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April 13, 2004

SUP. YAROSLAVSKY: WHAT ITEM ARE WE ON?

SUP. KNABE, CHAIR: WE'RE ON 26.

YVONNE MICHELLE AUTRY: THANK YOU FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THE BOARD, AGAIN, RELATIVE TO ITEM NUMBER 26. I'D LIKE TO OPPOSE THIS FUNDING. FIRST OF ALL, I THINK THAT THE CONCENTRATION SHOULD BE ON REUNIFICATION OF THE FAMILY, NOT JUST PLACING THE CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE, ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF FREQUENT MISNOMERS AND MISLABELING OF CHILDREN AS BEING SPECIAL NEEDS, MENTALLY RETARDED, ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDERED CHILDREN OR MENTALLY RETARDED. IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THIS IS ANOTHER MONEY-GENERATING BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY, I THINK, AGAIN, THE MONEY SHOULD BE ALLOCATED TOWARDS REUNIFYING THE CHILDREN WITH THEIR PARENTS, NOT JUST PLACING THEM IN FOSTER HOMES WHERE THEY COULD BE SUBJECT TO GREATER ABUSE AND THEN SUFFER LABELING AND STIGMAS THAT WILL FOLLOW THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES AS DYSFUNCTIONAL, ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER SUFFERERS, SUFFERING WITH SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL RETARDATION, HYPERACTIVITY. THAT'S ANOTHER INDUSTRY IN THIS COUNTRY. I THINK YOU SHOULD USE THE FUNDING, LIKE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHOULD, IN MOST CASES, TRY TO PLACE THE CHILDREN OR RETURN THE CHILDREN, REMAND THE CHILDREN TO THE PARENTS' CUSTODY AND THEN PROVIDE IN-HOME SERVICES, LIKE THE FUNDING IS SUPPOSED TO BE USED.

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