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Foster children need a voice and to be heard: Dylan McIntosh

Guest columnist Dylan McIntosh spent 10 years in foster care. He “aged out” of the system at 18 years old. Back in January 2020, prior to the pandemic, Dylan shared his foster care experience with Gov. Mike DeWine’s Children’s Services Transformation Advisory Council.

Think back to when you were 13 years old. Now, think about a time when someone did you wrong and how you handled it. Did you have a trusted adult’s attention to whom you could bring your problem?

6VPUNAUMHVBOLAXEPGJ22MSZMUIf you did, I bet they were able to listen and help you get through it.

Now, imagine that you didn’t live with your family; that you had to change where you lived, with whom you lived and which school you attended -- often.
Also, take away the trusted adult who could help you solve your problems and process your concerns when something went awry.
That is reality in the life of a child in foster care – ever-changing and inconsistent.
I know that reality all too well. In the course of my time in foster care, I lived in 23 different homes. I’ve been able to see the faults and cracks in the well-intentioned system that is meant to help, but oftentimes is under-resourced and under-staffed.
Unfortunately, due to issues with the child welfare system -- ranging from overwhelmed caseworkers to extended wait times on crisis lines and a lack of funding, -- children in foster care who have serious problems often have nowhere to turn, which can lead to tragic results. 

We owe more to the most vulnerable.

 

Read the full story at Cleveland.com

Taylor Pyles

Taylor Pyles is a child abuse survivor and the founder of The Blue Ribbon Project. He has been a police officer with Annapolis Police Department for over a decade and is assigned as a Detective in the Criminal Investigations Section.  When not working, you'll find him spending time with his family and out enjoying the countryside on two wheels. 

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