A Letter to Parents/ Families from Child Welfare Director,
Dr. Deb Shropshire
One of the hardest things I ever did was become a mom. I had a job, a home, and family and friends to support me, and I thought I knew what I was getting into. But I didn't. My kids didn't come with an instruction book, and I wasn't born with an endless amount of patience or skill at how to be a good mom. Fortunately I had people who helped me learn how to take care of myself, my adult relationships, and my kids.
Because you are reading this letter right now, I'm guessing that your family is involved with Child Welfare/DHS. Here's what I want you to know about us – we really want to help you learn how to take care of yourself, your adult relationships, and your kids. We believe that kids need to be healthy and protected so they can grow, learn, and develop their emotions without being afraid, anxious, or hopeless about how things are going in their family, and we believe parents need that too.
I want you to know that you have rights in this process. You have the right to be a part of deciding what your family needs. You have the right to expect we will do our best to help you connect with the things you and your family need, whether that is food, housing, medical or mental health care, or other things. You also have the right to know about the process of being involved with Child Welfare, including knowing about meetings, court dates, and other important decisions.
You are not alone – we are in this together. And I'll tell you one more thing – all of us have the potential to be great parents, but none of us are ever done learning. I hope that we can learn together.