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HomeWa'appenFoster Care: “Be the village, Foster a child!”

Foster Care: “Be the village, Foster a child!”

PHILIPSBURG: During the month of May, many countries, take this time to celebrate and to create an awareness of the importance of the Foster Care System.

It is quite fitting because during this month, many countries also celebrate Mother’s Day.
Good parenting is essential for the well being of a NATION.

The tier of care begins with the mother. This woman provides loving care, from birth and prior, to the child, often with the support of the resident father, and extended family members, aunties, uncles, grandma, etc. Such a child, raised in this setting, often grows to be confident, strong and independent. He or she, has a better chance to become productive. This is a definite asset to a nation!
On the contrary, when this measure of nurturing is negated and at times non-existent a problem arises.

Over the years, there is an alarming need for more FOSTER PARENTS around the world and St. Maarten / St. Martin is not exempted from this need, so the question is, WHO ARE FOSTER PARENTS?
Simply put, the village, the community!

To elaborate, Foster parents are adults with a genuine love for children. They have a sense of community responsibility and also a common goal to provide safety and security for children. These individuals show empathy and the desire to nuture a child, which in most cases is not related to that child by blood. Mahatma Gandhi says, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

The Foster Care system, in St. Maarten / St. Martin is responsible for the temporary placement of minors into an approved home, often for a duration of time or until the child reaches the age of accountability. This is in keeping with the United Nations goals for the RIGHTS OF A CHILD.

In 1989, United Nations made a decree that says, in summary, that every country must ensure that children grow as healthy as possibly, that they can learn at school, receive protection, have their views listened to, and to be treated fairly. All children should have the same rights, no matter who they are or where they originated.

Now, let’s go down the veins, to the root of this need for more FOSTER PARENTS. This is my major concern and the reason for penning this article. There are several causes for children having to be ripped away from their homes. While, moral values has lost its place in societies, I would like to pitch a fire and light a blaze a major culprit bundled and called DOMESTIC ABUSE.

As a survivor of Domestic Abuse, this very subject is very near and dear to my heart and for this reason I am illuminating this particular issue.

I want to take this time, to salute all the women, the comrades, who have lost their life as a result of this horrendous act. Now, their children are left, – yes , left to the state, families and the village, whose love and care, even though great, can never match up to the birth mother, when in the right situation. Hats off to them! They do a phenomenal job, filling that gap!

I also would like to salute the comrades, who managed to survive, out of the hands of the fowler and death was not their lot as a result of sexual, mental and physical abuse they endured.

Needless to say, many have died to their dreams, self-esteem and ability to care. They have put on a mask to hide their scars.
The mask of alcohol has now become an addiction and they are now called drug addicts.
Prostitution, yes, that’s another mask because it provides hope and a provision, for their children and this brings about a cycle of abuse.

My heart cries, as the children have eyes to see and they too are torn, bruised and placed in the care of the nation.

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL FOSTER PARENTS, MENTORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, TEACHERS AND THE VILLAGE AT LARGE. I was once a Foster Parent and would continue to be an advocate for the safety and the well being of mothers and children.

By Leslyn Telford

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