A child welfare expert recently commented on some of the problems and challenges in the foster care system, including children moving from home-to-home and the difficulty obtaining counseling for children and youth. He framed it personally when he said, “I look at the overall situation and think none of us would sit still for a minute if this was our child, when in fact, these are ALL our children.”
Yes, children in state custody foster care are, in a very real sense, all “our” children…our responsibility. This highlights one of the biggest challenges we have to overcome. It relates to the following idiom, “If it’s everyone’s responsibility, then it’s no one’s responsibility.” This is mostly true. Why? When it’s also someone else’s responsibility, we let them handle it. If everyone responds this way, no one takes charge.
The antidote to this tendency is for us to be full of compassion. Have you heard that admonition before? Scriptures relate to this often as well as provide other similar encouragements, i.e. be kind, be merciful, be gracious and tenderhearted. What do these have in common? They call upon us to take the concern of those in need personally and get engaged in helping.
We’ve been beating this drum for nearly 60 years now as we continue our outreach to vulnerable children and youth. We are grateful for how so many have joined with us over the years. Even so, there is so much more to do, so many more children and youth in need of homes. We must respond and do more! This is what we are trying to do! Please continue to partner with us as, together, we continue to do something very special for “our” children!