Goliath comes in many forms~
It is time to stop the devastation to innocent families which is occurring daily across the country.
My Family Rights Affiliation

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Defending the Rights of the Child - Suggested Resolution

The following are thoughts from Foster Care Justice Alliance to hopefully share with other States and/or Other Counties in CA.  
FCJA is a charitable, non-profit, volunteer 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to defend the rights of children in out of home care.  Our mission is encapsulated in two concepts:
  • Advocate for Change is our mission in the macro.  We advocate to change society, change attitudes, and change the laws regarding our children.  We will achieve this by bringing together the voices of those most closely touched by foster care - the foster children themselves, their parents, and their guardians.  Together will raise awareness and focus attention on solutions to the dilemma of children languishing in foster care.
  • Intervene for the Child is our mission in the micro.  Whenever we believe an individual child's rights are being violated, we will intervene by providing support and legal assistance to foster families.  Pivotal to this is the creation of a network of attorneys, legal resources, and a legal aid fund.
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Foster Care Justice Alliance
Defending the Rights of the Child

Political campaigning season is here.  You may have already seen candidates door-belling, and if you are like me, you probably receive more campaign phone calls than you want.  Did you ever consider that these are good opportunities to talk about foster care?  When they ask for your vote, ask what they are doing to protect children.
The major parties are gearing up for caucuses.  The Republican caucuses are this Saturday, March 3rd, and the Democratic caucuses are April 15th.  FCJA is non-partisan, but we do encourage you to go to the caucus of your choice to talk to your friends and neighbors about children in out-of-home care.  Tell them about this mailing list and how they can get involved.  You can find the location of your local caucus through their party website (see below).
Ideas that start at a local neighborhood caucus meeting are often carried to the district, county, and even the state and national conventions.  Wouldn't it be refreshing to see both the major parties include foster care in their platforms?  It might even be unprecedented.  You can propose a resolution at your neighborhood meeting and volunteer to be a delegate to carry the message.
Any resolution supporting foster kids and early permanency coming out of your caucus would be a positive step.  If you want an idea of how to write a resolution, take a look at the one below.  If you do decide to get involved in the process, e-mail me and let me know how it goes and if you are selected as a delegate.
 
Thank you for your support of foster kids!
 
Gary Malkasian
FCJA President
 
Caucuses:
 
Democratic: Sunday, April 15, 2012
Republican: Saturday, March 3, 2012
 
Democratic caucuses : Washington State Democrats (http://wa-democrats.org/) : (206) 583-0664
Republican caucuses : Washington State Republican Party (http://wsrp.org/) : (425) 460-0570
 
 
Sample Resolution:
 
WHEREAS, 19,000 children are in out-of-home care in Washington State each year due to abuse or neglect, and 10,000 children are in out-of-home care on any given day; and
 
WHEREAS, There are now children in foster care who are third and fourth generation of their family to require out-of-home care; and
 
WHEREAS, 73% of foster children do not graduate from high school, yet legislation to fund pre-school for foster children stalled in the state legislature two years in a row; and
 
WHEREAS, Foster care alumni are at a much higher risk of depression, poverty, suicide, drug abuse, and crime; and
 
WHEREAS, Any disruption is inherently damaging to a child, and that the longer a child remains in out-of-home care, the greater the damage, including attachment disorders, aggression, insecurity, self-injury, low self-esteem, low self-worth, and depression;  and
 
WHEREAS, The chance of successful family reunification drops to near zero after a child has been in out-of-home care for more than 15 months; and
 
WHEREAS, Washington State and Federal Law require permanency to be established after a child has been in out-of-home care for 15 of the last 22 months; and
 
WHEREAS, more than half of the 10,000 children in foster care today have been there for more than three years, in direct violation of state and federal law and the best interests of the child; and
 
WHEREAS, the denial of the child’s right to permanency is systemic, damaging nearly every child that enters the system; now, therefore, be it
 
RESOLVED, That foster care in Washington State is in crisis, and the current foster care system is unconstitutional based on the 5th and 14th amendments: the child’s liberty interest to due process and to be free from harm; and be it further
 
RESOLVED, We declare that protecting children in foster care and establishing early permanency for them should be policy priorities.
 


May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,
Granpa Chuck
Keeper of the web files for http://nfpcar.org
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