Children are being punished for the misdeeds of their elders. Governor Schwarzenegger’s $80 million line-item veto of Child Welfare Services is unprecedented.
I was appointed to The California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care in March 2006 by Supreme Court Chief Justice M. Ronald George. Its charge is to provide recommendations to the California Judicial Council on the ways in which the courts and their partners can improve safety, permanency, well-being, and fairness outcomes for children and families. The commission issued final recommendations to the Judicial Council on August 15, 2008. The recommendations focus on four areas: 1) efforts to prevent removal and achieve permanency; 2) court reforms; 3) collaboration between the courts and their child welfare partners; and 4) resources and funding.
The likelihood of achieving these improvements is seriously compromised by the reduction in Child Welfare Services. California’s child welfare system is already seriously under-resourced.
The folks in Sacramento have a legal and moral commitment to care for children and youth in foster care. Would they put their own families in jeopardy? I doubt it.
The cuts must be restored.