Effective Leadership Can Help Children
Statewide prevention program for kids at risk of abuse and neglect is so important in each state. These programs should support families, promote prevention services, keep kids safe from maltreatment, expand early identification and intervention services and, when possible, work to keep kids and families together.
Living an abuse free life is more than a hope or a dream. I believe this statement. I wrote that phase many years ago. Many events have taken place throughout the United States over the past years, to date, have underscored just how challenging those words are in America. Unfortunately, as Americans we have experienced pervasive loss of trust in major institutions of government and society, even those institutions charged with protecting children.
Charity and Philanthropy are not immune from that trend. We all must address the task of building trust to better protect children in such a time of challenge. As a Charity, in order to continue helping others we must learn from the ways that technology and communication are reordering our world. We need to examine critically our history, and practices, and where necessary, take new directions to improve the quality of life for children with effective leadership. We must listen more, be more flexible and inclusive, and allow those who experience problems surrounding child abuse to participate fully in order to better help children. In most situations of child abuse, trust is lost by the child victim. None of us can take trust for granted; it must be earned in all we do.
Destabilizing trends abound—rising inequality, economic stagnation, and a lack of effective leadership. There is a growing political uprising against “the establishment” and those associated with it. The Trump and Sanders campaigns, even the vote for Brexit, are good examples of political uprising. Here at home, many Americans feel powerless, betrayed by those they see as “self-serving elites.” Unfortunately, law enforcement is seen as tragically unaccountable by many which further spark angry demonstrations from time to time. We must effect change with effective leadership, encouraging hope and trust as an important element of our society.
Without trust, society risks moral bankruptcy. The legacy and continuing reality of racism affect many lives. There is little faith in the social compact, an ideal that historically has bound our country together. This loss of faith is serious, and it extends well beyond government. There is diminished confidence in banks and the financial system. Polls reveal that many people no longer trust traditional media, health and education bureaucracies, political parties, national security agencies, government reports, even church hierarchies, or, with incalculably grave danger for the country, the administration of laws and justice.
A healthy democracy takes at face value the proposition that most of its institutions and practices are reliable and trustworthy. Trust is the currency that facilitates every social transaction. Without trust, society risks moral bankruptcy. When people in America and around the world feel that systems are failing or not working in their interests, we need, first, to pay close attention. And then we need to find solutions that do work. That is a tall order that charity and philanthropy cannot fill on its own. Effective leadership in all areas of America, in your home, your community, your city, your state, this nation.
Despite losses children and families have suffered now and in the past. There is much to celebrate especially the progress in technology and medicine; advances in communication and understanding. We can take these positive elements and implement better ideas, creativity and lead by demonstrating what a good example is on a daily basis. We all need to become even more flexible, to experiment with new ways of generating creativity, and to focus on what it takes to fully understand and support the forces for positive change, even when change may take us out of our comfort zone.
We cannot thank you enough for reading this message.
Hope for Children Foundation Board of Director Members