Think about the children in your state. In Oklahoma, March 2014, we have over 11,000 children in DHS custody. 5500 of those are under the age of 5 years! (2015 are ages birth to 1 year; 3482 are ages 2-5 years.)
In Oklahoma one-half of all children under age 6, live with their grandparents.
25% of all children under age 5 years are high risk for developmental impairment. 65% of all children under age 5 years have at least 1 risk factor for abuse and neglect.
Oklahoma is 45th in the nation overall in terms of child well being. As if the above statistics were not bad enough, there are 12 other states and the District of Columbia who have worse numbers.
In 2011, 81.6% of child fatalities in foster care nationally were children under age 3! One-half of all children in foster care nationally 2011 were under age 6. Infants and toddlers were and continue to be the largest group entering foster care: 31% are under age 3; 16% are ages 3-5. African American infants are 5 times as likely as white of Hispanic infants to come into care.
The start of school is here. Bring out the neighborhood cookies and cool-aid. Welcome those young ones in your area. Smile at the teens at the mall. Approval goes a long way! Tell a Mom, no matter how old the child, how beautiful or talented or entertaining their youngster is…and let her know her good job of mothering matters. Look for good things in others to reward. Find joy and spread it.
Who knows how many days you will enliven….maybe even save a break-down moment or two from occurring. Little things often make a very big difference.
Posted on Sat, August 30, 2014
by Laura Boyd