Letters to the Editor

SC foster children need our help

Letter to The State editorial board

States are hurting children by allowing agencies to discriminate against foster parents on religious grounds.
States are hurting children by allowing agencies to discriminate against foster parents on religious grounds. AP

Fail. Attempt. Unfortunately. These words are commonly used with efforts to improve South Carolina’s child welfare system. We must eliminate these words when we it comes to the safety and well-being of children.

Thirty years ago, I was a foster child. I was abandoned when I was only two months. I was placed in 12 foster homes and six group homes in 17 years. I truly and passionately understand the importance of no child left behind.

It is critical that we set standards and policies that stop the abuse and neglect of children in our state.

Our communities and the S.C. Department of Social Services must be courageous and relentless in protecting our children. We must immediately decrease the stigma concerning foster care. We’ll know we’ve succeeded when prospective parents are eager to open their homes to any child.

DSS also must make it a priority to attract experienced and passionate caseworkers, who understand the individual needs of the children in care. And we need greater investments in therapeutic care for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. This will help ensure that children in care are actually healing from the trauma they have experienced.

Children are like trees. We can’t just plant them and walk away. The soil must be fertilized, watered constantly, and consistently given the right amount of attention and affection. A tree is nothing without its roots. DSS must get to the root of these problems.

Are you up for changing the lives of our children? I am.

Darious J. Sanders

Columbia

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

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