Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2011

SRS plans new adoption initiative

August 18, 2011


— The head of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services says he plans a major initiative to boost adoptions of children in state custody.

SRS Secretary Rob Siedlecki told The Wichita Eagle he’d like to modify the “One Church, One Child” program that started in Chicago in the 1980s to recruit adoptive parents. That program encourages couples to adopt. Once they adopt, a church agrees to act as a support system, providing rides to activities and other help.

Siedlecki also said he’s planning a series of meetings throughout the state in October aimed at finding new ideas to reduce childhood poverty, neglect and abuse.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"Once they adopt, a church agrees to act as a support system, providing rides to activities and other help."

Let me guess-- they have to be a fundamentalist christian church.

notanota 6 years, 7 months ago

More ideas: Make sure Head Start, k-12, and aftercare systems have adequate funding so poor kids can educate themselves out of poverty and poor moms can return to work without paying all their money to child care.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

Couldn't churches do this now if they want to, without any "major initiatives" by the new SRS head?

And, I'll be interested to see if synagogues, mosques, etc. will qualify as "churches" or not.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

I recall the following case a number of years ago. A woman decides to give up her newborn for adoption. She had 90 days to change her mind, but she didn't. About two years later, she hooked up with the biological father. He knew nothing of her pregnancy and subsequent birth and adoption. He sued in court to regain custody of his biological child. The courts ruled that he also had 90 days, from the time he became aware of the birth and adoption. Because he did in fact go to court within the 90 days, he won custody of the child. The court process took a couple more years, so the state then removed a 5 year old from the only home they had ever known and the only parents they had ever known. That case, others like it, as well as the courts' extreme reluctance to terminate the parental rights even when the child's welfare is clearly in jeopardy, and you have a recipe for a huge number of foreign adoptions while American children languish in the system until they become un-adoptable.
Brownback wants to make changes to a system that is broken beyond repair. I really don't see the harm.

notanota 6 years, 7 months ago

I dont' see how church provided perks would fix that.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Right. It won't fix the problem. But it won't hurt either.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Generally, I would agree with you. However, there are times when I'm O.K. with throwing principles aside, just to see what happens. As an example, I'm opposed to just throwing money at a problem, hoping some of it will stick. An exception is education. To me, if you want to throw money at the problem with nothing more than a hope that something good will come of it, I say fine. The same might be true for this proposal. The kids languishing in the system deserve better than what they are getting. Do I think Brownback's proposal will help? Probably not. Should we be using tax dollars to assist church programs? On principle, no. But if just a very few children get adopted out of the system and into good homes, then I'd say let's put our principles aside and give it a try.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps we can hope that it's the churches that turn it into something good. I certainly wouldn't characterize my support for this as strong. It's tepid, at best. But it's a far cry from my opposition to some of his other initiatives.

bklonnie 6 years, 7 months ago

And so begins the transition of social services, currently provided by the state, to the churches.

If people were upset about the city and county forking up our tax dollars to pay for keeping the Lawrence SRS open - when we're all already paying for that through our state and federal taxes - then prepare yourselves to be really ticked about paying double for social services; that is, if you are a member of a church. Does Siedlecki think that churches can just print money? He must. In order for churches to support the additional responsibilities he's charging them with, they are going to need more money. Where are they going to get that money? That's right, from the churches' members.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

"And so begins the transition of social services, currently provided by the state, to the churches". Throughout history, it was religious institutions that provided charity. It was when charity became an entitlement that churches were no longer equipped to deal with the explosion of expectations that were placed upon them. Government then got into the business of providing entitlements while churches continue to provide charity. The line between charity and an entitlement is in the eye of the beholder.
Saying the transition is from government to religious institutions, without recognition that there was a recent transition going the other way is to misunderstand history.

bklonnie 6 years, 7 months ago

I understand history quite well. I am referring to what's currently going on. It's absolutely fine with me if the churches want to take on 100% of the responsibility again, but I want my money back from the government. I'm not paying for social welfare if the state/feds are going to be collecting my tax dollars for it, but then putting it back on the churches. Maybe you misunderstood that in the original post? Who knows.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

I, too, want money back from the government for the various purposes that I don't agree with. Good luck with that.

kernal 6 years, 7 months ago

Wonder how many children the Phelps clan will adopt to increase their army.

kernal 6 years, 7 months ago

The idea is noble, but it's the implementation that worries me. There have been some serious lacks of judgment in placing some children in this state, including foster care. I hope the screening process for both has really improved over the last decade.

Kate Rogge 6 years, 7 months ago

Jesus. Why do they have to push their religion into everything?

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