“Will we be put in internment camps?”
A young foster child asked her Children’s Law Center attorney that question this week. It’s just one example of how the rhetoric surrounding the election has created widespread fear among children throughout the DC region.
Children draw their own conclusions from watching the news. Children also respond to the fear and anxiety of the adults around them. And the increasing expressions of hate and bigotry – both in word and deed – have left so many of us feeling unsafe.
While children are responding to the current climate, the adults who love them are also steeling themselves for policy changes that might harm programs that provide the most vulnerable children and their families with basic health, education and well-being.
Children’s Law Center has been fighting for at-risk children for 20 years. Today, we recommit to our work to provide all DC children with the opportunity to be safe, healthy and learning. Here are a few ways in which we are responding to these uncertain times:
- Expanding our work with children from recent immigrant families by placing a lawyer at the Unity health clinic in Upper Cardozo
- Strengthening our work for the many LGBTQ youth in foster care by adding an Equal Justice Works fellow focused on their special needs
- Ensuring the District continues to fill gaps when federal policy fails to protect children – from basic financial assistance to mental health services
- Moving forward with our work to help schools create the safe environment children need to learn – by fighting bullying and equipping schools with the resources to work with traumatized children.
The damage caused by extreme campaign rhetoric is already occurring. Changes in policy are yet to come. Children’s Law Center will work with our allies and supporters, use our experience building coalitions to impact policy, our expertise serving children and families, and our commitment to strategic, effective action to assure the most vulnerable in our community are not targets or collateral damage.
Our staff, board members, partners and many supporters have already reached out to reaffirm their commitment to DC’s children. I hope we can count you among us.