Letter to the Editor: Invest in children
BY Lynn Sossamon, Tulsa
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Now is the time to invest in children,
our most valuable asset and
predictor of Oklahoma’s future.
Child abuse victims, as well as the
state, will benefit when our child
welfare system is reformed.
During the past 12 months, hundreds
of citizens and professionals
have contributed their expertise
to analyze and suggest how to improve
the child welfare system. The
results of this research are in three
documents – the Department of Human
Service’s welfare improvement
plan, the Legislative Foster Care
Task Force’s recommendations, and
a report of “Priorities for Change”
that emerged from summits statewide
convened by the Charles and
Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
There are priorities in all three
documents that deserve support, including
increased training, pay, and
hiring of more child welfare staff,
and increases in the number of foster
care resources and rates.
Abused and neglected children in
state care are the responsibility of
all citizens. It’s critical that we make
much-needed changes now to ensure
their safety and promote healing
from the trauma they’ve experienced.
Today’s children have only one
childhood and our legislators have
the power to help them realize their
potential as educated, employed,
taxpaying citizens, who contribute
to the well-being of families, communities
and the state.
We urge Oklahoma leaders to take
bold action now on child welfare reform
– for the future well-being of us
Editor’s note: Sossamon is director of the Tulsa County Child Protection Coalition. This letter was written on behalf of the coalition’s 21 member agencies.
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