All proceeding comments are made in regards to the following article:
"In my opinion, Atlanta attorney Sandra Michaels could not have said it any better when she said: “We need to make sure that we’re not being penny wise and pound foolish.” Our country may be experiencing hard financial times, but these are children's lives we are talking about – how can we put a dollar amount on their wellbeing?
Based on my experiences, being a foster child took away a piece of my identity. It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough, like I wouldn’t amount to anything, and it made me internalize my label of being a “ward of the state.” I was no longer treated like a person; I became an object that could be passed around as long as there was a signature on the dotted line.
This diminishing feeling of self-worth causes children in the system to act out. They feel as if they are slowly becoming invisible and if they don’t do something drastic, they will disappear. Often times foster children carry out delinquent acts just to feel alive...for these troubled youth, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
This is why the rewrite is so critical. If this bill passes and becomes law, so many children will be given a voice. If these revisions are made, I believe that the number of delinquent cases will decrease - if these youth have a voice, they have no reason to act out in order to be heard. So many challenges within the child welfare system are intertwined, and little steps in the right direction in one area can create even bigger reform in another.
This is also why CASAs are so important. As Kendra Brownlee, 25, mentions in the article: “Foster kids need required mentors to help us navigate through life and to make better choices,” she contends. “How can we do better if no one is there to teach us? We need more wraparound services.” As a CASA volunteer, you are guiding foster children through the welfare system, and making sure they come out on top. You serve as their advocate, their mentor, and the only constant support structure in these children’s lives. YOU GIVE THEM A VOICE.
The rewrite is not going to fix all the flaws that exist within the welfare system, but it is a step in the right direction. These reforms will increase the feelings of self-worth in foster children, and it will allow them to hold on to their dignity as they navigate through the system – now THAT is something that can’t be labeled with a price tag."