Editor's Note: For more than a year, WCPO has covered childhood poverty in our region through our Below The Line series. But we struggled to tell the story of children in the child welfare and foster care systems because we cannot show those children’s faces or use their voices. So to tell this important story we used a new approach — a graphic novel. The names of the children in this story have been changed to protect their privacy. The facts of the story are true out of respect for what they survived.
Chapter 1: Saving Madison
Chapter 2: The Hidden Truth
Chapter 3: Fresh Start
Chapter 4: Healing Old Wounds
Chapter 5: The Price of Love
Chapter 6: New Rules, New Hope
How you can help
The story of Madison, her sisters and brother is true, but their names have been changed to protect their privacy.
They were among the more than 3,000 abused and neglected children in Hamilton County protective services in 2015.
The kids come from all kinds of neighborhoods and socio-economic backgrounds, but many were living in poverty.
ProKids trains CASAs like Donald Swain to look out for the well-being of kids like Madison as Hamilton County Job & Family Services and Hamilton County Juvenile Court work to find safe, permanent and nurturing homes for them.
ProKids doesn't have enough volunteers to provide CASAs for everyone. The more volunteers the organization gets, the more kids it can help.
For more information about ProKids or becoming a CASA, click here.
Lucy May writes about the people, places and issues that define our region – to celebrate what makes the Tri-State great and also shine a spotlight on issues we need to address. Childhood poverty is an important focus for her and for WCPO. To read more stories by Lucy, click here. To reach her, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.
Kevin Necessary is WCPO's editorial cartoonist. Follow him on Twitter @knecessary.
Designed by Andrew Briz for WCPO. Follow him on Twitter @brizandrew.