In the modern world, India as a country has been known for its joint family set ups, strong emotional ties between families and over all for its value system. This indeed, is a matter of great pride. But its sad, that the trend is slowly changing in India. Surprisingly, the West is trying to adopt this age old tradition of togetherness that was and is still, largely prevalent in India.
Foster homes & families for children whose families cannot support them, is a law being practiced in the UK & US for a long time now. The trend is more popular in the US. The basis for this law, was to provide a good quality life to children born in under privileged families and in cases, where one of the parents have deceased or both the parents have deceased, or in case of separated couples. Such Social Issues do exist in India as well, but there is no such law in India probably because, in India the belief is, that material comfort & financial comfort is important. But, what is more important is the emotional quotient & family ties. Over the last decade, people in West have also begun to realize this. An initiative by the name of Jackson County Pilot Program has been started in order to help abused and neglected children by supporting the entire family. The program has proven to be so successful, it is rolling out across the state as a new law — and gaining national recognition.
The average number of kids in foster care for the past 10 to 15 years has been between 440 to 450 per year. Jackson County has reduced the number to about half, or about 240. The notion that society can rescue at-risk kids by isolating them from their parents and placing them in foster care is a false one. Such a policy has only created a new generation of parents who in turn abuse their children out of ignorance and addiction. Most children sent into foster care system are never adopted. Many go from one foster-care home to another. Feelings of loss, loneliness and alienation of being shuffled from home to home and school to school are compounded by their lack of a family safety net. Once the children age out of the system at 18, they are set adrift. Many fall prey to the cycle of drug addiction and criminal behavior that plagued their parents.
Taking all this into account, a new law has been passed. The new system still protects children and requires parents to be accountable. But the holistic program has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in children in foster care by providing wraparound support for struggling parents. This is an earnest effort to bring together families that have drifted apart due to circumstances. The Joy of staying together despite all odds has had a life changing impact on the society.