reports of child abuse and neglect will be \ue000led in the United States this year.
What they all have in common as they enter our nation\u2019s child welfare systems is the need for stable homes. What too many of them will have in common as they make their way through those systems is the stuff of nightmares.
Some will be separated from their siblings. Some will languish for years in
\u201ctemporary\u201d foster care placements or institutions. Some will be shuf\ue000ed around
frequently and without warning. Some will\u2014unthinkably\u2014suffer additional abuse
at the hands of the people entrusted with their protection. Many will be denied
health care, education, and other fundamental necessities for safe, healthy, and
happy lives. And many will experience serious, permanent damage as a result.
The \ue002a\ue001t is that
man\ue003 o\ue002 our nation\u2019s
\ue001hild wel\ue002are s\ue003stems are
Children get sent to live with inappropriate or unlicensed foster parents.
Instead of being adopted, many are housed in orphanage-like institutions
where their educational, physical, and mental-health needs are neglected
or ignored. Many children emerge from the systems that are supposed
to be protecting them much worse for the experience. And the systems
themselves\u2014underfunded, understaffed, lacking leadership, and low on
morale\u2014are often ill-equipped to respond.
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