Foster children need affection

Posted on December 10, 2019
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December 10, 2019

New Brunswick children in foster or group homes are being horribly neglected and abused by the structure of the system that is supposed to rescue and support them. The Telegraph Journal’s series Broken Homes is a heart wrenching eye opener. Mike Landry and Michael Robinson with a side commentary by Nathalie Sturgeon, the young editor of the Kings County Record, reveals a system with little provision to provide affection and inclusion for its charges.
Ms Sturgeon writes of becoming a foster child at the age of six and her experiences in the system until she was adopted by loving, adoptive parents when she was 12.
We’ve all heard the statement that love is the answer. Children, especially those separated from their birth parents, desperately need more of that, not less, in any program that takes charge of their care.
People like the parents who adopted Ms Sturgeon, a messed up kid coming into her teens, should be engaged by the department to advise, coach and recruit people like themselves to care for New Brunswick’s charges. Such people know how to treat people as people, not prisoners, numbers or statistics.
I’ve long said that, so long as one child goes to bed cold, hungry or frightened, we cannot call ourselves civilized. I must amend that to add feeling lonely and unloved.
This is not to suggest social workers don’t care. I’m sure many if not most of them are suffering something akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder trying to save kids in a system designed and financed to fail. I can’t imagine surviving working in that system.
The series demonstrates the necessity of an aggressive press to a healthy democracy.
The Telegraph Journal is doing its job on this issue.
Let’s hope the rest of us do.

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