When we are born, we have no choice what home we are born into, or who our parents are. We may be born into wealth or poverty. We may have parents who treat us with care and tenderness; or we may have parents who don't know how to care for a child, have drug addictions, are incarcerated, are violent, or are mentally unstable. Some children are loved and kissed, while other children are severely neglected, beaten, or abused sexually. This is the lottery we all played. Most of us won. Some children lost.
Abused children are missing a part of their childhood. Where they should have received love, they received brutality or neglect. Because they missed out on a crucial part of their development, they are behind the other children. Children which have to be removed from their parents for their protection can sometimes be placed with family or a close friend. When this is not possible, they enter the foster care system.
In the foster care system, there may be many people involved in the child's life: parents, other family or friends, social workers, attorneys, therapists, doctors, educators, foster parents or group home staff, and hopefully a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian ad Litem (GAL).
A CASA is a volunteer who is a constant adult presence in the child's life, which may be lacking other permanency. While social workers, group home staff, therapists, and doctors may work with many children, a CASA is assigned to a single child. The CASA meets with the child at least every other week, takes her out for activities or to eat, learns about her needs and circumstances, and uses this knowledge to advocate for her best interests.
Please consider volunteering as a CASA.
"The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog" contains stories about children who went through trauma, and recovered to a degree one would not have thought possible. One of the stories is about the indoctrinated children who were released from Waco, before the structure burned. Another story is about a child which spent about a year (as I recall) caged like an animal. Though disturbing, it's a fascinating look at childhood development and a fresh way of looking at how best to care for traumatized children and help them to be able to heal as much as possible.
"Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential -- and Endangered" is about how empathy is "learned", and why it is so essential.
Both books are by co-authors Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz. They are highly recommended for anyone working with traumatized children.
As long as everyone knows the word we are talking about, nothing is lost by blocking out a few letters.
The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. Quit arguing about how to use the government against the "other side", whichever side you are on. If you don't want the government making you pay for Iraq, shrink the government. If you don't want the government telling Catholics they have to fund birth control and abortifacients, shrink the government.
Quit using the government as a stick with which to beat your enemies, then complaining when they turn around and use it to beat on you.
What nonsense! That's about like saying that if your brother takes a hammer to your bedroom walls, you should get rid of the hammer instead of doing something about your psycho brother. Government is a tool. It can be a tool operated for the public good or a tool for the enrichment of defense contractors. I choose the former, Republicans choose the latter, and you choose to throw away the tool.
How did this get labeled Insightful? The Federal Government is requiring many Catholic organizations to provide contraception in the policies they provide their employees. Because these organizations pay at least partially for these policies, they are being required to pay for contraception. The slimy move to say it doesn't have to be in the policy, but has to be provided for free it just bull and every one knows it.
I have less than zero sympathy, because I was forced to pay for the invasion of Iraq, with all the subsequent aftermath of at least 4 million people displaced from their homes, hundreds of thousands killed, worse living conditions than before, and women's rights brought down to the standard of other countries in the region.
And I'm supposed to support Catholic organizations' mission to deny birth control coverage for their employees? Not gonna happen.
Today's Republican corruption is unprecedented, except maybe in the days of the old political machines.
Here's a nice list of corrupt and scandalized Republicans in the Bush administration, from TPMmuckracker. Note that this list doesn't include convicted (now ex-) Congressman Bob Ney, Jack Abramoff, or other non-administration Republicans, but it's a loooong list nonetheless.
Our Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials
Here is a nice YouTube video listing Republicans who have been indicted or are currently under criminal investigation:
I like that the sheriff from Eureka is in the video. He's a real law-and-order type of guy.