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Media and Mentors

Today in Hawaii Helen Altonn reports, "Thwarting meth use is goal of project."

Oahu Family Court Judge Michael Broderick says he is convinced methamphetamine addiction is the greatest issue facing Hawaii because of the health, economic and social consequences.

From Alaska, we find, "Good news for kids: Mentors will help show the way."

"After a traumatic youth, many young people in foster care are set adrift when they age out of state care in their late teens. Some disheartening statistics: Nearly 40 percent of Alaska foster care alumni interviewed in a 2005 study became homeless for a time as adults. By age 19, half were parents themselves. After graduating from state care, 30 percent were jailed for some period."

Doesn’t anyone see the irony in this?

In Hawaii, a statewide project will spend a boatload of money on a children’s media campaign against meth. In Alaska, they want to help the poor foster children learn how to live in the real world.

Give me a stinking break! I’m sure the people who brainstormed these ideas were well intentioned but good intentions won’t get you very far toward solving a very real problem.

If people are so darned concerned about these children, maybe they should back up a few paces and change courses. Where are the programs to help drug addicted parents. Those same parents who are loosing their children to the state and being placed in long-term foster care.

We don’t need mentoring programs; we need to stop reacting and start being proactive. Treatment programs needs to be made widely available to parents who want help. We need to work harder at making and keeping families together and strong.

As the family goes – so goes the nation and from where I sit, it’s a downward spiral.

The family is the fabric of society. You can’t uproot a child by removing them from every thing they know and love and expect them to ever be whole again. Yes, some children come out if the trauma and manage to pull together a life for themselves but that is not the norm. Far from it.

The statistics don’t lie. But the solutions being offered up will never work. Any chance for a future lies in strengthening the family unit, helping parents learn how to keep a house clean; learn how to budget their money; learn how to shop; and most of all, learn how to care for their children.

There simply is no substitute for an intact family.

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