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Recently a legislator (Rod Garcia from Billings) was quoted in the Helena Independent Record that, "child welfare workers do not protect the kids, they kidnap them." I have no idea how any adult could make such a statement, but he obviously doesn't care what happens to children who are abused, neglected or have been abandoned. Nor does he realize that often the parents of these children need help and can only receive that help when the children have been temporarily removed from the parent(s) care.

I am not sure what background this legislator has in working with broken families, but in reading about him, I didn't find anything that indicates he has ever worked with or helped children who need help, need structure, or need love.

Having served as a CASA and as a volunteer for Family Drug Court and spent the last couple of years on the Foster Care Review Committee, not once have I ever been aware of any child who should not have been removed from their family.

Instead of debasing the child welfare workers as Garcia has done, I applaud them for the demanding and difficult challenges they face while doing their job. Not only do I believe these workers are underpaid and understaffed, they certainly don't need verbal abuse from individuals like Garcia.

Should Garcia really want to see what child welfare workers have to do, I would recommend that he visit a family drug court, visit a foster care review committee meeting, or go with a child welfare worker to see them do their job.

George Day

Helena

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