Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Welcome to my Invisible Kids Blog

It took me six months to finally launch myself into the Blogsphere. For some reason, I find it a little scary to start blogging, which is really funny, because I wrote an entire book. When I was writing my book, Invisible Kids, I imagined myself sitting down with a reader and having a conversation with them about kids in foster care and how we can all do something to help them. My imaginary reader was a nice and interested person.

While blogging, I feel like I’m standing in front of a classroom full of people waiting for me to say something meaningful, if not brilliant. I’ll plow ahead though, assuming you are all as nice and interested as my imaginary readers (who became real, by the way, when my book hit bookshelves in January 2009).

My name is Holly Schlaack. I am a child advocate, author and mother of three. I have spent fifteen years on the front lines of child abuse and neglect, first as a caseworker for Children’s Services and later as a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), representing the best interests of abused and neglected infants and toddlers in juvenile court.

I’ve learned a lot about children and families over the years, as well as the laws that govern the lives of foster children and the system responsible for overseeing their care when parents fail to protect them. Sometimes the foster care system works. Sometimes it fails. Sometimes it destroys the very children it is designed to save. And when this happens, there are grave consequences not only to the people involved, but also to our entire communities.

I have a passion for these children that is matched by a passionate belief that the time has come for all of us to stand together and fix this broken foster care system. It is the only way we will save children and families. There is something we can all do to help, and the responsibility to do so rests directly on our shoulders. If we are willing to reach out, we can change the course of thousands of lives and directly impact our communities and a future generation.

Child abuse and neglect is a heavy topic and many people don’t want to discuss it because it is sad. Trust me, I know. It is sad. However, there are happy endings too, though they seldom make headlines. And there is little else that brings the kind of satisfaction and joy that comes from playing a small part in a happy ending. You can play that part.

Look for me to post an entry once a week, telling you a little about some of the foster children in our communities and most importantly, how you can get involved and help them. I welcome your comments and look forward to our discussions about abused and neglected children and making the world a safer, more loving place for each one of them.

To learn more about me, my work experience and the book I was drawn to write, please visit www.hollyschlaack.com.

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