It really does take a village to tackle the United States’ foster care system.
Brett Loftis is the CEO of The Crossnore School and has been an advocate for children’s rights for over 10 years. Brett joined The Crossnore School in 2013, but the school itself was founded in 1913 and has a long standing tradition of helping children’s emotional well-being. This is part three of a three-part interview underlining the main problems traditional foster care systems are unable to solve and what we can do about it.
Key Takeaways:[5:15] Who is Brett? [7:45] During Brett’s 10+ year career in this field, one thing has always remained the same – all foster children have experienced trauma. [8:30] Child abuse and neglect is the single largest public health epidemic facing children right now in the US. [12:45] The foster care system has so many flaws. The data clearly shows the government is not a good parent. [14:30] Most children enter into the foster care system not due to poverty, but due to several years of sexual abuse, torture, and neglect. [17:55] The way the law currently works, parents have more rights to their children (even if they’re hurting them) than the child’s individual right to be safe. [18:40] Only when someone like a teacher makes a phone call, is the child’s rights respected. [20:05] Children with huge traumas have a very difficult time succeeding in life. Only 3% of foster children enroll in college and, of those, only 1% end up graduating. [21:05] It’s our responsibility to make a difference to these children. These children are our children, and our community’s children. [22:05] How does The Crossnore School help foster children? [31:15] Foster children are not bad children. They have problems and they need help recovering from them. [37:40] The good news is, there are more and more schools that are informed about how to handle trauma. [42:15] Foster care separates families, a fundamental part of human development. More specifically, foster care separates a child from his siblings and this makes it harder for all parties involved to cope.
[45:55] It’s awful. Some of these foster children can’t even have sleep overs! [48:45] The average child in foster care has moved 7 times. That’s 7 families, 7 different expectations, and 7 schools. These children have to restart their lives over and over. [52:55] Addicted parents trade their children for drugs and these children unwillingly end up in the sex trade. [55:10] Most, if not all, women who have been exploited into prostitution have been in the foster care system or experienced sexual abuse from a care taker. [58:10] The Crossnore School has been around for over a hundred years.
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