The cost of separating children from families

In recent weeks, the federal government has continued to increase the number of children separated from their families at our nation’s southern border. As a result, Washington state is now home to hundreds of children who have been separated from their families.

Separating families has devastating consequences to children that will last the remainder of their lives. As child care practitioners and advocates we know and agree with research that clearly demonstrates that trauma in the first few years of a child’s life can derail healthy development for years.  This could lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.

The Executive Order signed by the president will not address this issue. While families will now be detained together, the trauma experienced by these young children continues to pose a threat to their well-being and development. In 1896, our organization’s founders made it their life’s pursuit to support children. Today, Children’s Home Society of Washington continues this effort and insists that the federal government end this preventable trauma to children and travesty of our families! 

Sharon Osborne is the president/CEO of Children's Home Society of Washington and Children's Home Society & Trust Foundation.