Relocation Should Be a Part of DCF Reunification Plans For Struggling Families

 

Dear Editor,

The Key West Citizen newspaper front page headline on July 25, 2014, “Shelter No Longer A Crash Pad,” reported Randi Cohen Brown, executive director of the homeless nonprofit, stating, “This is Key West: Jobs are not plentiful. Housing is very expensive. This is not going to work for you.”

As house parents for the only children’s shelter and group home in Key West, Monroe County with a humble stipend like salary and subsidized living expenses from 2008-2013, my wife and I were constantly frustrated that child welfare was such a big business for the supporting non-profits family service agencies that they would never mix relocation with reunification.  All the case plans were about parent(s) having a job(s) and housing that would pass a required “home study.”  Homes and hope for these children and parents in the Department of Children and Families (DCF) were built in the beach sand.

Regretfully, the need for a “job” for many professional wraparounds will continue to anchor DCF kids and struggling parents in Monroe County enduring the “perfect storm” of failure.

For many “Another day in Paradise,” but for some it’s “Another day in Poverty.”

Mike Sawyer
Master of Divinity
B.S., Social Science
Denver, CO

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About Mike Sawyer:  summer camp leader for kids ages 6-11 with a Denver inner city non-profit, a substitute teacher, grades K-12, for a Metro-Denver turn-around school district with 13% Caucasians, over 1K published letters promoting health and humanity. Most recent — “Let Love Rule,” http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/july-10-teacher-tenure-hunting-horses-article-1.1860993 )

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