One morning while reading the paper, I came across and editorial piece about a child that had been murdered while her case was under review by CPS. Concerns about the child's safety had been reported to CPS several times but the case had fallen through the cracks and as a result a child has lost her life. In the article, which was a follow up to a news story, the writer posed the question, "Who was to blame for this tragedy?"
Who was to blame?
Did the blame rest solely in the hands of the murderers, or could it be laid at the feet of CPS, or perhaps the governor and the state for not properly funding the CPS?
The writer and most of the "letters to the editor" placed the blame on the state. Some claimed CPS should be held responsible because they didn't do their job and others felt they couldn't do their job because they weren't properly funded.
However, everyone agreed "someone" needed to do something.
As I sat there, reading, I became just as angry as the author of the editorial and the the others that had responded to the original news story. I agreed "someone" needed to do something. And then, It happened! I went from feeling justifiably angry, to reflecting on my own inaction and then feeling ashamed. You see, I realized in that moment I am that "someone".
I began to pray, asking God to show me how he wanted to use me to make a difference in the lives of the children living in foster care. God began opening doors and moving people into my life that were already working with kids in the system. Through those contacts and some research on my own, God showed me that the greatest need in the foster care system was helping in the development of boys, between the ages of 12 and 18.
This, unfortunately, is the group that often falls through the cracks of the system. Left unattended to, they often go on to have boys of their own at a young age that they neglect because they don’t know how to handle the pressures and responsibilities of life and the vicious cycle continues.
So we started out by putting together "Skills Days".
Our goal was to organize an event where the boys could be given a hands chance to learn about different job opportunities and the skills needed to be successful in the field. During the event, volunteers, stress the importance of character, self-reliance, and personal accountability, while building relationships. We have been doing skills days for three years, and we are overwhelmed with blessing every time we see the boys and how much they have grown in the program.
Randy is a Husband, father, Pappy and Firefighter for the City of Glendale Az. He believes RAM provides an opportunity for boys in foster care to learn skills and build healthy relationships with strong role models. That experience, coupled with a safe place to live after they age out gives the boys involved with RAM a better chance at succeeding in life.
Wife, mom, Nana, and self employed massage therapist. "I want to show as many boys as possible, that they are loved and they are important to God. And then to teach them how to be the Men God created them to be.
CEO, Century 21 Northwest Realty