If you saw an infant crawling across a street alone, would you stand there and watch? Would you look the other way? Would you think, not my baby, not my problem?
I doubt it. I think you would sweep in, dodge traffic, and risk your very life to pluck that little one from danger. I think you would be outraged and shocked. I think the image would haunt you and keep you up at night.
Unbelievable as it may be, there are far too many children dying in a street we call the child welfare system. It is a dark and busy well-worn road riddled with broken concrete, shards of glass, and too many sinkholes to count without enough manpower and resources to fix it. Who would want to work on that road anyway? It’s dangerous, traumatic, and exhausting. Lots of good people sign up for the job as caseworkers, foster parents, and court professionals but they don’t stay. Too many walk away when the roadwork starts to take pieces of their hearts, souls, and sanity. Can you blame them?
But the babies navigating this broken road don’t get to crawl away. They are right here, creeping along this very dangerous path that winds through every single community in our country.
We don’t even see them.
At IKP, we are turning on the streetlights to see what is here. We invite you to look with us, to roll up your sleeves, and to get to work. Your first job assignment? Sign our Step Up and Fix This Campaign. Then share it with others and start learning and talking about these issues. Change begins with conversation. Understanding. Community.
We are not scared. We are not powerless. You are not powerless. As long as we realize that and join forces, our babies won’t be either.