HATS OFF TO FOSTER YOUTH

By Toni Heineman | January 3, 2015

Thanks to the determined efforts of young people in the foster care system, President Obama recently signed into law a bi-partisan, bi-cameral bill, H.R. 4980, The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. This act brought together several initiatives aimed at improving the lives of children in the child welfare system. The provisions include giving…

MEMORIES THAT GROUND US

By Toni Heineman | November 3, 2014

Very young children do not know who they are. They learn about themselves from those who care for them—those who narrate their days for them, who describe their likes and dislikes, who tell them what makes them laugh and what makes them cry.  Photo credit: rcvnl / Foter Parents hold children’s memories for them until…

FAILURE TO PROTECT

By Toni Heineman | October 3, 2014

The child welfare system is mandated to ensure the safety of the children in its care. For a variety of complex reasons, this is not an easy task, with sobering potentially horrific consequences if and when the system fails to meet this responsibility. Although statistics are elusive, some estimates suggest that children in foster care…

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

By Toni Heineman | January 1, 2014

“I’m not a therapist, but I’d like to help.” When we get calls and emails like this throughout the year, I often find myself stumped, not wanting to give the lame response, “Well, you could make a donation,” figuring that most people didn’t reach out in order to be told that they could give money. To…