January 16, 2017
Dr. Phil often says that the foster care system is broken and in need of drastic change. In an effort to bring about change, he and Dr. Frank Lawlis, Chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board and founder of the Lawlis Peavey PNP Center, went to Washington, D.C. to address members of the House of Representatives to make a case to overhaul the foster care system.
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“Families in America are under attack. They’re under attack from drugs,” Dr. Phil told the Representatives. “If we are discussing a parent who is addicted to an opioid, we have to make a decision: do we take that child away and incarcerate that mother for using a drug illegally, or is there an alternative to try and rehabilitate that mother and keep this family unified.”
WATCH: How You Can Take Action And Help Foster Youth
Dr. Phil says he adamantly believes that keeping a family unified should be the #1 objective.
“To take a child away from that parent and place that child in foster care should be the last and bad alternative because it does nothing but put two people in the system with no path toward reunification,” Dr. Phil explained. “My goal is to keep them out of the system to begin with and if they’re in the system, to have a path to get them out of the system.”
Watch his testimony in the video above. And, hear from Congresswoman Karen Bass, founder of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, whose mission is to advocate for and overhaul the nation’s foster care system.
“What you’re trying to do is pass legislations so states can use federal funds to prevent removal of the children,” Dr. Phil says to Congresswoman Bass.
WATCH: How Young Woman Overcame Being Ripped Out Of Her Home And Put In Foster Care At Age 12
“So that they can use the money flexibly,” she agrees. “If you know that a parent has a substance abuse issue, why don’t you treat the issue? If it’s mental health, why don’t you use federal dollars for that? And in the end, it’s much cheaper than to put a child into the foster care system, where they might wind up their entire childhood.”
If you want to help change the system, visit The National Foster Youth Institute, NFYI.org, and click on Take Action. And Congress does pay attention to emails and phone calls, so make your voice heard for the children who don’t have a voice.
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