Letters to the Editor: Help our troubled children

This is not rocket science! We all know the significant attributes and benefits of well-trained service dogs.

Although there have been no scientific studies yet, common sense tells us that such studies will show that the animals being used in a California court program will improve the functioning of those courts. I have no doubt that a program as simple as this one will greatly improve children’s ability to communicate, draw them out of their shells, and may well help to elicit the truth from children who have been abused or neglected. After all, that’s the goal!

Currently, children in foster care or whose families are under close supervision due to concerns about abuse or neglect are shuffled through the court system, with all of its “sternness” and austerity, so terrifying to youngsters.

The acronym CINA – Children in Need of Assistance – describes these cases, involving children who are either in foster care or whose families are indeed under close supervision due to concerns about abuse or neglect. Where used, many of the young people waiting outside the hearing room were understandably wary, but even the most aloof children found it hard to resist the straightforward, genuine affection of a friendly dog. The dogs are even allowed into the courtroom.

Courts in Delaware, and around the nation should move quickly to follow the lead and implement similar programs.

These children deserve no less.

Ken Abraham
C
itizens for Criminal Justice
Dover

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