The Foster Care System Was Unprepared for The Last Drug Epidemic. Let’s Not Repeat History []


Foster care is an imperfect system, often criticized for its failures, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and poverty and racial bias, leading to the harmful and unnecessary removal of children from their homes, disproportionately from homes of poor families of color.

Nevertheless, foster care can be a lifesaving intervention as a system of last resort that we depend on to ensure the safety of the most endangered children. As we face the third drug epidemic in recent decades that threatens to overwhelm some state foster care systems, we have an opportunity to learn from the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

Many of today’s legitimate complaints and general frustration about a foster care system that continues to allow more than 23,000 children to age out without safety, family or a home, can be traced to the system failures that emerged during the crack cocaine epidemic.

[For more on this story by Jennifer Rodriguez, Ron Haskins, and Jeremy Kohomban, go to https://chronicleofsocialchang...repeat-history/30035]

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Yes! Having ACEs Science infused and integrated into our children's and youth textbooks is absolutely spot on. With so many trauma-informed schools and districts transforming their cultures, this strategy would deeply integrate every level and layer of our educational system.

Aware of many higher education departments integrating ACEs Science with their child, family development syllabus (and different departments such as, social work, criminal justice) which is uplifting workforce development, we still need the paradigm shift in public education's textbooks.

ACEs information and education should be taught in parenting and child development classes and then also reinforced in classes like health, sociology and psychology. Wouldn't it be great if our text books were updated to include chapters on ACEs?

Yes! parenting education need to be a priority in our schools (through Health classes, social-emotional learning, life skills, etc.)  and should be integrated with every high school. Those students are on the cusp of becoming parents (the most important job in our world) and need those practical applications of relationship building, communication skills, conflict resolution, empathy building.

Thank you, Rene, for sharing your thoughts. The "family system" should be of the highest priority.

All of the solutions offered still don't include making parenting education a priority in all of our schools. It should be obvious by now, that we will never have enough kinship and foster families. So perhaps we start educating all high school students on the necessity of healthy families. 

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