The Flint Water Crisis. What can I say that you haven’t already heard? Discussion of this topic is everywhere and constant. Politicians, actors, athletes, clergy, and everyone who I know is talking about it. I have been in meetings about it, listened to numerous reports and thoughts on it, and still I am very distressed about it.
My biggest concern is: what can I do? What can Wolverine Human Services do?
People from all over the country are providing support by buying water and/or filters. That is wonderful and much needed. We are doing this as well, by teaming with Absopure to provide water in our foster homes and to our youth going home on visits from our residential care programs.
That is a start.
We have checked the lead levels of our children who have lived in Flint in the last two years.
But now what?
From everything being reported, this Flint human crisis is not going away for a very long time. What about the children? And what about the parents who feel responsible for their children being exposed to all of this? This part of the crisis has not been discussed enough. As it is with most mental health issues, it is hard to discuss and difficult to deal with. But this is the true crisis!
We as a society need to care for the less fortunate. That should include emotionally, socially, educationally, and financially less fortunate. These children and their families all fall into one, two, or all of these less fortunate categories. We need to care, and we need to be aware of the human crisis that this city and its citizens are facing.
Saying all of this, I am still not sure what I and Wolverine Human Services will do in the future to help with all of the issues that continue to arise. We do have an office in Flint and are a part of this community. We will do what is asked of us, and we will go above and beyond to help with this Flint human crisis. That is our mission as an agency, “Helping Children to be Victors,” and that includes all children put in our care! We are dedicated to the Flint children in our care now, and to those who will come to us in the future.
Judith Fischer Wollack, LCSW, ACSW, LMSW, started working with Michigan’s most vulnerable children and families when she was 16 years old. She is now CEO of Wolverine Human Services and President of the Association of Accredited Child and Family Agencies (AACFA). She actively works with policymakers in Lansing to advocate for the needs of youth and families in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.