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Foster Children & Families: Listen to This Foster Child – Get Out ASAP

26 Feb

20161201-img_61811_slide-8536a7cce35dc0ac3fe1ddd8d52b60147a7e0c9d-s1100-c15The Foster Care System, including the failed one in Arlington County, continues to be exploited and milked by foster parents, medical professionals, and county employees, at the expense of Arlington families and children.   We have kept tabs on the Arlington County Department of Human Services and the County Attorney’s that represent them, hoping it would improve and that they would truly put the children and their families of Arlington first.   But, to our disappointment and those of taxpayers who pick up the bill for their waste, nothing much has changed — in fact it has even gotten worse.    They treat families and the foster children like criminals (they even have jailed their families and the foster children), and seem to prefer breaking up families, rather than keeping them together.   More federal dollars for breaking up families!  Sad!

If you are in foster care, listen to this child speak about their experiences.

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/508608745/509179603

Get out as soon as you can!   If they try to bribe you with benefits to stay in…ask yourself how have they treated me and my family.   If they treated you like a prisoner or abused you, and treated your family like criminals while you were in foster care, then don’t think it will change after you turn 18 — it will only get worse.   You are the evidence for their abuse and exploitation, and they don’t want to lose control of you to protect themselves.   They are not doing it for you but for themselves!

Families, if you live in Arlington Virginia with children, we recommend you get out of Arlington as soon as you can.    The system in Arlington and the folks running it don’t seem to care to change their ways, but continue to treat children as prisoners and families as criminals.   Until the Arlington Department of Human Services and the Arlington County Attorney’s office cleans house, its not going to get better.

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Better Use for Taxpayer Money Than a Half Billion Dollar Streetcar

18 Oct
Trackless Electric Buses Are Just As Clean, Quiet and Efficient as Streetcars, and Cost a Fraction of the Price

Trackless Electric Buses Are Just As Clean, Quiet and Efficient as Streetcars, and Cost a Fraction of the Price — and Can Get Around Obstacles, Which Streetcars Cannot

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey.

What transportation projects should we fund in Arlington with the money we save from not building a streetcar?

This is an important question. John Vihstadt and I asked our staff exactly this question during a work session on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) this summer. Our staff said they could provide a list if a majority of our Board colleagues voted to ask for it, but our three Board colleagues voted against it. So neither we, nor the public, has the benefit of staff’s expertise and analysis to answer this question.

We do know that the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcars are projected to cost over $500 million and consume about 19% of our Capital Improvement Program. We also know that these streetcars will require over $8 million and perhaps millions more per year in annual operating costs. We all should be wondering what could and should we do with this money instead.

If we reprogram those local and state dollars, here are some possibilities we might fund partially or fully:

1. Expand and improve the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in Crystal City so it operates more like a streetcar with side opening doors. Run it frequently and all the time. Connect it to the BRT line in Alexandria. Work with Fairfax and run BRT all the way down Route 1 to Fort Belvoir. Take the BRT line down the route planned for the streetcar on Columbia Pike, and take it into Annandale. Run a BRT line from Rosslyn out Lee Highway and work with Fairfax and Loudoun to take it all the way to Leesburg. Work with Montgomery County, Maryland and D.C. and take a BRT line from Arlington and the Pentagon to D.C. and on to Rockville or further. In other words, build a robust regional BRT service that people can depend on to get them where they want to go conveniently and efficiently.

2. Address the dangerous intersection at Lynn Street and Lee Highway at Key Bridge with a permanent and effective solution to protect pedestrians and cyclists. This likely means significant construction to rework the intersection. We could improve pedestrian and cyclist safety around the county at other places like East Falls Church.

3. Add much needed new Metro entrances at Rosslyn and Ballston.

4. Add a whole new Metro station in Rosslyn as called for in the Metro Momentum plan.

5. Pay for some of the huge capital costs Metro anticipates in their Metro Momentum capital improvement plan. While not detailed yet, this is a large expense that looms in the near future. Currently we have not planned how we will pay for it.

6. With the old bridges over the Potomac needing extensive reconstruction soon and the huge casino opening at Harbor Place the need for more ways to cross the river is clear. Transportation funds could be used for a new bridge, or tunnel or even dock facilities for a Potomac ferry service. A recent study showed a ferry to be economically viable. National Airport is a natural location for a dock. Besides millions of tourists arriving there each year, thousands of people commute to and from Ft. Belvoir and other military bases located on the river every day.

In sum, taxes will be lower and transportation better without a streetcar. There are many needed transportation improvements that will have to wait until we can raise taxes or get federal and state dollars to fund them if we waste over $500 million on a streetcar.

Must-See Documentary On Flawed US Foster Children System — Taking Away Children From Loving Families

19 Jun

Watch this short version of the documentary, “Place-to-Place” that uncovers the disasters that the foster care system, like the one in Arlington Virginia, are creating at a cost of $8 billion dollars a year, creating homelessness, unwanted teen pregnancies, overdrugging of children, and worst of all, a void in their lives of being with the love of their families.    We hope that every Arlington DHS employee, every family court judge, every legislator, and every GAL watches this and decides, finally, to push for a change in the way they do business and the value (or to this point lack of value) they place on keeping families intact and the love those families provide.

There are 423,000 foster children in the USA.

The USA spends about $8,000,000,000 (eight BILLION) dollars annually on foster “care.”

Twelve million Americans have been in foster “care.” (myself included)

Thirty thousand young people age out of foster “care” each year in the USA.

1 in 7 former foster children (aged out) are homeless at some point before age 21.

Half of all former foster children will be unemployed at some point before age 21.

71 percent of all female former foster children will become pregnant before they are 21.

77 percent of all male former foster children will be arrested prior to their 21st birthday.

A few quotes from the film:

“[If] you set out to design, intentionally, the worst possible child welfare system, it would look like the system we have.” — From Place to Place, anon.

“We move them from a situation of risk, to one of danger, when we place them into these temporary systems…” — From Place to Place, anon.

“The system can never provide real love: real heart-bonded love like a mother has.” – Codie, in From Place to Place

“I needed somebody who gave a damn, and not because they were getting paid to give a damn.” – , in From Place to Place

“How we care for young people in this country really defines the strength of us as a country, and it matters.” – From Place to Place, anon.

“It breaks you down, makes you hurt, tears your heart, kills your belief, and your vigor for life. Rejection hurts. It’s absolutely hell to grow up switching place to place.” – Kirsten, in From Place to Place

“Human beings are very deeply geared towards attachment. We cannot tolerate loneliness. We cannot tolerate being by ourselves. We cannot tolerate being just flecks of dust traveling through the universe. We need to be connected. And of course, our most natural connection system, are our families.” – Bessel Van Der Kolk, founder of The Trauma Center, (Credited with diagnosis of PTSD)

Learn more: Fight CPS

Watch the full length version of the Place to Place documentary on Hulu

 

Halt! Stop Washing Those Cars for Charity!

8 Jun

Yes.  It is now illegal for school kids to raise money for their charities by washing cars.   Under the guise of environmental protection, the regulations were passed.

What will they think of next?  Expensive streetcars blocking traffic on Columbia Pike?  (Ooops, they thought of that already)

Read more: Arlington cracks down on carwash fundraisers