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Monday, August 5, 2013

Vulnerable kids

     Recently we saw a story in the news about a large number of persons being arrested for human trafficking of youth across the United States.  What struck home for me was the mention that many of the youth caught up in this trafficking were foster youth and youth from group homes.  As one reports stated it,

 "Of particular concern to me are the alarming statistics showing that far too many trafficking victims are either current or former foster youth," she added. "In my hometown of Los Angeles, over 60 percent of child victims of trafficking either are or were foster youth, and we know that pimps are now targeting foster youth group homes as hubs to recruit vulnerable girls.''

     As a former foster parent to many teenagers I know first hand the challenges these youth make in transitioning to adulthood.  With many of these youth coming from homes where they have been neglected or abused they are vulnerable to anyone showing them any attention.  Too often the ones showing them this attention are predators looking for vulnerable children.  In my estimation these predators are the lowest form of humans.  Having said that it is a reality that many of these predators were abused children themselves.     Today I want to mention two programs with which I have had experience that are working with these youth to provide the necessary support to make this transition to adulthood and avoid the predators.
      Fostering Futures is a Howard County program out of the local Voices for Children office that works with youth in foster care in Howard County.  This program targets youth who will be aging out of foster care.  Consider being on their volunteer network.  Save the date of September 20 for their fundraiser The Vintage Affair.  They are also signing up CASA volunteers for their September training.
     The second program is operated by the Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center and is called the "Transitional Housing Program for Foster Youth."  Their program is now in desperate need for the following items:
  • Laundry detergent
  • Women's deodorant
  • Full-sized toothpaste
  • Full-sized bath soap bars
  • Diapers (size 5+)
  • Pampers (size 4)
  • Pampers (size 5)
  • Baby wipes 
  • Toilet tissue
  • Baby wash
  • Baby lotion
  • Wash cloths
  • Bath towels
  • Facial tissue
  • Sanitary napkins (all sizes
  You can drop off these items or better yet send a check, as I did, to their office.  Their address is:
10 South Street, Suite 600
Baltimore, MD  21202
To make arrangements or for questions:
Phone:  410-889-7474

   It is one thing to read stories like the ones mentioned above and think "Those poor children" and it is another thing to take action in some meaningful way.  I would ask you to consider contributing to either of these programs.

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