Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stigma of being in foster care: Neighborhood residents reject group home

Readers' Forum: The debate continues:
A group home for Brooklawn in the neighborhood?
Louisville Courier-Journal, Jan. 28, 2007, pg. H2.

Better supervised than most

Regarding Jim King's recent behavior: Pandering rears its ugly head again.... I'm not sure what process Brooklawn went through, but, as someone who works in a similar residential setting, I wish to reassure the neighbors that this kind of establishment is nothing to be upset about.

The fact is that the children there will be better supervised than nearly all other teenagers in the area. These children will be required to work hard at improving themselves.

... Brooklawn is welcome to build a caring, safe home near me. I'm sure my neighborhood could use it.

Couldn't they all?

-LEAH PEZZAROSSI. Louisville 40217

'Downright frightening'

As a future neighbor of Brooklawn's home for troubled boys on Schuff Lane, safety is of the utmost concern for the majority of the homeowners in the area....

We need to know that these boys are being adequately supervised and that Brooklawn is doing everything in their power to ensure these boys won't make any detrimental mistakes.

Having one 15-year-old male in a house is sometimes difficult enough; the idea of a whole house of boys who have "completed one year of treatment" living in the yard adjacent to mine is downright frightening.

I'm trying to push my fears aside and trust that Brooklawn is taking the appropriate steps.... But it's been difficult when it's turned into such a bitter, ugly battle, which Brooklawn has taken equal part in. I'd appreciate it if Brooklawn's president would keep his word ... helping the area's homeowners find a sense of security.

-KRISTEN STAAB, Louisville 40205

Find foster parents

On Jan. 7, I wrote to Brooklawn CEO David Graves with an offer: Give me a seat on the board, quash the group home plan and I will work relentlessly to place each of the eight teens in a loving, secure foster or adoptive home. The offer still stands; here's the strategy.

... Hold monthly weekend rallies to bring prospective parents together with available children.... Plan a "Brooklathon" on a local TV station.... Advertise in AARP.... As an adoptive, retired mother of two sons, I know that these boys would benefit from the day-to-day attention and love that a retired adult can provide.

Let's do it together. We can find a better situation for these teens than a group house.

-ROBIN DILLOF BURNHAM, Louisville 40205

What's best for neighborhood

... It seems to us that King is simply trying to represent the interests of the people who live in the area.

It is unfortunate that this situation involves troubled kids, but the people who own homes in the area should have the right to voice their opinion through their councilman.... The focus should be on what is best for the neighborhood.

DENNIS FANNING, Louisville 40213

Stigma is more abuse

... These children had no say in where they were born, who raised them, and what happened to them. Through much hard work and effort, these children have completed treatment and learned that what happened to them was not their fault and they have as much worth and value as you and I have....

If one would spend the time getting to know and understand these kids, one would understand the complex beauty behind each one.

They are children with the potential to grow, prosper and do good things for this community, if only given the chance and the support.

However, when we continue to attach a stigma to these children and tell them they are okay as long as they don't live in our neighborhoods and that they are good, just not good enough to live here, we re-abuse them in ways that caretakers and the system have done throughout their lives.

-CINDY KAMER, CSW, Louisville 40223

Safety of boys

If CEO David Graves and the rest of Brooklawn are so concerned about having a dormitory close to the bus lines, why are they even considering the house on Schuff Lane? This residence is at least half a mile away from the nearest bus line. ...

Regardless of the fears expressed by residents of this area, the boys' safety has to be considered. It appears that Graves and Brooklawn have not done their research regarding the issue of traveling by foot each day to the bus stop.

SARA McKIERNAN, Louisville 40205


Post a Comment

<< Home