Host: What is the importance of permanency for children?
Jelani Freeman: The question of the importance of permanency is the question that should be axed for young people whether they are six years old or 22 years old because a permanent and loving connection to a family is something that we all need. In my life, it has been very lonely and unsatisfying to go through two college graduations and third eminent one from law school coming up soon. I have threaded walking up on that stage and looking down to the crowd and I have seen anyone there to support me or to share in that moment with me. I think that really gets to the essence of the question of why permanency is so important.
Each child in foster care is unique their own way, but they all share a common strength and resiliency and optimism that can be nurtured by a loving family. The astounding potential that lies within these kids, that has helped them get through their own individual situations, is something that a loving family can nurture and that is why permanency and adoption for older kids is so important. Mostly these kids do no part of their own have had to grow up faster than most. But they still have a strong desire to live and play like a child again.
As I stated earlier, I both personally and professionally know that kids in the foster care system have a overwhelming desire to both be loved and to share the love that they have.