June 25, 2018

Statement on Reuniting Families Separated at U.S.-Mexico Border

The following statement is from Friends of the Children President Terri Sorensen:

“We were encouraged to hear that our elected officials are implementing actions to stop the policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, we are deeply concerned that there is no system or plan to reunite the 2,300 children who have already been separated from their families.

The foster care system should not be a solution to repairing harmful public policies. It is a temporary solution for children who have been abused or neglected. Regardless of how our society views the actions or decisions that led to this situation, it is our moral responsibility to keep families together whenever possible.

What we know from our years of working with children who have been separated from their parents is that they are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders, mental health issues, academic delays and social-emotional development delays that are often hard to counteract. The trauma that our own government has inflicted on these children will likely impact them for a lifetime.

Research has shown that having a consistent, caring adult in a child’s life significantly improves their overall life outcomes. When that one caring adult in a child’s life can be their own parent, they should be with them. They are also far more likely to thrive, find security and stability and be empowered to build a life they can be proud of.

If we want to have any chance of repairing the damage that has already been done to these innocent children at the hands of our U.S. government, we need our elected officials and the responsible public agencies to act swiftly and decisively to reunite children with their parents immediately and without further delay.”