According to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, there are approximately 1,900 children that become victims of abuse or neglect every day in the United States. 646,000 neglected and abused children end up in foster care each year. These staggeringly high numbers attest to the fact this issue is an increasing concern in the country. Each April, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the nation focuses on fighting the growing trend of child abuse.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed the first federal child protection legislation known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The first National Child Abuse Prevention week occurred in June of 1982, and the following year President Ronald Regan officially named April National Child Abuse Prevention Month. After 40 years, the CAPTA is going strong fighting for the rights of the many children that have suffered abuse.
Although the harsh reality of child abuse is brought to the forefront in April of every year, it will take communities to band together to constantly advocate for those whose voices have been taken away. To help bring awareness to this issue, the Protect Our Children Act evaluates current programs and prevention efforts and recommends an effective strategy to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities throughout the nation.
To report abuse in your area, you can either contact your local child welfare agency, your law enforcement agency or your state’s child abuse reporting hotline. Each state has appointed professionals (e.g., social workers, physicians and child care providers) that are required by law to report child abuse. In Wyoming and New Jersey, every person is mandated to report abuse or neglect. In New Jersey, you can dial 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873), and your report can be taken anonymously.
Every child has a right to feel safe enough to sleep at night – without the fear of being a victim of any form of abuse.
Get more insight on the types of abuse that exist and who it affects most on the Prevent Child Abuse America’s website.
There are two things you can do when life throws its worst at you – give up or survive. Against all odds, Kaitlyn Radauscher chose the latter; she graciously shared her foster care success story with us.
When she was 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, Kaitlyn lost her father to suicide. Devastated, she was unable to turn to her biological mother for the comfort and care she needed. She had to move out of her home and in with her aunt and uncle. It was then she became a foster child.
“When I first went into foster care, I wasn’t happy about it,” Kaitlyn says. “I never imagined my life to turn out the way it did. I was a little bitter inside because none of my friends had to deal with the same stuff I did.”
Despite the tragic change in her life, Kaitlyn continued to stay positive by surrounding herself with loved ones and continuing her routine of hanging out, going to work and attending school where she continued to excel. Continue reading
Family is arguably the most important institution on the planet. Family members are the ones responsible for molding one another into productive citizens in society. They nurture and teach their children to become independent and effective so they can in turn nurture future generations and make the world a better place to live. Sometimes, however, biological parents are not the ones who raise their child. In fact, many children who are not reared by their biological parents are brought up by other members of the family or by loved ones who are close to the family. However, many relatives, when faced with permanency options, decide not to adopt. We are going to discuss why relatives choose KLG over adoption, the pros and cons and choosing what’s best for you as a kinship resource parent.
An article written by Rob Geen called The Evolution of Kinship Care Policy and Practice suggests that relatives are the main caregivers for a large amount of children who have been displaced, and kinship resource homes have increased over the years. The definition of “kin” varies depending on the state in which you reside. Continue reading
You may have been fostering for years but never considered adoption. A child in foster care comes into your home and takes a place in your heart forever. After being in your care for a while, you find out that he will soon be legally free and available for adoption. You know you want to adopt him, but you may be feeling overwhelmed and not sure of what steps to take. What do you do? When it comes to adoption, like countless things in life, there are many variables to consider.
According to Adopt America Network (AAN, there are approximately 130,000 children in care that are waiting for a forever home. Nationwide, the basic steps for adopting children from foster care include completing an initial application, participating in a home study, creating a match with an individual child, placing the child in the home and, lastly, the approval of adoption in the court of law. Of course, this is just a brief summary of the adoption process as it goes into great detail and varies depending on the state. Continue reading
When you lose your mother to cancer and are then removed from your father’s care to another state, it can threaten to eliminate all hopes and dreams for a successful future. This is the beginning of the story, but not the end for one of FAFS’ private scholarship winners.
While children usually celebrate the ending of school year and prepare for summer days filled with fun, she had to say goodbye to her mother. She recalls holding on to her mom and taking in every memory she could of the delicate flower that was soon to pass away. It is no surprise that, when her mother passed, she felt a piece of herself disappeared.
That Sunday she went to church with her father, but she did not leave with him. The Department of Human Services came to take her and her two brothers away. It was then she knew her life was never going to be the same. She waited to finally go home to her father; that day never came. The question that rang most in her mind was “Why me?” In her mind, foster care was only for abused children. She had just lost her mother and then began to realize her father didn’t have the strength to hold up himself or his children. Continue reading
Picture this: You see a photograph of an adorable child in need of a loving and caring home. As you look into his eyes, you want nothing more than to see him happy and to be a part of making that happen. You take all of the necessary steps (home study, training, etc.) to become a foster adoptive parent and you gain access to more information. Once all of the proper steps have been taken, you finally meet him. You instantly fall in love and proceed with everything needed to begin the adoption process. The child is now in his new home, and after a few months you begin to notice things that were not as obvious as before. Not too long after that, you begin to realize that you may have made the wrong decision in bringing him into your home. It can be heartbreaking, to say the least. While it is a harsh reality, it’s a reality that more than a few homes have to face – and it is worth addressing. Continue reading