Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

May 06, 2007

Reduced YWCA funding will hurt

We were devastated to see that County Executive John R. Leopold's proposed budget includes a $60,000 reduction in FY08 funding for the YWCA. This will inevitably have a severe and immediate impact on our ability to help women and their families in crisis.

This county money directly funds Arden House, which is the only safe house in the county for women fleeing from domestic violence. Lack of service for these vulnerable women and children means an increased likelihood of injury and death.

When we review the county executive's list of reduced funding and see how many good organizations are affected, we see a severe impact on the quality of life for the citizens of Anne Arundel County. A small dent in the budget bottom line equals a huge hole in the services that we can offer.

This impact will be felt mainly in staffing the safe house and the hot line, resulting in a diminished ability to serve our clients and the county. Our county residents, particularly our more vulnerable women and children, will be without a voice and without a safe shelter.

We encourage our county executive to reconsider his budget proposal. We also urge our County Council members to restore the YWCA's ability to provide the services that keep women and their children safe.

Janis Harvey Hanover

The writer is the CEO of the YWCA Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

County needs more foster parents

In May, we honor mothers on Mother's Day and those who have passed on Memorial Day. Nationally, May is also Foster Care Awareness month and we should remember the many foster parents who serve the many children who are in need of safe and stable foster families.

Take Matt and Steve. These two brothers were living next door to the Snyder family, who noticed that they were often left alone in their home due to the birth mother's drug abuse. The boys came over to the Snyders to play, eat and do their homework. Eventually, the situation at the home of the boys led to them entering foster care. The Snyders became their foster parents and said that if things did not improve for the birth family, they would be willing to adopt the boys. As it turned out, things didn't improve and the Snyders adopted the boys two years after their placement with them. The boys are thriving and happy to know they are truly a part of this family forever.

Here in Anne Arundel County, there are 275 children in out-of-home care. These children need the support of caring foster parents who offer their homes and guidance in an effort to make a difference in a child's life.

Currently there are 95 foster homes in Anne Arundel County. We need more. Become a part of the effort to provide a safe environment for children who cannot remain with their families.

Please contact the Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services at 410-222-7825 if you are interested in becoming a foster parent. You may also log on to our website to get additional information: www.annearundelfostercare.com.

Marcia Kennai


The writer is director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services.

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