You've likely heard so much in the news about the separation of children from their families at the United States borders.
Children kept in cages.
Overcrowding conditions that don't seem to improve.
And, the issues of children being placed in foster homes for their own safety has always been with us.
HOW DO WE MAKE THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM WORK WELL IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES?
That's the big, ongoing question. Today, my guest, Richard Villasana, helps us understand what the actual realities are for both children separated from their families at the US Border, and children separated from their families because their parents cannot--and sometimes should not--be caring for them,
You likely have a thought about the foster care system. Sad stories about the foster care system make their way into television dramas we enjoy watching. It makes us aware of the feeling of foster children. Recently, for instance, on Grey's Anatomy, two main characters bonded over a newly-discovered shared history of having been in foster care. It makes it more real for everyone to understand, and I applaud the writers of these shows for being socially conscious!
Richard Villasana is a leading light out of what can be a dark hole for many. This, of course, has been exacerbated by recent years of high-profile stories about the immigration difficulties and the separation of children from their families at the US border. So many children in such a short time...in cages. We've all seen it on the news. I have friends who have gone to the border to see exactly what is happening, and it is all very real, unfortunately.
I asked Richard Villasana why we hear that some children may never see their parents again, after having crossed the border. Of course, I am very concerned about emotional trauma and long-lasting emotional damage that these sad situations can create, and I asked Richard about how it is addressed. An equally sad answer!
See the Highlights below for the questions I made sure to ask him.
Listen in and learn more. This is very serious for the fabric of our society: that children are being well-cared for, in their best interests and on behalf of their well-being. .
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HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY'S EPISODE:
- What is actually happening at the border of the United States with children being separated from their families?
- Will these children ever see their families again?
- Are mistakes being made in the processing of their families?
- How is this family separation being addressed?
- What is the process for finding family for this immigrant children?
- What is the ideal placement for a foster child?
- How do we improve foster care?
- What effect do cultural differences have on the fostering situation?
- How is the emotional trauma that foster kids too often suffer addressed, especially in the case of immigrant families
GUEST: RICHARD VILLASANA
Richard Villasana, founder of Forever Homes for Foster Kids, is a leading international authority on immigration issues and foster families. A proud Navy veteran,
Richard has been featured on CNN International, Univision, AP News, ABC TV, Costco Connections, Washington Post, and EFE, the world’s largest Spanish language media company. He is a olumnist with Foster Focus Magazine and an international speaker. He was honored as a California Hero. He has also translated for the United Nations.
For 25 years, his non-profit has worked with government agencies across the country reuniting immigrant and foster children with their families.
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