How do we care for our kids?
By Carol / February 13, 2024 /
People talk often about how children are our future, and I expect we all like to think we do well by our children. But recent events make me believe we as a country must do better in caring for our kids. There are issues at the federal and state levels, and a new memoir shines the light on the foster care system.
At the federal level, programs like the refundable child tax credit helped slash child poverty in the U.S. almost in half, according to Nicholas Kristof in a New York Times opinion piece. Republican opposition caused the program to expire and child poverty has soared again.
In Iowa, where I live, we’re not doing better. Since 2021, Governor Reynolds has refused to claim $243 million in federal assistance to improve access to early childhood learning, for COVID testing in schools and summer food assistance, and for rental assistance for low-income families.
The foster care system creates especially difficult problems as young people age out. Blogger and friend Shirley Hershey Showalter delved into this topic after reading a memoir, written by Elliot Glover. In Those Boys on the Hill, Glover details the experiences he and his two brothers had with the foster care system in Pennsylvania.
Showalter reports that of the thousands of young people who age out of the foster care system, 40% face homelessness within three years. Rates are also high for pregnancy, substance abuse, incarceration and premature death.
We as a society need to do a better job caring for our kids.
* Those Boys on the Hill is available now in Kindle version, and will be available in paperback and hardcover on February 16, 2024.