After raising four children of her own, Deena Maley made the decision to become a foster parent. She’s currently on her second placement.
Maley is also committed to improving the lives of those in the system who are repeatedly left voiceless. She serves as director of operations for the Invisible Kids Project
, a new nonprofit that launched this past Saturday.
Its mission: “To ensure and support the development and maintenance of a healthy, loving relationship for every child in the child protection system.”
According to Maley, the transition for children in foster care—if there is a transition at all—is a tough one.
“A lot of times they just pick them up, take them to this new home without maybe having even met this person—they maybe have never been to their house before,” Maley says. “It’s just a total switch of everything in their lives at a moment’s notice, and it’s hard on kids.”
To minimize traumatic changes—like abrupt moves and frequent switching of placements—is a huge goal the organization would like to accomplish, Maley says.
And though there are flaws within the system, the plan is to advocate for change in a positive and engaging way. According to Maley, it takes a community of individuals to make that happen.
“We’re not pointing fingers, and we’re not blaming anybody,” Maley says. “If they’re in the system, you pay for them to be there. So they’re your children too, and we all need to take care of them.”
• Check out IKP's website, and learn about ways you can help
• Support IKP by donating
• Use your skills to help a foster family by cooking a meal or mowing the lawn, for example.