In August of 2006, young Cincinnatian Marcus Fiesel went missing. His remains were found incinerated and ultimately, his foster parents were found guilty of murder. The community asked, what can we do? Almost ten years later, the deaths of Hamilton County’s foster children at the hands of their supposed caregiver brings the question back.
What did we miss? What else were we supposed to do? Organize a golf outing? Host a wine tasting? The system and society’s responses are broken.
One woman is working to change that. Holly Schlaack is stepping up, asking for help to nationally alter the child welfare system. And she is making a small, but mighty ask from ordinary citizens – sign a letter, spread the message
A lifelong Cincinnatian, Holly has been a social worker, answered the 241-KIDS hotline, and served as a guardian ad litem (GAL) for children in foster care through Prokids.
Before the invention of true social media, Holly was her own press machine. She wrote press releases, organized meetings, penned “Invisible Kids and the Marcus Fiesel Story” and was a guest speaker at conferences across the country. Her book has been used in classrooms, in professional settings and in book clubs across America, as the average person asked, “What can I do?”
Holly has not given up. Today, she is stepping out on the precipice again. To call across the canyon to millions of lawmakers, lawyers, citizens and families in hopes those echoes are heard around the world.
What does she want? More transparency. More resources and awareness for our children. We need to find other, better, faster ways to assess a situation that might be inherently harmful to a child. We need to be certain each child is placed with a nurturing, secure caregiver, not necessarily always the birth parent. And, with a nod a commenter on a recent blog, WE HAVE TO WANT THIS with the same urgency we asked for monies for stadiums and streetcars, highways and open-container laws.
Today, she begins her campaign “Step Up and Fix This.” This is the Ice Bucket Challenge – without ice. Hot heads are needed now.
Visit her website . Read her letter and sign the corresponding response to lawmakers. Email the letter to friends. Share the word about Invisible Kids on FB or Twitter @InvisibleKids, using #stepupfixthis and #invisiblekids.
One click of yours can fix this.