The Dec. 30 Journal Times had a long article about the increase of children in foster care, stating two main causes; increased poverty and the drug abuse of parents. These family problems are also likely to account for increased discipline problems in Unified schools.
The state has 13 bills on the table to deal with the problems of foster care shortage: what about dealing with the causes of the increase in need? Poverty increased because low end wages have not been raised; increasing the minimum wage would be a start. Many states and cities have done this but not Wisconsin. With the expected “trickle down” from corporations paying less taxes, could they be expected to pay their workers more? More low income housing would also help; the higher the rent, the less income there is for food and other needs.
Racine Interfaith Coalition and its statewide umbrella wisdom have for years pushed for increased treatment facilities for drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental health. The opioid epidemic makes this need even greater. Parents getting the treatment they need would help to keep families united and children out of foster care.
Treatment would also reduce our prison population, ending Robin Vos’ dream of building yet another prison at taxpayer expense.
Will our legislators once again ignore obvious solutions which attack the cause of a problem instead of offering Band-Aids?
Connie Hohlfeld Molbeck