Hundreds of inmates in New York jails will soon be going home.

In January 2020 a new criminal justice reform law went into effect that allows New York to release people that cannot afford bail. Jeannie McBride of New York State says that judges can not hold anyone arrested for a misdemeanor, or even some of those charged with felonies on cash bail. Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour, said, “The judge will have to go in and ‘ROR’ them, release them on their own recognizance”. Continue reading Hundreds of inmates in New York jails will soon be going home.

Is the foster care to prison pipeline the only answer for children whose parents have mental health conditions? Addictions?

Parents who suffer from mental conditions fall into even deeper despair when their families are destroyed and they are told that they can never be parents because of their condition. Studies also show that there is a high prevalence of mental illness in the foster care population and that many of the children will be homeless when they age out. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCLS) has collected data that tells us that children are prescribed doses higher than the maximum levels cited in guidelines developed by the FDA and that legislative action is being taken to address how states are doing this (NCSL, 2021). Continue reading Is the foster care to prison pipeline the only answer for children whose parents have mental health conditions? Addictions?

Runaways, Mental Health, and Homelessness

Numerically, white people are the largest racial group within homelessness, however, racial groups are far more likely to experience homelessness as a result of segregation and discrimination in employment and housing. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders have the highest rate of homelessness (109 out of every 10,000 people). Native Americans (45 out of every 10,000) and Black or African Americans (52 out of every 10,000). These rates are much higher than the nation’s overall rate of homelessness (18 out of every 10,000). (State of Homelessness, 2020) Continue reading Runaways, Mental Health, and Homelessness

How Foster Care Youth Become Trafficking Victims

Predators prey on children from broken homes, group homes, foster care, and runaways. The U.S. Department of State reports that foster care is a consistent problem. Live-in parents and step parents are 20 times more likely to abuse a child than a biological parent. City reports show that between 60% to as many as 90% of the children rescued in sex trafficking stings were in foster care before they were trafficked. Often, when they are rescued, they are returned to state custody where they will likely run away again. Continue reading How Foster Care Youth Become Trafficking Victims

Let’s talk about adoption

Let’s talk about adoption. How does adoption affect a child? Do they really feel like their new family “saved them”? Do they want to go home? Do they want to run away? I watched as the Department of Human Services Division of Children and Families made an attempt to celebrate “Reunification Month” last month and honestly the feedback they received from the families they have “helped” was not so good. Parents and grandparents spoke out on the Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services Facebook post saying, “Yes, Let’s talk about reunification” and sharing their experiences with the department with each other. Whoever moderates that page deleted the post most likely because the feedback from family members told the stories of separation rather than reunification. Throughout the whole month of June only one post remains on their page and it celebrates foster parents at the time of reunification and describes how a foster parent feels when a child goes home. Continue reading Let’s talk about adoption

The Journey Begins

Have you ever seen something happen to someone that just made you want to change the way the world works? I am using this website to write about some of the experiences I have had, both my own and other’s, and some of the things I research to learn more about. I hope I receive feedback and meet a lot of people like me that want to make a difference. People that connect the dots and intersections in life’s circumstances and look for solutions. The world needs more problem solvers. Continue reading The Journey Begins