Preventing Homelessness through Relationships
I would like to start out my discussion concerning youth homelessness and the lack of relational planning (i.e. a discharge from foster care to another human being) for older foster children by pointing out the homeless youth problem we face right here in N.Y.C. which is true in many other parts of the Country as well:
- The Coalition for the Homeless had reported to then Mayor Dinkins that 60% of the homeless in NYC Municipal Shelters have some history of foster care. (1)
- Shaffer and Canton found in their study "Runaway and Homeless Youth in N.Y.C." that 50% of the homeless young people who came to shelters had previously lived in a setting provided by the Child Welfare system; in a foster home, a group home, or other child care institution. (2)
- Out of 168 youth interviewed for a study at Covenant House, one of the few in N.Y.C., and the only youth shelter that accepted 18, 19, and 20 year olds, 27% reported having spent time with a foster parent and 43% reported spending time in foster group homes. (3)
On a nationwide level, the following have been reported:
- The National Association of Social Workers conducted a national survey of shelters for runaway and homeless youth and found that 38% of the youths surveyed had been in foster care at some time during the previous year alone. An additional 11% had arrived from another runaway or crisis shelter accounting for a total of 49% of kids coming from some out-of-home arrangement in the previous year alone. (4)
- On January 6, l991 the New York Times reported in a front page Sunday story that "a large and disproportionate number of the Nation's homeless are young people who have come out of foster care programs without the money, skills, or family support to make it on their own. (5)
- In a report prepared by the National Alliance to End Homelessness they found that "there is an over-representation of people with a foster care history in the homeless population" and that "homeless people with a foster care history are more likely than other people to have their own children in foster care." (6)
And what about youths due to be discharged from the foster care system? The Citizen's Committee for Children found this:
- Forty-nine percent (49%) of the children with goals of independent living and nearing their discharge date, had no plan in their record indicating what their living arrangements would be upon discharge from the foster care system and that this was true for 58% of the boys.
- CCC also found that 65% of all youths living in foster homes with the goal of independent living had no plan for what their living arrangement would be upon discharged from foster care and that only 13% of their foster parents were identified as potential resources. (7)
So, what does all this have to do with permanent relationships for teens via relationally planning for them before their discharge from foster care? Well, when one considers the plight of the young homeless noted above, and then one considers the plight of the nearly discharged foster child with the permanency planning goal of "Independent Living" also noted above, one must begin to wonder what it is we are doing as a system to our children in the name of "Child Welfare." We are, in actuality, creating half the homeless population in our City and our Country by not taking on the responsibility of finding permanent homes for these teens while they are still in our foster care. Let's explore.
I. WORKING CLASS YOUTH IN FAMILIES VS FOSTER CARE YOUTH DISCHARGEES
Working Class Youth in Families: Child development theorists are now viewing adolescence in today's society in two developmental stages: stage one from age 13 to 17 and stage two from ages 18 to 25 and beyond. The reasons are many-fold. Consider the following:
- Our own, yours and my, anecdotal experience tells us that many young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who come from fairly well off home environments and intact families, and who even manage to get through college, find themselves still living with their parents until their mid to late 20's.
- To back up our own unempirical anecdotal experience consider an article that appeared on the front page of the Sunday New York Times on June 16, l991 when it reported that 32% of single men (and 20% of single women) between the ages of 25 and 34 were living with their parents during the year preceding the article.(8)
- In another article in the Employment Press it was reported that in the northeast in the past 10 years the economy has completely shifted from an industrial one to a service orientated one. This transition has left almost all young men who are living in working class urban communities unemployed and unemployable. These young men do not even have the skills for the jobs available where they will eventually be able to work their way up to a descent $30,000 per year middle class wage with benefits unless they are willing to go for training in traditionally "female" service industry jobs such as teaching, nursing, or secretarial type of positions." (9)
- Also consider a recent book written by Christopher Jencks simply entitled The Homeless. The author identifies a very significant fact about the homeless: "When unmarried adults get into economic trouble, parents are usually their first line of defense against homelessness. 5.6 million unmarried working-age adults had incomes below $2,500. Forty two percent of them lived with their parents, compared to only 9 percent of unmarried adults with income above $30,000. The contrast leaves little doubt that the main reason unmarried adults live with their parents is economic. It also shows how important parents are in keeping younger adults off the street, especially today when the income differential between the young and their elders is widening." (10)
So, why are these young adults, predominately working class but even many middle class, prolonging their adolescence by living with their parents well into their mid-to-late 20's? Because they cannot possibly afford to live on the salaries they are making, assuming they are making any salary at all. Thank goodness they have family and relationships in their lives.
Foster Care Youth Dischargees: Now lets compare the 18, 19, 20, or 21 year old foster care youth discharged from foster care, possibly with a high school diploma, but probably not, and having no permanent relationships in his or her life. How is this youth - with no place to call home - going to survive in our society? Well lets look at a survey published by the Foster Care Youth United that highlights some of the concerns and fears of the young people themselves who were still residing in foster care. Of the 12 youths who responded to the question "If You Left Foster Care Tomorrow, What Would Be Your Biggest Worry?" (11) Eight of them specifically expressed fears about their living situation in one way or another upon discharge from the system. Some of their responses were as follows:
- "If I left the group home, my biggest worry would be ending up on the street with no job and no place to live." Kiesha, age 18.
- "My biggest worry would be living my life. Once I'm out on the street, I'll have no control over my reaction to circumstances beyond my control, and being that my life is my most important possession, losing control of it would be very frightful." Mathew Dedewo, 18.
- "I guess my biggest worry would be how I'm going to support myself now that I'm on my own. And If I have a job that don't pay me enough money for me to get my own apartment, where am I gonna live? How am I gonna find an apartment that rents for a low price?" Angi, 16
- "If I had to leave foster care tomorrow, my biggest worry be becoming homeless. That's a fear that I'm sure people in foster care have. To wonder where I'm going to sleep and where my next meal is coming from and, most of all, wondering will I die on the streets." Kenyetta Ivy, 18
- "My biggest worry would be finding a place to live, because if I got discharged I wouldn't go back to my parents and most shelters are filled tight with people anyway." Keith Saliski, 19.
- "My biggest worry would be getting a job and then an apartment." Latrice, 19.
- "My biggest worry would be how to support myself and where I would go. This is why I don't get too dependent on foster care and do things for myself." Shaniqua Gray, 16.
- "If I left the group home, my biggest worry would be how I would survive without the help I need."
So, what happens to them upon their discharge from foster care? We fear that for far too many of them if it is not the local homeless shelter, it may be prison; if it is not drugs, it may be alcohol; if it is not prostitution, it may be hooking up with an abusive significant other; if it is not dying from homicide it may be dying from suicide; if its not psychiatric hospitalization, it may be hospitalization for AIDS. We fear that far too many of these children will eventually die at too young an age.
And these children would not be fairing well due solely to their "house"lessness. These children would not be fairing well because the child welfare system in our country had not taken it upon itself to help these children develop a lasting permanent relationship in their lives while they were still in foster care. The system basically says to a child, "Oh, you're 14? We're not going to terminate your parents' rights. You're far too old for that sort of thing. We'll just give you this fabulous goal of â€˜Independent Living' and send you on your way when you are, say, 20." This is the true source of half the homelessness in this City and Country. But before we go into how it is that the child welfare permanency planning goal of Independent Living actually creates half the homelessness in this country, let us first explore some of the myths about why there are homeless on our streets to begin with.
II. WHERE DO THE HOMELESS COME FROM? SOME COMMON MYTHS
Many of us have experienced what it is like to walk down the street in our respective neighborhoods or places of work and have to walk around, over, or through the living dead referred to as "the homeless" in our big cities. Many of us know what it is like not being able to walk a three block radius without being approached three or four times by different people begging for money. Some of us know the awkward feeling of walking down the street with our child and trying to explain why the homeless exist when the child asks us the innocent question "where do the homeless come from Daddy" like my daughter did one day walking to work together.
The general wisdom of most homeless "experts" is that the homeless exist for the following reasons:
- Unemployment: People are homeless because of a lack of jobs. Though there is an element of truth to this, we still must ask the question "why does unemployment lead to the homelessness of any given individual?" We all know unemployed people who are not homeless.
- Poverty: People are homeless because of overwhelming and oppressive poverty. Clearly there is an element of truth to this as well. But we must still ask "why does poverty lead to the homelessness of any given individual? Most of us know poverty stricken people who are not homeless.
- Alcohol & Other Drug Addictions: People are homeless because of their addictions and abuse of substances. Again, there is an element of truth to this, but we must still ask "why does addiction lead to the homelessness of any given individual?" Almost all of us know addicted people who are not homeless.
- Mental Illness: People are homeless because of deinstitutionalization which leads to the homelessness of the mentally ill. And even though there is some truth to this, we still must ask "why is any given mentally ill person who might have been deinstitutionalized homeless?" Many of us know mentally ill people who are not homeless.
- The four factors cited above, (and the questions they raise) are extremely important because the answer to each of them is the same. The answer to each question noted above has been left out of every homelessness analysis ever done even though that answer is the same for 100% of the homeless. The most important factor when one considers homelessness, is: Lack of Relationships: People are homeless because they have no functioning human relationships in their lives. It is not just their unemployment, poverty, addictions, or mental illnesses that make them homeless, it is any of these factors combined with the fact that they have no functioning human relationships in their lives, be it with a parent figured, spouse, adult child, close friend, or other family relationship.
This knowledge is disheartening because, as we noted earlier, half of this could have been prevented. Half the homeless could have had the opportunities that relationships bring had we not had a federally sanctioned, State and locally enforced "permanency planning" goal called "Independent Living" that allows teenagers as young as 14 to sign their lives away to that never ever land of impermanency called "Independent Living." "Never Ever" because in this economy there is a high likelihood that these teens, upon discharge from the system, will never ever get a job or never ever find a permanent place to call home without a functioning human relationship recruited for them before their discharge from the system.
III. INDEPENDENT LIVING Vs INTERDEPENDENT LIVING
This is where relationships are crucially important. Relational planning, or the developing of a permanent lasting relationship with at least one unconditionally committed claiming adult, is the primary hope for our older foster care youth. You Gotta Believe! is now beginning to turn aside the myth that there are no families who want to unconditionally claim older foster children as their own. There are many many families out there who want to parent teenage foster children. In addition to all the families we find who are unknown to the children that we ultimately place them with, there are also many families out there who are already in a child's life who would be willing to parent the child as well if they were approached in an appropriate and sensitive way. This includes people who know the older foster child they want to parent - people such as the child's social worker, the child's school teacher, the child's paraprofessional, the child's volunteer, or the child's best friend's parent. We have made placements of children with all of the above as well as with their very own unexplored biological relatives such as aunts, grandparents, siblings, and cousins on both the maternal side and paternal side of the family. Melanie Tem, in a paper she delivered at a NACAC conference in 1985, wrote that even though "there is considerable support for the notion that most of us (people in Society in general) have â€˜attachment' problems to some degree" that we nonetheless know that "an individual who truly has no attachments does not survive." (12)
If there is one positive thing we can say about kids in foster care is that they are alive and they are survivors. Hence, you can't tell us that a child who has lived to the ripe old age of 12, 13, 14, or 15 does not have some attachments in his or her life who might be very responsive to learning more about bringing the child permanently into their home. And if the system would do away with its homelessness causing loophole it defines as a "permanency planning goal" for the child, "Independent Living", it would be forced to come up with creative forms of recruitment like what we just mentioned and accept the responsibility of finding "Interdependent Living" relationships for all its children rather than "Independent Living."
Perhaps the greatest line in Hillary Clinton's book It Takes A Village is the first line of the book that simply reads "children are not rugged individualists." (13) This concept of "Independent Living" is a very upper class American creation that was hopefully never developed to apply to children or young adults who can not possibly survive on their own. The whole concept of "Independent Living" implies we should be raising our children, while they are still children, as rugged individualists. But who in this society can live "Independently"? Any why is that so desirable anyway?
I'm a grown man well into his early 40's and I can tell you that I have yet to have been discharged to "Independent Living." I would have found it extremely difficult, if not impossible, raising a family on my own without the benefit of a second income. I always needed to live in an "Interdependent" relationship with my partner. And I have always lived in Interdependent relationships: with my parents until I was 25 and with my partner since I was 25. And when I fell upon financially hard times after a divorce, my parents were still there to help out. So, what do we expect our older children in foster care to learn about "Independent Living" anyway? As far as I am concerned, for any working class youth living in any neighborhood to live "independently" in our big cities is close to an impossibility. This economy is not good for young people no matter how well its thriving for Wall Street. We need to teach our young people "Interdependent Living" skills and there is no better way to teach a child aging out of foster care to live interdependently, to live in relational growth with other human beings, than to find a permanent family for each and every one of them before they are discharged from the foster care system.
IV. WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Child permanency advocates such as the Board, staff, and volunteers at You Gotta Believe! are beginning to change the attitudes of many child welfare professionals about the relationability of every teen and pre-teen in their foster care barring no one. In addition, however, we also need to recommend some systematic changes that will hopefully begin to change the structure of the system from one that currently allows for a "permanency planning" goal of "Independent Living" to one that will not consider discharging any child from its care without an "interdependent living" relationship with at least one unconditionally committed permanent parent.
1) Abolish the Permanency Goal of Independent Living! If a child has a goal of "Independent Living" the child is not going to return home to his birthparents. If he is not going to return home to his birthparents, his birthparents' rights should be terminated and he should be freed for adoption. The child should under no circumstances, as is permitted for 14 year olds in New York State, be allowed to sign a waiver stating he doesn't want to be adopted and that he wants his permanency planning goal changed to "Independent Living." This is akin to asking a child to sign his own homelessness warrant and, in some cases, to sign his own death warrant. What can 14 year olds do in this society anyway?
- Can they sign a legally binding contract?
- Can they work at any job during the school year?
- Can they serve their country in a time of war?
- Can they vote?
- Can they go to a bar or local deli and buy a beer?
- Can they drive a car?
The answer to all of the above is, of course, NO!!!!! But can this same 14 year old sign a piece of paper stating that he does not want to be adopted, thereby having his permanency plan goal changed to "Independent Living," thereby relieving the system of any responsibility to identify a permanent lasting interdependent relationship for him? The answer to this question is a resounding --- YES!!!
So, why does such a destructive permanency planning goal as "Independent Living" exist in the first place? Ironically, the answer to this question is: Children's Rights!!! Yes. The theory goes that a child has a right not to be adopted. "No one should ever force a child to be adopted," they say. And, of course this is true. It is just that we want every child to have the right to turn down Mr. And Mrs. Jones, not a nebulous abstract concept such as adoption. When we change the child's goal to "Independent Living" we are saying to the child, "we are not even going to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Jones."
It is natural and understandable for any child who has been bounced around the foster care system to say at 14 she doesn't want to be adopted. Why should she invite potential pain and suffering? The system has trained her that she's too old to be adopted anyway. Why should she actually believe she is adoptable. No one around her believes it. She must protect herself by stating she does not want to be "adopted." But ask her if she wants to belong somewhere. Ask her if she will meet Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Her reply will be a lot different than if you ask her if she wants to be adopted. All children want to belong somewhere. All human beings want to belong somewhere.
However, if the child is not made available for adoption, we will never know whether, if we worked extra hard, would we be able to identify a home for him. Perhaps even the home of someone he already knows. Perhaps even a biological relative who simply would not present self as a resource or interfere in child's life until the birthparents' rights were terminated. I have had the experience of placing a number of children with biological relatives who have fallen into this category. Indeed, in many ways "adoption" is both the best "Independent Living" and interdependent living program there is.
Note: The NYS Permanency Bill, Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2005 abolished independent living as an acceptable permanency goal and replaced it with a new permanency goal of "another planned permanent living arrangement that includes a significant connection to an adult willing to be a permanency resource for the child" to be used only as long as a compelling reason is documented why one of one of the other permanency goals would not be in the best interests of the child.
2) Every Child with a Goal of Independent Living Should be Freed for Adoption, No Matter What the Child's Age. It is age discrimination at its most destructive worse when the child's age influences the decision of the court or child welfare bureaucracy to not move forward toward the termination of a birthparents' parental rights. If a child's permanency goal is "Independent Living" rather than discharge to a birthparent, then there is no birthparent who is permanently planning for that child's discharge from foster care. This means the child is legally allowed to stay in a legal limbo. We technically can't find an adoptive home for the child because the child is not freed for adoption.
Why do we not, then, at least free for adoption every child with a goal of "Independent Living" who is not ever going to be discharged to a birthparent? In this area we find usually very legalistic judges talking very much like the social workers they so often express much contempt for. Judges will ask "why should we terminate a parent's rights and disallow a child access to his birth parent when the child is very unlikely to get adopted." The judge will ask this question even in cases where the parents' failure to plan is so clear-cut that the child is going to age out of the foster care system. The CATCH 22 is, of course, how can we get a child adopted if the child is not freed for adoption? However, in this (one of the very few instances that our Family Court judges put down their legal gloves and view the case the way - say, a social worker might) they happen to have a very good point.
Why should any child be deprived of the right to see his birthparents simply because his birthparents' rights have been terminated? Who says that just because a parent's rights are terminated that a child cannot see his birthparents anymore, particularly if the child has no adoptive resources on the horizon? Well, children's rights advocates hear this! Its true, under the law as it stands now, a foster child does not have the right to see his birthparent after the parent's rights have been terminated, and this has got to change.
3) Laws Should Be Changed to Allow Foster Children the Right to See Thier Birthparents Between the Time of Termination and Adoptive Placement. No birthparent should have the right to keep his or her child in a legal limbo that will ultimately lead to the child's homelessness. This is giving too much power and control to a person who has no right to such power and control due to their inability to plan for the child's future. However, does this mean that the reverse be true? Does this mean that the child should not have a right to see his birthparents solely because his parent's rights were terminated?
It should be every child's legal right, up to the time of an adoptive placement, an adoptive placement the child has totally and completely consented to, that the child have access to his birthparents if the child so desires the relationship. Child Rights Activists should jump on the bandwagon to give children this right and to effectively advocate for their parents' rights to be terminated. This is the primary issue Law Guardians and Judges raise at termination hearings in cases where the birthparents' failure to plan is clear-cut. If the child has the right to see his parents after termination this issue would become moot. Let's give the child the power and control and not leave this power and control with a birthparent who cannot parent the child enough to plan for the child's future.
It is wise, even after an adoptive placement, that every child that had communication with his or her biological relatives be allowed to continue this communications afterwards. It is virtually impossible, and highly inadvisable, to prevent any older child from having communication with people in his past life, particularly if these people are his biological relatives. Most people who adopt teens and pre-teens are in tune with this.
4) Stop Wasting "Independant Living" Funding on Programs That Do Not Offer Permanent Families as the Primary Way to Deliver Independent Living Serives. New York City recently put out a request for proposals (RFP) for Independent Living programs. In the proposal they summarized by noting that organizations need only apply if they can prove they will provide the following services for the teens in the system's care:
- Children are discharged with medical coverage in place;
- Children have achieved reading and math competency at or above the 8th grade level, or at a level that is age appropriate;
- Children have secured employment or are enrolled in full time post high school educational programs at the time of discharge;
- Children are discharged with adequate housing in place.
No where in the entire RFP did the City even suggest that a permanent family is a good way to achieve the above goals. The concept of finding permanent families for teens is such a foreign concept that it was not even suggested as an option to look at or explore. Can one think of any better way to discharge a child from foster care with medical coverage, having her achieve competency in math and reading, having her secure employment or enrollment in a full time post high school program, and having her have adequate housing than to discharge that child to a permanent family? It is so simple and logical that we want to urge legislators who are throwing millions upon millions of dollars into Independent Living programs that they start requiring these programs to concurrently look for permanent homes while they provide their services as a criteria to receive continued funding. No where in this country is the attempt to identify permanent families for teens a condition of receiving Independent Living money. This has got to change and we urge all legislators to use simple good common sense. How can we achieve any of the independent living goals noted above from New York City, or anywhere else in the country, out of the context of family? You simply can't for most kids and those are the kids who will wind up homeless.
There is a clear-cut connection between homelessness and the lack of relational planning for teens and pre-teens in foster care. There are issues that we outlined here that should be looked at into eliminating the bureaucratic and legal obstacles to finding teens permanent families. However, the major obstacle will continue to be the belief of almost everyone that finding permanent homes for teens is rare and that these teens are very hard, if not impossible, to place. People often want to know that their belief systems are right. People want to know that the things they believe in are, indeed, correct. This brings to mind a favorite quote of mine by Henry Ford:
"If you think you can - you can! If you think you can't - you can't! You're always right!"
If you happen to believe teens are unrelationable, unfortunely you are right. If you happen to be in charge of planning for a teen's future and you believe the teen is unrelationable and that a home cannot be found, then the teen becomes unrelationable and a home will not be found. But always please keep in mind a home was not found because that is what you believe. On the other hand, if you happen to believe every teen you have planning responsibility for is relationable, then you are right too. If you believe this teen is relationable, a permanent family can be found for that child. But always keep in mind that the reason the child got a permanent family was because that is what you believed.
The writer of this article believes in the relationability of all teens in foster care without exception. A family can be found for every child. Because I believed this I was able to find homes for nearly 300 children, average age of 11, during the 6 years I was placing children for an agency that specialized in the adoption of older children. I became such an advocate for the permanent placement of teens that I went out and started an agency that we refer to as "a movement" called YOU GOTTA BELIEVE! THE OLDER CHILD ADOPTION & PERMANENCY MOVEMENT. Inc. YOU GOTTA BELIEVE makes placements for any teen or pre-teen in foster care who needs a permanent family without regard to whether that child is freed for adoption or not. We simply believe that all children deserve permanent families and we set out to find a home for every child who needs one. And that is why it was essential for us to call our new movement "You Gotta Believe!"
Believing is contagious. What you believe is always right. Why not choose to believe in the positive over the negative? It's your choice. Choose to believe in the relationability of every teen and pre-teen and there will be a dramatic reduction in the homeless population in this City and Country. Fight to get rid of the goal of "independent living" so that the system is obligated to continuously find permanent homes for every child up to the date of that child's discharge from the system. Short of achieving this goal, fight for the inclusion of recruiting permanent families as the single best way to deliver independent living services to teens when request for proposals come out to offer independent living money to service teens living in foster care.
And always remember:
A FAMILY ISNOWHERE
Do you see "A Family is No Where?" Or do you see "A Family is Now Here?"
You see, we all can see the exact same thing but see something entirely different. That is why we at YOU GOTTA BELIEVE will always choose to believe and see that "A Family is Now Here" in every child's life. Join us in believing and help our movement reduce the homeless population in half.
- Coalition for the Homeless. 1989. Blueprint for Solving New York's Homeless Crisis. New York City: A Report to Mayor David Dinkins. Page 101.
- Shaffer, D. and C.L. Caton, 1984 Runaway and Homeless Youth In New York City New York City: Study funded by a grant from the Ittleson Foundation and the New York State Office of Mental Health. Page 57.
- Margetson, N. and C. Lipman. 1990. "Children at Risk: The Impact of Poverty, the Family and Street on Homeless and Runaway Youth in New York City." Presentation delivered at the National Symposium on Youth Victimization, April 27, l990. New York: Covenant House, Page 1-2.
- National Association of Social Workers. October, 1991. "Finding From a National Survey of Shelters for Runaway and Homeless Youth: Executive Summary of Key NASW Survey Findings." Survey supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grant number 90K2124. Page 1.
- Barden, J.C. January 6, l991. "After Release From Foster Care, Many Turn to Lives on the Street: They Lack Siimple Skills to Make it on Their Own." New York Times Page 1.
- Roman, Nan P. and Phyllis B. Wolfe April 1995 "Web of Failure: The Relationship Between Foster Care and Homelessness." Washington D.C.: National Alliance to End Homelessness Page3.
- Citizen's Committee for Children of New York, Inc. 1984. "The Foster Care Exit - Ready or Not: An Inquiry Into How New York City Prepares Children in Foster Care for Discharge to Independent Living." Page 41
- Gross, Jane. Sunday June 16, l991. "More Young Single Men Hang on to Apron Strings: Recession and Pampering Keep Sons at Home." New York Times Page 1
- O'Brien, Patrick January 19, l992. "Men: An Endangered Species in the Work Place?" Employment Press Page 1.
- Jencks, Christopher 1994 The Homeless Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., pp.77-8
- Foster Care Youth United May/June 1994 "Speakout: If you Left Foster Care Tomorrow, What Would Be Your Biggest Worry?" A publication of Youth Communications/New York Center, Inc. New York, pp.2-3
- Tem, Melanie 1985 "The Lead of Faith: Claiming and Bonding in Adoption." Position paper presented at the North American Council on Adoptable Children's conference in Alburquerque, New Mexico in 1985.
- Clinton, Hillary 1996 It Takes A Village pg.1
Source: NYSCCC 2006 Workshop Presentation by Pat O'Brien, M.S., C.S.W., Executive Director of You Gotta Believe! Pat can be reached at 1-800-601-1779 or email@example.com if anyone is interested in speaking with him about the contents of this paper or about having Pat come to you town to talk about the ideas he expressed in this paper.