined my cabin in to being, and now have a real cabin in the woods which is even more comforting to me than the first on on paper. Have a great day

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    1. I've found my special place too.

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  3. What a great post - Susan, I agree with you completely. Bob and I are down here in Florida for the winter, renting outside Orlando, and this week a mother killed her 2 year old and buried her in a suitcase. It was revealed that the little girl's twin brother died under mysterious circumstances last year WHILE BEING INVESTIGATED BY DCS (Dept of Child Services). I'M FURIOUS !!! The mother has 4 children by the same man who was interviewed and he admitted that he wasn't active in his children's lives even though the woman is PREGNANT AGAIN. How can we be less than kind to each other, much less to the most vulnerable? I'm just heart sick and know this type of child abuse happens all over the world every day. Sad, sad, sad.

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  4. Our children should expect to be safe....we have had issues here and they monitor it. The press tends to report these things which is good.

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    1. Being in the spotlight is about the only thing that initiates change. Keep shining the light.

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  5. Part of the problem is that these agencies are so understaffed. Social work is a high stress, very low pay position. Often the people involved in each case are so overwhelmed by the work load they aren't able to commit the energy required to each case simply because they'd have to work 24 hours a day to do it. The turn over rate is extremely high. If children are such a priority, then why are jobs that involve teaching or protecting them so poorly managed and compensated? As a teacher, I've had to report cases of abuse and it's sickening. But some of the foster homes the kids go to aren't any better than the ones they left. :(

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    1. I'm going to do a follow up post on your comment. Could we ever sort out the world if we got together.

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