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Friday, August 12, 2011

Can we Protect Children from Abuse and Neglect?

 
Reading the past few days about the death of a child in Howard County under suspicious conditions brings home the fact that we are not immune to the tragedies that we read about in other communities.  While the specific facts of the case are unclear in this one instance we should not lose sight of the reality that every day in our county children are being mistreated and neglected in ways that would horrify us.  As a former foster parent I have heard children talk, usually with great emotion, about some unimaginable things that had been done to them.

So what is our collective responsibility to these children?  Do we feel that responsibility to protect children in our community is someone else’s responsibility?  I am not implying that we individually should feel we responsible to address every problem that exists in our community.  There is nothing wrong with focusing on raising our biological children to be responsible and productive adults.  Heaven knows how difficult that is for all of us parents.  But what I would simply ask is this.  Is there “just some small action” that we can take “just once in a while” to say that we want to acknowledge that all the children in our community deserve supportive adults in some manner no matter how small the action?

We are fortunate in our community to have an easy way to show our concern in a tangible way.  I have blogged on the Fostering Futures program that the Voices for Children of Howard County has developed to meet the needs of Howard County youth in foster care.  It is a simple network of County residents who are willing to receive a monthly email indicating a need that one of these youth has.  If you have the resource they are looking for you simply respond that you can provide that resource.  Often it will be furnishing or items for a youth moving into their first independent apartment.  Things we have stored in our house can be just what I youth needs. 

You don’t have to change your life to change the life of a young person in our community.

P.S.
Last evening I attended the blogging party at the Stanford Grill and want to give a shout out to Jesse Newburn for organizing the blogging community to meet each other in a social event and for the HoCo Blogs site.  I will give everyone information on when the next blogging party is.  If you are a blogger or blog reader (which if you are reading this you are!) it is a great way to network. Also appreciate the Baltimore Sun and the Stanford Grill for their support of this event.  I had some good food from the Grill last night and I plan to return.

P.S.2
makingCHANGE is hiring a part-time person at  to teach their group and individual programs. Contact Michelle Glassburn at
makingCHANGE - A Financial Wellness Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 900
Columbia, MD 21044



1 comment:

jessie said...

Hi Duane, Good to see you last night at the party and thank you for the shout-out.

I would like to add a small tweak to the "everyone is welcome" message re the parties. Yes, everyone is welcome, and the parties are for bloggers and their readers. I genuinely encourage -- and request -- for those who wish to attend the parties and are not, or not yet, bloggers, that they spend some time reading local blogs. From my perspective, there are plenty of networking events and plenty of social events in the community; the particular parties hocoblogs organizes are for 1) bloggers and 2) their readers. ;-) Inside of that definition, everyone is welcome.