Foster Youth Hit the Streets to Raise Awareness

Our foster youth are taking matters into their own “legs” tomorrow, May 28, in an effort to raise awareness around the issue of child abuse and foster children.

They will walk through downtown and congregate on Fountain Square to draw attention to their cause.

“We want to raise awareness so people will understand there are real people behind the words ‘foster care,’ ” said Laquita Howell, 18, a member of the Hamilton County Foster Care Youth Advisory Board who has been a foster child for the past five years. “Every time a decision is made regarding foster care legislation or how tax dollars are spent in child welfare, we want people to think about the faces of our youth.”

The event starts at Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, 222 E. Central Parkway, at 11:30 a.m. and the foster youth invite anyone who supports the cause to walk along. The event is supported by the Youth Advisory Board and the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative.

The county has about 850 children in foster care each day. Foster care is necessary when children are abused, neglected or abandoned and a child protection agency must take temporary custody to keep them safe. Hamilton County receives more than 5,000 verifiable reports of abuse and neglect every year. These cases involve sexual abuse, bruises, burns, fractures, children not being fed, parents refusing to give their children medical attention, hazardous living conditions and more.

Those interested in foster care or adoption can call 946-1000 or visit www.hckids.org for more information.

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