EDITORIAL: Keeping our children safe
For the past five weeks, the Tribune has written about children who are unsafe in their homes in South Lake Tahoe and Northern Nevada.
What we found is that to help our children, the system that’s meant to protect them needs help.
The Carson City division of the Nevada Department of Child and Family Services needs help. The division, which oversees cases in Carson City and outlying rural areas, including Douglas County, was found to be hugely out of compliance with federal standards for keeping children in the child welfare system safe at home. The department has a plan to address that issue, including implementing a new protocol for following a family through the lifetime of its case. Our policy makers can help this agency by making sure it has the resources to care for each child even in these tight financial times.
A strong child protective services system that vigilantly watches our community’s most vulnerable is key to protecting them.
Each member of our community can do something to help keep all our children safe. There are agencies like Court Appointed Special Advocates that need people to donate their time to be a voice for children. Foster care agencies in both states need caring adults to give their time and a place in their homes and hearts.
Austin’s House, the only emergency shelter for children in the area, needs supplies and donations to take care of children.
Or we can all take a less-formal step by being caring, observant and generous neighbors.
Something as small as a hot meal, a warm coat or a kind word lets our children know how precious they are.