Monday, February 20, 2006

the system is broken

yeah, I could be talking about any number of different parts of the system but I'm talking about a place that really should be made to work whatever the cost - foster care. An associated press article the other day underscored the disaster that foster care is - 4000 18 year olds leave foster care each year in California. Look at these numbers for them:
50% unemployment rate
22% homeless within one year
10% enroll in college
25% incarcerated within 2 years

The system doesn't work. We've seen it from the inside as we did foster care while we lived in NY and had 6 children come through our home. Church members at the Albany church had had as many as 50 children live with them through the years. We entered the system with the best of intentions as did our friends who kept foster children. I'm also sure that many/most of the case workers and other staff were there because they wanted to make a difference. For a few of the children, the difference was amazing. For far too many, the numbers above tell the story.

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