My name is Stephanie Cruz. I'm currently a wife and most importantly, a mother to a 2 year old little boy. Before that I was a foster child. I was in foster care 2 times in my 21 years of life. My first go around wasn't a bad experience. I missed my mother and my foster parents cared for me and did their best to help me as a parent should. I was only 8 years old when I was taken from the disruptive life I was living. It was 7 longs months before the court allowed my siblings and I to reunify with our mother. The second time around was a completely different experience. I sought help to leave the place I called home. I’m the one who asked the judge please don't make me go back home. It wasn't my mother who I wanted to run from. It [...]
IKP launches national campaign calling on elected officials to step up and fix our nation’s very broken foster care system.
Our children are dying. Yours. Mine. Ours. This week, a letter penned by child welfare expert Holly Schlaack is being mailed to 600+ elected officials, including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, all of Congress, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell, all state governors, and all 2016 presidential candidates. In addition, individuals across the country will be encouraged to “sign” the letter at InvisibleKids.org as a way to convince elected officials that we as a nation demand better protection for the 400,000 abused and neglected children in our child welfare system. According to Holly Schlaack, Executive Director of the Cincinnati-based Invisible Kids Project, “The ‘Step Up and Fix This’ campaign is designed to grab the attention of elected officials, create awareness that our country’s foster care system is failing miserably, and connect people to form a united voice so powerful our government [...]
An Ohio Family Violence Prevention Project report says more than 30,000 children and 105,000 elderly people are abused or neglected each year and more than 82,000 women are physically assaulted by their intimate partners. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said at a conference on Friday that state officials must work on prevention and identification of family abuse situations. The head of the Family Violence Prevention Project says the statistics were drawn from reporting by victim-services organizations and represents only a portion of Ohioans who are abused or neglected. If you're still not convinced that we need your help, read this article.
Holly Schlaack leads a group of Anderson teens and parents in writing letters as part of our national movement to send 1,837* letters to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is responsible for overseeing the foster care system nationally. These letters will help ensure that our system leaders realize the importance of stable relationships for kids—especially those who have been abused and neglected. The letters will also send a message that people care deeply about—and will not ignore—the ongoing trauma our nation’s foster children experience in the very system designed to protect them. Learn how to host a letter writing group.
Kids are like trees. They must be rooted in order to grow in strong, life-giving ways. More than 100,000 kids in foster care are waiting to be adopted by loving families. They’re waiting to be rooted so they can grow and thrive. Could your family be their place of belonging? http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/
The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act was signed into law today, promising new hope of permanent families for children and more support for kids aging out of the system. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marian-wright-edelman/good-news-for-children-wh_b_6005368.html
When: October 8, 2014, 7-8 PM Where: 4848 Duff Drive Suite A Cincinnati, Ohio 45246 Ever wonder what happens to abused and neglected kids once they enter the system? How long do they stay? Where do they go? Who decides? Join the IKP team for their insider views on all things related to the system including foster care and adoption. Our experiences with the system have been life-changing and powerful. We invite you to learn more and consider how you can help improve the lives of very vulnerable children. Holly Schlaack will be available to sell and sign copies of Invisible Kids: Marcus Fiesel’s Legacy, a book written to educate and empower the general public to get involved and help kids and families in the system. RSVPs appreciated but not required. Just shoot a quick email to email@example.com or give us a call at 513.452.8050.
Five Super Powers I Wish I Had: The ability to stop time. There is NEVER enough time in the day. You end up working 12 hour days (still getting paid for 8) and you don’t have a life outside of work. Oh, and you would have time to eat! Predicting the future. You use your best judgment and the “skills” you learned in formal education and training. Then the real world is totally different. Your “gut instinct” isn’t something you can prove and means absolutely nothing in court, and sometimes people’s behavior defies all logic. The result is life and death: breaking up families or leaving a child in a potentially dangerous situation. You can never be 100% sure of anything. Teleportation. So much of your time is spent traveling and it is so frustrating. And some babies cry in cars… A lot! Visiting kids in residential treatment can be [...]
Coming Soon... Recent video shoot at Cincinnati Zoo with Ron Evans, the zookeeper who oversaw the care and transition of Gladys the baby gorilla neglected by her biological mother. Humans share 98% DNA with gorillas. What might we learn from 'the happiest animal in the zoo'? Stay tuned for the premier on www.invisiblekids.org.
U.S. Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities vs. U.S. Combined Military Deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2001-2010
Child maltreatment deaths in US* Combined US military deaths during 2 wars** Imagine if we harnessed our best thinking, resources, and passion around protecting children from abuse or neglect. How would we change their lives; and ours? For Them: Better school performance Increased physical health and wellness Reduced risk of mental health problems Increased chance of lifelong success Stability, comfort, love, and a chance for a happy childhood AND future For Us: Lower health care costs Lower crime rates Increased vibrancy and health of our communities Healthier economy Sense of purpose and meaning Sounds like a WIN-WIN!! We can totally do this. And you can help! * Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, “Child Maltreatment , 2001-2010” **www.icasualties.org Coalition Military Fatalities By Year and Month – Operation Enduring Freedom and Coalition Military Fatalities By Year – Operation Iraqi Freedom. [...]