Letter: Should be able to driveI am a smaller government, lower taxes guy. I believe preparing people for success in the real world benefits everyone and is the responsibility of the parent/ guardian. The county is the guardian of its foster kids.
By: Tom Winkler, Prescott, Hudson Star-Observer
I am a smaller government, lower taxes guy. I believe preparing people for success in the real world benefits everyone and is the responsibility of the parent/ guardian. The county is the guardian of its foster kids.
The vast majority of the minors in foster-care are there because of things outside their control. Trauma or incarceration of their parent or guardian, parental coping issues, poverty and other challenges can result in a minor becoming the responsibility of the county’s Human Services Department and by extension the responsibility of the county board.
I learned recently that somewhere in their collective history the St. Croix County board chose to disallow foster kids who would otherwise be legal drivers from driving alone in St. Croix County.
Foster kids are often stigmatized or outcast because of their situations. They are under the control of the county until their 18th birthday at which point they’re emancipated. At 18 years and one day the expectation is that they’ll have a job, a place to live and the ability to fend for themselves. In many or most instances that’s quite an expectation. Not that it can’t or hasn’t been done but it’s placing an incredible expectation upon a segment of society that needs more help not less.
Driving is a dangerous business, when done poorly dangerous for everyone. The idea that we would preclude foster kids from the benefit of driving when they have caring, watchful eyes on them makes no sense to me. It’s in the county’s best interest to equip these young men and women to succeed. This is best done by conditioning them to their responsibility and freedom, allowing them the benefit of as much normalcy as possible, for everyone’s good.
Those who earn and maintain the right to drive should be allowed.