To the editor:
As I read your Oct. 17 article "Group homes don't foster life skills" I was saddened and angered by the tone of the entire article. Certainly foster care in general is not the best way to raise a child. Advocates like Gary Brunk are absolutely right when pointing out that many children age out of the system and are turned loose with no support.
However, it's too bad you didn't bother to mention all of the dedicated people who work in the foster care system trying to make a better life for children whose parents can't take care of them. I have known many excellent group home and foster care parents who love the children in their care and try to provide for them without enough money or support from our society. Many of the professionals working in the system - social workers, group home staff members and others - work long hours for little pay or recognition.
I am glad you mentioned in passing that the two young men featured in your article are considered innocent until proven guilty. It's easy to point the finger at them and assume they are guilty because they seem to have spent some time in the foster care system.
Instead of placing blame, we all need to take responsibility for the children the state is trying to raise. The system needs a lot more money and support. Really, we have no one to blame but ourselves for the lives of these children.
Linda K. Ochs,