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Posts Tagged ‘nebraska teen’

I was fortunate enough to be in Nebraska last week doing two workshops for health/mental health care professionals and an evening workshop for parents.

It was a great group! I’ve always found Nebraska—particularly Lincoln–one of the country’s best kept secrets.

Nebraska is currently struggling in a way they never expected. The legislature recently passed a “Safe Haven” law to allow parents (usually young mothers) to anonymously drop off an infant they are unable to care for without facing penalty or prosecution for abandonment.
As someone who has appeared on Nancy Grace commenting about tragic stories of day-old infants found in trash cans and fields, I am a huge supporter of this type of law.

The Nebraska law allows a “child” to be dropped off, purposely broadening the term from infancy to help protect toddlers who may be at risk for harm.

Eighteen children have been dropped off since the law went into effect in July. Unfortunately, many of them have been older children and TEENS. A grieving widower dropped off nine of his children aged 1-17 years old because he could not take care of them.

Another woman dropped off her 15-year old nephew when she and his guardian could not take care of him (his mother died and his father left him years before). She said they tried medication and discipline, but could no longer handle his behavior problems. A 14-year old from Iowa was dropped off and one mother drove 12 hours to drop off her 13-years old son.

See Dr. Lisa on CNN Headline News discussing the Nebraska Safe Haven/Teen story (Part 2 of a 2-part interview)

Some people see these parents as horrible, terrible parents. I don’t. Not at all. In my work I come into contact with parents across the county who are stressed out, overwhelmed, and desperate.

Should they be dropping their children off? Of course not.

But this speaks to two things

1) how distressed and overwhelmed many of today’s parents are

2) that resources to help them are either not available or if they are, parents don’t know how to access them. (more…)

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