In western Europe and North America, social services continue to remove many children from the care of loving, non-abusive parents because of poverty. Again and again, adults who experienced this as children tell us of regrets and frustrations that haunt them. While the goal of social services is to protect these children’s future, they seem to have no understanding of the harm that can be done by breaking families apart. On other continents where public social services cannot afford this approach, it is sometimes imported by international non-profit organizations, some of whose main goal is to find children who can be adopted in other countries.
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Have you ever heard it said that “poverty is a powder keg”? That image has been used by leaders like Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu in an attempt to spur society to overcome poverty — a worthy goal. But unfortunately that same image feeds the stereotype of the poor as violent, dangerous, and undeserving of help. In every country, this prejudice leads society to distrust the homeless, beggars, or street children.…
A few days ago, I was chatting with a French friend of mine. When our conversation turned to the Charlie Hebdo shootings, I began reeling off questions—when she lost her temper with me.
“You’re piling on!”
“But I was only asking questions! There are so many things about France that I don’t understand well…Continue
I was shocked when I heard the words “bottom-dragging,” a terribly insulting way to refer to efforts to connect people with one another. The questions, asked of us by the…Continue