Snow, Haiti and Fostering Youth in the US
February 11, 2010

This has been an unprecedented week for D.C. with well over three feet of snow!   We closed early last Friday and the office will be closed through Thursday, February 11th - we follow the federal government's guidelines regarding inclement weather and office closings.  It looks like we'll be open again on Friday the 12th.  I managed to get one of the few flights out of Dulles on Tuesday to attend a Saddleback Conference in California.  The conference focuses on many different things; I'm participating in the orphan and adoption segment.  One of the things we're doing is meeting and discussing ways in which we can help the children orphaned in Haiti. 

The situation in Haiti remains desperate.  It's sad to know that with all the attention on Haiti's orphans that our government, the government of Haiti and the UN are not taking any tangible steps to help Haiti's orphans find families.  This devastation highlights the importance in changing our government's policy toward orphans.  As a country, we have been leaders in numerous issues:  democracy, fighting HIV/AIDS, stopping sex trafficking, etc.  Why can't we do the same regarding caring for orphans?  Instead of USAID funding tens of millions of dollars towards building orphanages, why can't they spend the same money to work towards permanency for orphans?  As I've blogged about in the past, this highlights the need for Congress to pass the Families For Orphans Act. 

While in California, I've also visited our new office and met with our social worker, Maureen, in California.  We should be getting licensed by the state of California sometime in the next few weeks.  At first our license will only be based in the county surrounding our office, but we're hoping to eventually be licensed across the state. 

I was reminded of a great organization while I was out here, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).  CASA is a great program that helps foster youth in the United States.  They help organize people to serve as advocates for foster youth and work with the court system to ensure that the foster youth are given an opportunity to have an adult who can objectively help to make decisions in the foster youth's best interest.  For more information about how you can volunteer, visit www.casaforchildren.org.  I hope some of you will consider this opportunity.

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