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Our kids and families respond to DHR and call for Gov. Ivey to #OpenOurHomes

11/09/2023

Our petition asking Gov. Kay Ivey to #OpenOurHomes has passed 5,000 signatures on change.org. We have so many supporters speaking out about what’s happening, including people whose lives Kids to Love has directly touched.

Here are a few videos and written testimonials from former foster children and families, who also want DHR to open our homes to children in need.

 

@singingcatladyesq

Please join us in our fight to prevent Alabama DHR from hurting children in their foster care system. Here is my Why. #childwelfare #fostercare #testimony #governmentcorruption #brokensystem #childabuseawareness😭 #pregnancyloss #traumasurvivor #policy #foster #government #agency #childlaw #lawyertiktok #childrenslawyer

♬ New Age, a sad piano solo 10 minutes(1003982) – 8.864

Glenda Calloway, one of Kids to Love’s first scholarship recipients

“I, for one, know the importance of a safe and loving home. My foster care journey began at the age of 13, in the spring of 2000. I was placed in 3 different foster homes before finding my place in a girls group home.
“I cannot emphasize the impact that this home and the loving house mothers and director made upon my life. I was very fortunate to also have loving social workers, counselors, a caring district attorney, a relentless and caring Sheriff’s Dept investigator, and a gentle, kind, supportive juvenile judge all of whom I’m still in contact with today. It took the collaboration of each one of these people for all the needs of me and my two brothers to be met. It took people that had my best interest at the forefront in order for me to successfully navigate this world as an adult.
“I met Lee Marshall in 2004 at a luncheon as one of two of the first ever Kids to Love scholarship recipients. I was so ecstatic to meet someone that was on TV but she became so much more to me. She was so kind and welcoming. Her love and determination was evident for foster children.
“I’ve attended several of her scholarship luncheons which have grown astronomically since 2004 and it always warmed my heart at the height and special detail she goes to to put one of these on. The table is set for a 3 course meal with the tablecloths and beautiful centerpieces fit for someone of importance but it was for us, the foster children! I say all of that to say that her passion is for helping and loving foster children.
“Why would we close the foster homes that she is apart of along with so many others who share her same passion? That’s the kind of people we need around Alabama’s foster children.
“So I am pleading with you Gov. Kay Ivey, please open our homes. The holidays are upon us and every child deserves a loving home and family; let’s get back to the basics and take the best care possible of these children.”
Lea Kinney, Former Foster Parent and Current Adoptive Mom
In 1995 President Clinton declared November to be National Adoption month. This year the Children’s Bureau within the US Department of Health Services urges us to focus on the importance of “Empowering Youth: Finding Points of Connection.” Securing lifelong connections both legally and emotionally for kids in foster care is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being.
My name is Lea Kinney. In 2007 my husband and I were approved to become Limestone County Foster Parents. As a former foster parent and now adoptive parent of five kids who make up two separate birth sibling groups, I am a witness and can give personal testimony that empowering Foster Youth to find points of connection is a central tenet of the Kids to Love Organization’s mission.
Not only did Kids to Love provide many forms of assistance to us as foster parents as we navigated the unfamiliar territory of raising kids who came into care at an older age, but they continue to provide encouragement to our kids by including our now adult children in Kids to Love outreach programs.
I have been witness over the past 16 years of how Kids to Love has increased their reach to impact the lives of foster kids across North Alabama and the surrounding states. My kids benefited from many of the Kids to Love programs including More than a Backpack, Christmas Wishlist, assistance with Prom dresses, scholarships for college, and most recently my son graduated from the KTECH training program with four certifications that enabled him to get a job at a local manufacturing plant at a much higher hourly rate than if he had been hired prior to graduating the KTECH program.
When Lee Marshall announced that Kids to Love was starting the process to become an Alabama licensed child placing agency, I knew that it was a natural progression for the organization to continue to increase its ability to impact the lives of foster children across our region. I was excited to cheer them on and proud of them when they became licensed. I know this organization and I know the heart of its founder Lee Marshall. Her actions and the actions of her team speak much louder than words.
I ask that you take the time to learn about this organization. I believe that if you look at the results of their efforts on behalf of foster children for the past twenty years you will learn and come to understand that Kids to Love is an organization that will continue to positively impact the lives of foster kids with or without the ability to provide homes for them. The fact that the Kids to Love child placing agency has approved foster homes with space available for foster kids, but those homes are currently blocked from use by the state DHR office due to what I believe you will see is a misrepresentation of the facts, is very sad.
I beseech you to take the time to learn about Kids to Love for yourself. Please talk not only to DHR but also talk to Kids to Love and if possible directly to Lee Marshall. You will find her to be a genuine advocate and powerful ally related to improving the lives of foster kids across our great state. If you do this, I truly believe you will come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of all parties involved including DHR, but most importantly in the best interest of the approximately 6,000 kids in Alabama’s foster care system to Open the Kids to Love Child Placing Agency’s Homes.
This month is National Adoption Month and is the perfect time for you to step in and take action to intervene on behalf of Kids to Love and Open their Homes.
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