Kids to Love is gaining support for its lawsuit and letter to Governor Kay Ivey concerning issues with the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).
An online petition calling DHR to restore Kids to Love's foster families has received over 5,000 signatures.
Lee Marshall, the founder of Kids to Love, a non-profit serving children in foster care, sent a letter to Ivey in October asking for homes to be reopened.
"Leadership at State DHR feels threatened by the level of service Kids to Love provides instead of viewing Kids to Love as a partner agency," Marshall stated in the letter. "State DHR staff have made claims against Kids to Love that are not based on policy or minimum standards. No claim made by State DHR was related to the quality of care children receive from Kids to Love programs."
Some adults who were once helped by Kids to Love also made videos about the positive impact the organization had on their lives.
Noel Gieger said Kids to Love was a huge part of his life and still is.
"It's truly been a blessing and continues to be a blessing to see the many lives that have been impacted because of Kids to Love," said Noel Gieger. "I have seen so many success stories."
Even though he's in his late 20s, Gieger said Marshall is still a part of his life and checks on him frequently.
An attorney for children took to TikTok to tell her own story about when she was a child. After reporting abuse in her home, she was sent to foster care. At the age of 11, she was put into her second foster home, where her foster father sexually abused her. "Laila-Rose," said DHR failed her multiple times.
@singingcatladyesq Please join us in our fight to prevent Alabama DHR from hurting children in their foster care system. Here is my Why. #childwelfare #fostercare #testimony #governmentcorruption #brokensystem #childabuseawareness😭 #pregnancyloss #traumasurvivor #policy #foster #government #agency #childlaw #lawyertiktok #childrenslawyer ♬ New Age, a sad piano solo 10 minutes(1003982) - 8.864
After the foster father committed suicide, the woman said DHR still did not investigate claims she made against him, including the fact that he impregnated her when she was 12 years old. Although she had a miscarriage, "Laila-Rose" said the ordeal continued to be a nightmare for her. She said she was "blacklisted" by DHR and was unable to be placed into a home with a man "for the man's protection."
Her story exemplifies what she believes Kids to Love could prevent.
"How DHR can stand in their [Kids to Love] way and sleep at night, is honestly beyond me," she said.
Marshall said she is blown away by the number of people who have publically supported Kids to Love, but she still wants the governor to respond.
"The fact that she is pardoning turkeys and not putting our kids as a priority is really just unacceptable," Marshall told 1819 News. "I think it's too bad our kids in foster care aren't turkeys because then maybe the governor would pardon them, too."
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