Thank you for such compassionate and insightful editorials on youth homelessness [Empty promises,”” Opinion Dec 20}. As someone who has studied child abuse for decades, I can tell you that the two are inexorably linked.
Almost without exception the youth who become homeless have suffered from being corrupted, exploited, rejected, terrorized ignored or isolated by caregivers and parents. As a society, we react instead of being proactive. We don’t go upstream to solve the problem, but rather contended with them downstream.
Patting a child into detention for “status offense” is a crime. Instead of abusing children , lets help them. We can prevent child abuse by creating Washington state Bill of Rights for Children and then putting it into action. Every child should be guaranteed the right to competent parents who will raise the child to be a productive citizen. The state must be mandated to protect children from abuse and neglect. The state must provide every child with the right to an education.
Since children , in most case cannot advocate for themselves they cannot vote or make finical contributions to political action committees- they need someone lobbying on their behalf. Citizens For Children Rights was crated to lobby for children’s rights.
Washington state could lead the nation by developing minimum standards for parenthood. Youth homelessness calls for an up stream solution. -Oliver Tuthill