Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spokane radio ads will highlight plight of foster children

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Former EWU defensive end Tommy Williams, now a Spokane social worker, has a hobby during his off-hours: More social work. He runs an organization called Operation Healthy Family, which, besides creating flag-football programs for middle-school students, tackles a slew of different issues, including bullying, oral health, and fatherhood.

Now, at the end of November, he’s ready to add another direction. He’s raised money to run radio ads on ESPN 700 about the challenges of being a foster kid.

(This week’s cover story examines the dangers to the Washington State foster care system. Currently, Williams has a caseload of 20 foster children — two more than the recommended maximum.)

The intent is to raise money to start a job-training program, Williams says. After they graduate from high school, many foster children become homeless unless they have the money, or assistance, to find housing.

“These kids need to learn to work an eight-hour shift,” Williams says. 

So why launch this campaign now?

“Because, to be honest, I don’t want to have blood on my hands, man.” Williams says.  “I am a part of a system that, for whatever reason, we’re not doing what we should be doing. And it’s getting worse. I don’t want to be a part of the problem anymore.”

The ad links to a music video by hip-hop group Level Ground about the experience of a foster child.

Click on the player at the top of the post to hear the ad.

Here's the video from Level Ground:

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