speaker: heidi brugel cox question: could you give us a context of why our foster care system needs reform? answer: 150,000 children are waiting in the foster care system right now. there are barriers to our permanency. if we didn't need reform, this number would be lower. foster care manages the problem. we need to solve the problem.
question: could you share statistics? answer: 42% who age out will end in the prison system compared to their peers, 3.3% more children who age out will not graduate high school
question: in recent years there's been a push to privatization. could you share your heart behind this? answer: there's a lot of players involved with privatization, and people usually aren't prone to share information needed. but, the money issue is probably handled in a better way than the government.
question: what are some ways we can go as individuals, professionals, churches... answer: we cannot rely solely on the government. we believe it's their sole responsibility to take care of the foster children and this isn't true. we need to engage the community. you can see pockets within your state where the number of children brought into foster care are high. by bringing in the community - teachers, church leaders, etc. - they can find families. you need to keep the kids in their local community if possible.
question: are there principles in collaboration for organizations? answer: everyone has to look at the goal. if the goal is permanency, we can all come together and find ideas. texas isn't a good collaborator. [elora's notes - this is why we need the church to step in and embody caring for the orphan well]
question: is there one thing you want to leave with this gathering? answer: i've done a lot of work with individual clients. this is where i changed from focusing on individuals to focusing on systemic reform. we need both types of people.