In Response to a Foster Home/ Child Mental Health Travesty

The following is an email letter I wrote today to Mr. Dave Miller, host of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” radio program. Yesterday, August 29, 2026, Mr. Miller interviewed Ms. Mia Storm about her experiences in Oregon’s foster care system during her youth.  My email is in response to listening to her story, and I hope this letter will find its way to her if it can be of any source of strength. Her interview with Mr. Miller can be found at http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud  — specifically, http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-foster-care-system-abuse-reform-child-welfare/ . – Heidi Hansen

Dear Mr. Miller;

This is in response to the very compelling interview with Ms. Storm on
Think Out Loud yesterday, August 29, 2016. I hope this can be
forwarded to Ms. Storm and know that I feel so strongly about this
that I am posting this letter to my blog with a link to that episode.

Ms. Storm’s story was so compelling I cried tears and it made me so
angry at the brutal system she endured I didn’t quite make it to the
bathroom to vomit.

Ms. Storm, although this will do little for you now, please know that
during those years you suffered at the hands of direct foster care
providers and the cruel, inhumane policies and administrative and
ignorant decisions made by inept, unethical power holders, there were
child and family therapists like myself fighting tooth and nail for
children like yourself.

Although I did not know you,  during that same timeline when you were
abused in foster care, I was a child and family therapist for other
children in the mental health and foster care system in Portland. I
knew and advocated for many who were neglected and abused in the care
of administrators /agencies who knew and allowed it to happen, or at
the very least, knew of potential risk and chose to look away.

My work at that time took me from Edgefield Children’s Center to Parry
Center for Children to Columbia County Mental Health.  I interviewed
at Christie Center and chose not to return for a second interview when
a staff person told me something invasive and inappropriate about the
children there.

I fought for the children in my charge, some like yourself, Ms. Storm.
I made many people upset but the result was better care and much more
success for children and their parents — observable, measurable
success.  But it was not enough, overall, and at one point I allowed
myself to be fired because I would not go along with administration on
some very risky decisions they were making for the children they were
responsible for.

I am so sad that Ms. Storm was not one of my clients at that time
period, because surely I would have exercised my utmost tenacity to
fight for her rights to, and get her, the care and therapies she
needed and deserved and which would have helped her with success.

Although I am retired from the field at this time, I would like to
offer my general support and encouragement and advocacy skills to Ms.
Storm and any other child who suffers from abusive, inept and corrupt
care, treatment, administrative policies and decisions.

All my best to you, Ms. Storm.  Young Lily is in good hands.

Sincerely,
Heidi D. Hansen, MA
Vancouver, WA
www.hhansenma.com
hhansenma@yahoo.com
dog.hotel.hansen@gmail.com

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