Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Child Welfare Industrial Complex needs a “Pink Ribbon”

The Child Welfare Industrial Complex needs a “Pink Ribbon”

As a former foster youth, having spent more than a decade in and out of care, I have lived through the best intentions of institutions in multiple states.  The Child Welfare Industrial Complex (CWIC), made up of the myriad of actors in the life of a dependent child, acts to perpetrate the agency’s particular interest.  Often, this coincides with the best interest of a child, but not always.  For example, in the name of privacy, there was often a slow transfer of educational documents, preventing my timely enrollment. While serving a valid privacy interest, this is a lack of common sense in the youth's interests – and education is the victim.  Actors remain in their silo, serving their agency goals, but doing so inadvertently causes the youth to suffer. Structural reform requires collaboration between all parts of society, and especially public engagement.  Public engagement can translate into political attention, power and resources that can change outcomes.  Yet the public only hears from (or about) the CWIC during times of tragedy, leading to benign neglect or short bursts of brutal attention.  Achieving fundamentally different outcomes, requires all parties to work together in telling the full story about Foster Care.

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