As a child safety organization, we are shocked and saddened about the great harm being done to immigrating children in the US whose families are trying to give their kids a better life by escaping violence or extreme poverty. For this reason, I am reposting this blog post about a unanimous resolution from our Board of Directors in July 2018.
Our common ground throughout Kidpower is our unwavering commitment to teaching effective and positive skills and strategies to help to protect and empower people of all ages, abilities, beliefs, cultures, nationalities, and identities, especially children and youth. Our “Put Safety First Founding Principle” is: The safety and well-being of a child are more important than anyone’s embarrassment, inconvenience, or offense.
We believe and we teach that everyone has the right to be treated with safety and respect, and that they have the responsibility to act safely and respectfully towards themselves and others. We teach that problems should not be secrets, and that adult leadership is essential to protecting children from harm. We also teach that healthy boundaries are not rigid – they let important things in and keep unsafe things out.
In order to be as inclusive as possible for people of many different political beliefs, we have always upheld a strong commitment to keeping Kidpower nonpartisan. We see the political diversity of the people we serve, our staff, and supporters as one of the great strengths of our organization.
The Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International Board of Directors has unanimously agreed that the harm done by separating children from parents seeking asylum should be regarded as a child safety issue rather than a political one, and advocates the immediate reunification of these children with their parents.
Health care professionals, politicians, parents, and community leaders across the political spectrum in the United States are clearly stating that this tragic situation is causing lasting trauma to the mental and physical well being of the children who have been taken away from their parents. This situation is causing great harm to the innocent without making anyone safer.
We believe that the difficulty in getting information about what is happening with most of these children and the resistance to reuniting even young children with their parents immediately are not in keeping with the values of our country.
We believe that children should not be separated from their parents unless their parents have demonstrated a clear and immediate danger to the children or to others. Whether or not it is granted, the act of seeking asylum to escape violence or severe poverty is not creating a clear and immediate danger and is not illegal.
For this reason, we are calling on all elected officials in the US to take action to keep families seeking asylum together in a safe and healthy environment and to reunite the children with their parents and for all concerned citizens to contact their elected representatives to advocate for child safety. We believe that the resources that are being consumed to imprison these innocent children can be more effectively allocated to developing and implementing a compassionate, fair, and efficient process which will distinguish genuine asylum seekers from those who are trying to misuse the system, are bringing in drugs, or have a track record of causing violence. Let us not let a child’s well-being and safety be superseded by politics.
I hope that each of you in the US will consider contacting your representatives and asking them to take action to ensure that the policy of separating children from parents seeking asylum stay stopped and that children are reunified with their parents as soon as possible.
Published: July 10, 2018 | Last Updated: July 10, 2018