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Mockingbird Times - January, 2017

Mockingbird times 

 

START OF A NEW YEAR!

 

Birds United for Change at Youth Advocacy Day

Kesha at Youth Advocacy Day 2016 [Photo: Jerry Davis] When you open a box of crayons, there will be some that are dull, broken, wrappers torn, and dirty mixed in amongst those that happen to still look sharp, like they haven’t been touched at all. When you look at it like this, it’s easy to see the “problem.” You might believe that it would be easier to purchase a new box as a “solution,” instead of recognizing the endless stories of art, joy, healing and impact these crayons have told and the possibilities they still hold.

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Placements for Teens in Foster Care

Washington state has a foster care placement crisis, with nearly 9,000 youth in the system and only around 5,000 licensed foster homes, according to Treehouse. This is an issue that greatly affects the permanency, safety, support, and shelter of teens placed in the foster care system. When people think of adopting or fostering youth, they’re generally more inclined towards babies and young children. And who can blame them? Babies are generally cuter and easier to mold. But if we are short by nearly 4,000 licensed foster homes, and people are more likely to foster babies and young children, what happens to teens and other difficult-to-place youth in foster care?

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Letter from the Executive Director

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends and Allies,

I find myself looking forward to 2017 with great excitement. Yes, 2016 was a tough year. We saw the number of youth who find themselves living on the streets or surfing from couch-to-couch rise to record levels. Children deemed victims of abuse and neglect found themselves spending their days in an office and nights in motel rooms instead of in loving foster homes...

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A Home for Winter in Whatcom

Eden Hottman-Nance As winter approaches, many of us look forward to holidays, vacations, time with family, and home-cooked meals. But for many, the season brings with it not warm thoughts of relaxation and holiday cheer, but the stark reality that winter is again upon us. The nights are getting colder and the need for safe and stable shelter is growing more urgent by the day. All around the country, homeless individuals and families alike are preparing for another winter on the streets.

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Breaking Down Racism

If you keep up with the news, you might’ve noticed a trend emerging. From politics to sports, movies and music, things are being increasingly viewed through a racial lens. You might be asking why are we still talking about racism, despite it being more than fifty years since the end of the Civil Rights Movement and, more importantly, “what does this have to do with me?”

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Dear Zack...

Dear Zack in 2012 — Yikes. The last two weeks have been terrible. Your mom died, your grandparents abandoned you and took your sister, and now you are going into foster care. You are alone, sad, mad, confused, infuriated, heartbroken, and feeling many other things...

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Police in Schools

Carol Freeman [Meredith McKee Photography] Remember when schools used to call a student’s parent if a child was being unruly instead of arresting them? In October 2015, a student in South Carolina was flipped out of her desk and tossed across her classroom before being arrested. What was she being arrested for? For being on her phone and not listening to administrators when they tried to confiscate the phone. In April 2016, a middle schooler in Texas was slammed to the ground before being arrested for arguing with another student. It seems as though more and more students are being arrested with criminal charges for typical kid behavior.

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Braving the Streets

Braving the Streets
My life consists of braving the streets,
The life of always taking a back seat.
No voice, no opinion, nothing seems to matter,
I’ve no physical strength to climb up the ladder.

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