Notes from the Field: Spring 2021
So much has happened in the last few months in our work to keep vulnerable children safe and we do not want you to miss any of it.
Take a look at the tremendous progress made for children— including securing key reforms to give children a better chance at a stable home, improving access to health and mental health services, ending the cruel use of restraints and solitary confinement in a boy’s group home in Iowa—and more.
Years of consistent, documented improvements make it clear: court oversight has accomplished its purpose. Children in Milwaukee County foster care are safer and have a better chance at a permanent, stable home.
“We can celebrate that our collaborative work has improved the safety, health, and well-being of vulnerable children in Milwaukee County,” Children’s Rights attorney Eric Thompson.
By Ryan Barker, Missouri Foundation for Health
Sometimes things just click. Call it Kismet, call it karma, call it dumb luck. For me it happened in 2017, when I first met Children’s Rights. At the time, I had been working in Health Policy at Missouri Foundation for Health for 15 years. Our mission is to eliminate the underlying causes of health inequities, transform systems, and enable individuals and communities to thrive. Our work involves dismantling systems that are not equitably serving all the people of Missouri. We call out dysfunction and invest in change to make systems better at supporting the conditions necessary for healthy lives.
When Children’s Rights came knocking, I already knew Missouri’s child welfare system had a problem with psychotropic drugs and kids in its care. KEEP READING »
Justin Kidder shares his experience living in the child welfare system as a sneak peek of our 2021 Tales of Strength & Love series—launching later this spring. Justin, now 27, is an advocate working to reform the foster care system and is the proud chef and owner of Milk & Butter Catering based in Houston, Texas. Make sure to try Justin's recipe for Stuffed Salmon with Asparagus!
Christen Douglas, a member of the Children’s Rights National Advisory Council, is a partner at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, where her practice is focused on trust and estates. She also advises clients on philanthropic planning and private charitable foundations. Christen has joined the CR Legacy Society by designating CR as a beneficiary of her retirement accounts, but no time soon, as she has lots more adventures planned.
At any given time, there are nearly 43,000 children unnecessarily housed in institutions and other group facilities. Institutionalizing children is a billion-dollar industry that costs up to ten times more than supporting a child in a family — and the cost to childhood is heartbreaking. But we have the radical imagination to solve this issue. We are working with champions across the country to put pressure on states to reinvest in families and relative caregivers and prevent children from entering the child welfare system in the first place.
"Thank you Children’s Rights for this extraordinary honor and for all that you do to protect these vulnerable kids and bring them hope."—Cyndi Lauper, 2020 Children’s Rights Inspiration Award recipient