EVERYDAY PROFESSIONAL SUPER HEROES
Superheroes don't just exist in comic books and movies. We have everyday professional super heroes who do the work others do not want to do in order to keep us safe. Like our courageous fire fighters, police officers & armed forces. They are the ones who go back in to the disaster when everyone else is running out. Foster parents also do the work that others don't want to in order to keep abused children safe and heal them from trauma.
This is a rescue mission and we are pulling the alarm! Children need families. This isn’t a luxury they can live without. They need loving adults like they need food, shelter and education. They need them like they need healthcare. They need them as much as fire departments, police forces, and our military. None of these are luxuries. Secure love cannot be replaced by a random selection of multiple adult humans living under the same roof. Human children need parents.
We need our real, live superheroes to leap into action and run back into the fire to rescue children in danger. To do that, we need to relieve them from their day jobs. Effective high standards for foster parenting are not possible with our current group of volunteer parents, who often rely on the children’s reimbursement to make ends meet. Our hurt and damaged foster kids currently receive their essential therapeutic care givers by default, not by qualifications. Effective foster parents will need to be trained, respected and compensated like other professionals in America. Staff members in our child welfare system are paid for the work they do and hired based on education and experience. Social workers, child/family counselors, and administrators all receive a salary. They also get time off. Foster parents don’t have that luxury: they work 24/7/365. Instead of holidays off, they work even harder to arrange visits with birth families and deal with all of the emotions that foster children go through at these special times.
These are OUR children, and they deserve the same protection the rest of us enjoy. When screening, training, and compensation are professionalized, expectations and standards will be raised to provide the safe and loving homes these kids need.
When foster care is delivered the right way we find ourselves in the dream-come-true business. Those are big words but we feel comfortable saying them because we have seen the dreams come true for children in desperate need of superheroes. Effective foster parents are SuperParents and we need to treat them that way. They are VIP’s. They do superhero stuff every day. They do the tough work with unconditional and committed love.
Once we lift up this rock and face the very real, scary, cruel, violent world where children are hurt, neglected, exposed to things they should never have to see or feel, and we recognize that it's happening in our backyards, we won’t be able to shut our eyes the same way again. This must lead to action.
I love that we raise money and awareness to keep music in schools and that Tiger Woods raises millions of dollars to introduce inner city kids to golf. I whole heartily love those efforts to raise healthy and well-rounded children I am ALL in on those causes. But my heart tells me, “Shouldn't we make sure every baby and every child has at least a safe if not a loving home first?”
These kids need our voice because they don’t have one. They need us to talk about it because not talking about it isn't helping.
My wife and I have been blessed to be a part of many foster children’s lives and each one has left their footprints on our hearts & souls. But there are 500,000 more out there right now being hurt and scarred. They live down the street from you. You walk by them in the supermarket.
I don’t share these tragedies for shock value. Our hope is that you to consider this information a 911 call…
They need us to answer the call
They need us to sound the alarm
They need us to slide down the pole
They need us to go into the phone booth and come out with our superhero cape on
They need SuperParents to leap into action right now!
The good news is you don't have to come up with a brilliant solution to this ugly problem. We have one. And a big part of it is treating and compensating foster parents like the rest of our everyday heroes. If we need SuperParents to open their homes and, more importantly their hearts, we must to treat them like professionals.
Our SuperParents hearts will most likely get broken, maybe a few times, but they will survive and it will even make them stronger.
But If we do nothing our abused kids may not survive.
Our highly trained caseworkers and staff will help with the rest. We will train our parents and give them the tools they need to appropriately care for these traumatized youth. Additionally, we will wrap therapeutic support and services around them to be successful.
And when they do…
Our SuperParents lives will be changed forever from the inside out. These children teach us how to love like we've never loved before, show us the true beauty of giving and give us a crash course on Living in the Moment.
We need people who want to be part of something bigger than themselves so we can break cycles of fear and abuse by creating new cycles of love and trust. We want you to feel how we feel, because we need you. More importantly…They need you!!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,