Are we serious about not leaving children behind?

The Daily Journal

January 25, 2016


In San Mateo County, there is a shortage of foster homes for teens, and even more so for those who require mental health treatment. Since meeting this girl, I am now on a quest to help find her a home. Some would say, “Why bother? There are many children like this in our community, and you can’t possibly save them all.” But a teacher’s call, meeting the girl personally and my grandmother’s story merge together to make me act now. I want this child’s next move to be her last. As a community, we all must do much more for our most vulnerable children. In our wealthy county, why do we have so few foster homes? Why are people so reluctant to take teens? Was my grandmother also labeled unadoptable? If the plan is to eventually close group homes, how will this work in San Mateo County where we have a desperate shortage of foster homes already? Elected officials need to make all of our foster youth and vulnerable children a higher priority. Every school board in the county should put foster youth on their agendas so leaders and district policies are clear on how to support these students. When Marian Wright Edelman, the American activist for disadvantaged children coined the term “Leave No Child Behind,” she was talking about children such as foster youth. I believe she wanted the community to step forward and help each and every child that needs us. As a community, we can take steps starting now to do “No Child Left Behind” the way that would make Ms. Edelman proud.
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