Though a hefty goal, we are taking steps to promote unity and support to those in need within our community. Through hands-on experience, we hope to continue allowing teenagers to visualize and connect to core issues within our community regarding child abuse, the stigma surrounding battery, and how these issues are addressed. This will hopefully include opportunities to connect with school officials, legal officials, local hospitals, and CPS organizations. Through this and connections with legal teams on a local, state, and federal level, we hope to change the face of CPS policy through the ‘New Hope Law’, which will limit the number and type of cases each CPS caseworker can have at once. This restriction will ensure that each child is supported and cared for effectively and in a timely fashion.
The TFAC core belief is “We will provide a two-fold solution; both a support platform for youth abuse victims and an advocacy opportunity for teens and youth in our community.” With this foundational belief in mind, we shape our actions around achieving that end goal. Starting small, we began a local high school chapter, which sponsored charity drives. We have begun working on our expansion initiative and are now recognized by the IRS and the Washington State Treasury. Once all of our requirements are set in place, we will be allowed to sell products, with proceeds paying for care packages and TFAC legal fees. The TFAC team recognizes that our accomplishments thus far are simply baby steps on our journey but are nonetheless, actions we take pride in.
On July 18, 2018, my parents received an unexpected phone call. A distant cousin of mine, a six-month-old little girl, had been hospitalized. With nine fractures, two broken legs, and a small body several pounds underweight, she had been taken by CPS. Taken aback by the severity of the abuse she faced, my family took steps to take her in. Thankfully, on July 20, 2018, CPS granted us the right to her care. As time passed, I watched her grow and heal. The difference was night and day. Taking in this child opened my eyes to the need in our community. The need for change, awareness, and support is unbelievable, but this evident need often goes unnoticed. Caring for a child with extreme medical needs served to be more difficult than we expected. Not only was housing a child unplanned, but she had many special needs. We purchased a special car seat, stroller, and types of clothing that she could wear with her cast. In addition to physical purchases, my parents had to take time off work, and all of these factors led to a drastic change within our household. When the community caught wind of what we were doing, unexpected support came to us in waves, but we were not supported by the one organization we had expected- CPS. Our local and state Child Protective offices were incredibly difficult to work with, and although they insisted that they would be present and caring, they were absent in our time of need. After reaching out to other local foster parents, we noticed a trend. In our community, the CPS officers focus on placing abused children back with their biological families, rather than in homes that will be safe and beneficial for them. This misguided, toxic agenda leads to mismanagement of foster families, delayed placements, and the unfortunate placement of children into toxic, unsafe environments. While this was brought to our attention on our local level, the problem goes beyond the confines of our community. Upon further investigation, we have become aware that these problems occur on a state and national matter as well. Thus, we propose that CPS and child safety laws are altered on both state and federal levels, so the changes will occur universally.
Our founder, 17-year-old Washington teen, Lori Ann Christian.
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