OUR VIEWS: Open your heart and home

Jun 22, 2012

 

The philanthropic vein that runs so deeply through this area makes our plea much less burdensome.

Open your hearts and homes. Children need them.

Ottawa County needs folks who will do just that for the many foster children seeking the comfort of a guiding hand, a welcoming heart, a safe harbor.

The Michigan Department of Human Services has seen a spike in the number of Ottawa County children in its custody due to abuse or neglect. The number of children living outside their family home has increased from 145 in January 2011 to 198 by the end of April 2012.

Many factors could contribute to this significant increase — not the least of all is the recession. Many parents are strapped financially, and desperation sometimes leads to neglect and abuse.

Abusing a child, any child, is a terrible crime. And neglect, even if only slight, can have lasting impact.

All children deserve to be loved. All children deserve to be well-fed, clothed and properly educated. Most of all, children should feel safe. But all too many have not had these basic needs met.

These children need a place to call home — even if only temporarily — and an advocate. They need someone they can count on to care for them and love them for exactly who they are and what they could become. Maybe even someone who could consider permanently offering that child a home.

Could that be you? We sure hope so. So do these children.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

ghmomma

How many empty nesters are living alone in their very large homes, now that their own children are grown??? I know quite a few. If even SOME of these people would foster a child things could be so much different. Will it happen? NO. It would be a real inconvience to have a child in the house again. We raised our kids, we did our job. We want to travel. We can't have 'that kind of kid' around our grandchildren. I'm sure I am missing another dozen excuses why people who COULD foster a child don't. Huge homes with two people living in them but no room for a foster child. Or how about the couples who can't have their own children? They jump through hoops to adopt a baby from Asian countries but won't foster an American child. Children don't really matter to alot of us, unless they are a fetus.

tednugent4pres

the foster kids not our problem nor does it have to be. before you b*tch about the tri-cities, how many foster kids do you have?

mharmon

This looks great that it is so easy to foster children. You are misinformed about what this entails. It is a huge commitment. These children have a laundry list of problems (drugs, physical/sexual abuse, behavioral issues etc.) You can only imagine what this poor children have went through. I have friends that foster and it is a 24/7 job that consumes you. I would caution anyone with school age children to take on this type of commitment based on this "all roses" article.

 

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