Every week there seems to be a new headline about the challenges and tragedies facing Illinois’ child welfare system. While our system isn’t perfect, there are many dedicated social service professionals and wonderful foster parents who are working every day to provide children in care with loving, safe homes.
Community support is needed to help build better futures for children in care. Foster children go to school in the community. They will grow up and become adults in the community, so an investment in these children and their families will benefit society in the end.
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More foster parents are needed who embrace caring for children and supporting their families. We understand not everyone feels able to be a foster parent, but you can still be a part of the circle of support for foster parents, children and families. Use your voice to advocate for those who can’t speak up for themselves. Look around your community and offer a little assistance to a struggling family. A small act of kindness can often make a world of difference.
This May during National Foster Care Month, I encourage everyone to take a moment to ask yourself how can you help make a positive impact on the child welfare system. Let’s demonstrate to all the children in our communities that we care about them.
Mike Bertrand, president and CEO, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois
Many Republicans have lost their way
Showtime has a series titled “The First Lady,” and in the first episode, there is a scene in which George and Laura Bush are graciously showing Barack and Michelle Obama around the White House. The scene is fictional, but I remember reading in Michelle Obama’s book about how nicely her family was treated by the outgoing first family. Obama and Bush even worked together during the transition to come up with a bipartisan plan to attack the recession of 2008.
Can anyone imagine these things happening in 2020? Every losing president before then conceded and acknowledged the election results. This time the losing president failed to protect Congress and encouraged the deadliest assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812.
Even worse are the Republicans who met recently to praise Kevin McCarthy for walking back his original disparaging remarks to the president for “going too far.” People died. Property was damaged. Members of Congress feared for their lives, and hundreds were arrested.
Yet Republican lawmakers call this “old news” and rally around the theme that nothing bad happened. They want Congress to stop investigating. This used to be the “law and order” party. This party calls themselves patriots. They took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Now I wonder if they have even read it.
Jan Goldberg, Riverside