Growing Up In Foster Care. Black Foster Care Children The Anonymous Children
Daniel Heimpel, freelance writer for the Weekly, has won the national Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families, a national competition founded 15 years ago to recognize print reporters, editorial writers, and broadcasters whose coverage of child welfare “advances knowledge and understanding of the state of vulnerable children and families in America.”
Heimpel, a volunteer foster care mentor in his private life, won in the hotly contested print category for his 2009 Weekly cover story, “Left to Themselves: Nobody can undo the damage to kids like John Kyzer, raised from infancy by the foster care industry.”
For a journalist, Heimpel did something unusual last week in Washington, D.C., where he accepted his award a conference of the Child Welfare League of America:
Heimpel is currently working to secure funding for his ideas gleaned from years as a foster care mentor, and is partnering with the non-profit Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
His award-winning story in the Weekly is a disturbing first-person account of Heimpel’s efforts over several years to save a boy, John Kyzer, from becoming a victim of the foster care system in which he was raised from the age of 18 months. The Quindlen award is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Anna Quindlen.
Last year, Heimpel won the Los Angeles Press Club’s Political Journalist of the Year award for his body of work covering Los Angeles City Hall and local government for the Weekly.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
More than 2,000 Germans are still searching for family members lost as a result of the forced adoption policies instigated by Margot Honecker.
The families torn apart by Mrs Honecker’s children’s policy would not agree. Under the policy, the children of dissidents and East Germans who attempted to flee to the West were forcibly and permanently separated from their parents. Many were placed in foster homes or state adoption institutions, or with the families of childless Communist party activists. Learn More>>>
The adoption of children of one race by parents of another race, which began officially in the United States in 1948, has always generated controversy. The argument often comes down to opposing views as to who gets to decide what is the “best interest” of children. Critics of transracial adoption question whether White European American parents can effectively prepare children of color to deal with racism.
Others wonder where the children raised by white parents will find social acceptance as adults. Testimony from many transracially adopted adults who grew up in White families illustrates the “in-between” status many adoptees feel, not belonging to or feeling comfortable in communities of color or among White society.
Another source of controversy is the history of the widespread removal of children from families and communities of color, which has been shown by historians to have been a tool to regulate families and oppress communities, dating back to slavery times and during the now-discredited Indian Boarding School movement of the early twentieth century.
Given this history of child removal, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) condemned transracial adoptions in 1972 in their historic Position Statement. In that paper, the NABSW equated the removal of African American children from their families of origin—and their placement in White homes—with “cultural genocide.”
9th October 2008 – 9th October 2011
We live at a time when resistance to the inequities that exist in this world and the struggle for a better world are more or less totally disconnected from any striving for socialism. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
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