Advocacy

A Broken Life, a Broken System, a Broken Society

A Broken Life – When a two-year old child is afraid of his own bedroom, since he knows that he will probably wet the bed again and that more beatings will occur, his spirit becomes broken. When at age 4, he is doused with lighter fluid and set on fire for a recent wetting episode, his body becomes broken.

Over 3 million children are reported abused and neglected in the United States every year; with 3 children dying from abuse or neglect each day.

A Broken System – With body and spirit broken and scarred, this little boy is now rescued from his tragic past by a well-meaning child-serving system. This brave child, possessing resilience rarely seen in adults, begins to heal. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to him, the healing process is going to be long and arduous; for the process is going to be continuously fraught with the problems associated with an underfunded and an overrun children’s service system. This struggling child will live in a dozen or more homes and attend as many different schools. His self-esteem will deteriorate further, at a time in his life (his teenage years) when he needs it the most.

Over 550,000 children live in foster care in the United States each year.

A Broken Society – As an 18-year old young man, he has very few life belongings (they all fit into a trash bag that he carries) or expectations of a successful or happy life. For soon, he knows that he will go out into the world and live on his own. With the odds for success weighing heavily against this once spirited toddler, his life will be a constant struggle. He faces the prospects of becoming jobless, homeless, and a societal pariah. Not what most children imagine as they drift off to sleep every night.

Approximately 20,000 foster care teens are emancipated and must leave the child welfare system annually. Fifty percent of these struggling young people can expect to face homelessness, joblessness, and will not have graduated from high school.

Are we ready to look into the eyes of our Nation’s most vulnerable children and tell them the truth about the dismal prospects of their lives? Or are we ready to take up this challenge, for it is ours, and create lives, systems of support, and a caring society capable of mending all that has been broken in the lives of these heroic children?

Kids@Home will meet these challenges through a vision worthy of every single child we serve.

Online Advocacy Resources

Child, Youth, and Family Advocacy
American Youth Policy Forum
Child Welfare League of America
Children’s Defense Fund
Florida Kids
National Independent Living Association
National Network for Youth

Government Services
Florida Legislature (Online Sunshine)
Florida Dept. of Children and Families
Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice
Florida Government Services Index
The White House
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
U.S. Census Bureau

Information and Referral
Center for Information and Crisis Services
First Call for Help

Political Associations
Young Democrats of America
Young Republican National Federation
Youthlink
Democratic National Committee
Republican National Committee

Volunteerism
Youthbuild
Volunteer Match
Peace Corps
Corporation for National and Community Service

FACT: Of young people leaving foster care, 25% to 50% experience homelessness and joblessness, only about half have completed high school, and more than 60% of the young women will have a baby within four years.