Every time Kevin Ryan submits another court monitored report on the progress of Michigan's child welfare system, he only reports on microcosmic duct taped repairs to the conditions of its operations, or, rather, in more realistic terms not reported to the court, the drugging, rapes, beatings, torture, suicides, unsuccessful or successful, oh, and that pesky issue of child trafficking.
Now, mind you, Derrick is only a teen.
He is not a lawyer.
He is not a judge.
He is not an accountant.
What he is, is a young man with a keen eye and a quick response for a brave solution, skills necessary to preside over the Michigan federal case on conditions of foster care and adoption.
So, riddle me this.
How come foster kids get passed around to lots of different places, with their worldly possessions in a plastic bag, with no shoes?
The last time I checked there was federal funding appropriated to the States to provide for the necessary needs of the child.
FUN FACT! CPS CAN REMOVE YOUR CHILD AND PLACE THEM IN FOSTER CARE BECAUSE FAILURE TO PROVIDE FOR THE NECESSARY NEEDS OF THE CHILD IS CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
It seems we have two issues here, the first being an instance of some form of defalcation in funding, because I would really like to know why a young man has to step up and shed light upon the fact that these kids have no shoes.
The second being that Michigan is abusing and neglecting the children in its care and no one cares but this young man.
Rock on, Derrick, I see a very bright future for you.
I wonder if Nancy Edmunds can finally see that the Michigan Child Welfare System Sucks?
Perhaps, Derrick can educate Nancy.
He doesn't know what it's like to walk in their shoes, but he is trying to make sure they have a new pair of their own.
"I just thought helping the community would be a good thing to do," said Derrick Newman.
"Once he kids an idea, it is forward ho!" said his dad Steven Newman.
His dad isn't exaggerating. You first met Derrick Newman in August of 2017 when he began collecting patches from police and fire departments all over the world.
After FOX 2's story aired. his collection grew from 1,000 to almost 5,000 - with people sending them to him from as far away as Australia. His patches were sewn onto blue banners paying tribute to the officers and firefighters who put their lives on the line every day.
Now at 14, Derrick has a new mission - his dad and step-mother are in the process of adopting a foster child which got Derrick thinking.
"Most people will give them tooth brushes, toothpaste, shirts stuff like that," Derrick said. "Not shoes."
Learning about the tough times foster kids experience like often moving from home to home, Derrick decided he wanted to help.
He started a shoe drive on Facebook called "Going Somewhere (Shoes for Children in Foster Care). He is asking people to donate new pairs of money so they can purchase footwear for kids in need.
"I think that kids that are going to need a little more time to be adopted, should be able to have new pair of shoes when they need it," he said.
"A lot of foster kids - they are kids - they grow out of shoes quick, just like any kid," Steven said. "But they don't have the support to get new shoes all the time. Hopefully this will help."
Slowly the shoes are trickling in - but with the help of his dad, Derrick refuses to give up. He visits stores, posting videos and hoping people will find it in their hearts to help.
"I think it is awesome that we have gotten so much donated to us, to be able to get shoes," Derrick said.
They are in the process of choosing foster homes to donate the shoes to. Anyone is welcome toDerrick sending a message to others if you are able to - do more in your community.
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