Woman and child reading


By Ron Bertsch

Previously published April 2015

It’s like standing downstream and watching hundreds of children falling off the cliff into the raging river! As they rush by, we try to pull one out with a small branch, if a child just happens to grab hold. This is the best analogy that I can use to describe what I experience at DCCH with our community’s child abuse problem. March and April have set record numbers for children referred for foster care placement.

Most of my 29 year career, up until about three years ago, the need was great with an average of 30 or so children referred each month. That equates to one child a day. The numbers started rising in 2013, and I started getting 40, 50, then 60, 70 and 80 by the end of year. That was almost tripling the number of children needing a home. In 2014, again the numbers kept rising. We broke the 100 mark, averaging for the year 134 children a month. The numbers have not declined in 2015. March saw 246 children and when writing this column, April was trending to break nearly 300 children being referred!

The Messenger, March 4, 2011, Ron Bertsch

Eight year old Brian spoke to his therapist the other day, saying he did not think anyone loved him and no one would even care if he died. He is a smart little fellow, but sad because his life has not been very stable. He witnessed terrible domestic violence between his mother and father. Twice he watched his mom try to commit suicide. She struggles with sobriety and depression herself. His dad abuses drugs and alcohol and has a long laundry list of criminal convictions to his name. One can imagine the neglect Brian and his two brothers suffered in this environment.

Column by Karen Meiman

Most of us were outraged. Fred Porciello "felt like a jerk."

That's the reaction this 58-year-old father of three had last week when he heard that Liz and David Carroll would face murder charges for killing their 3-year-old foster child, Marcus Fiesel.

Some readers may remember Porciello. He is the outgoing, Italian, Northern Kentucky foster parent with the thick New York accent who spoke from the heart in January about the challenges and rewards of caring "for God's children."

Jayna is not like the typical child, she states this much in her personal account of her story entitled, “The Best Day of My Life.” Jayna expresses that she has always been a strong and independent person, a survivor. Her adoption is not the typical adoption for DCCH either. Jayna is 17 years old, going to be 18 soon. She tells of her life entering the foster care system back in 2001. She states her mom was not able to be a mom, and she bounced around in some six different foster homes and residential facilities. These changes came after being left with family and friends for most of her early years, too. She describes the experience as less than joyous, most of the time pretty horrible. She says she really had given up hope to be happy and have a family who “would love me”, but now she says she was WRONG!