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No more • E N D A N G E R E D •

Alumni Mack Gay and Walt Maine help kids find safety, hope and love

J

oshua (not his real name) was convinced that his mother didn’t love him, and it seemed he was right. At age 5, the boy was so tiny from lack of proper nutrition that he wore toddler’s clothing. By the time he was removed from his family’s home, he’d been neglected to the point of abuse. But even beyond that, Joshua knew he was unloved because his mother told him so. Every day. A decade ago, endangered children like Joshua living in Florida’s panhandle had little hope. Taken from abusive homes, each became one in a sea of 1,400 faces each year

entering a foster care system on the brink of collapse. With no emergency shelter available, children traumatized by those who were supposed to love and protect them often were kept in child protective services offices during the day and sent home with staff at night until foster home placements could be arranged. And with only about 170 foster homes and 370 beds available in a fourcounty area, placement

was often difficult. Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff frequently had no choice but to place children outside their home counties, many times separating siblings. They also had to move children from one temporary

By Debbie Rasure Phot os by

Jeff and Meggan Haller

BERRY MAGAZINE • WINTER 2011-12

13

Profile for Berry College

Berry Magazine - Winter 2011-12  

Berry Magazine - Winter 2011-12

Berry Magazine - Winter 2011-12  

Berry Magazine - Winter 2011-12