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The Quinn home in Philadelphia is quiet for the first time in 30 years. No kids playing; no healthy cries of babies. The silence came after the City of Philadelphia stopped referring children for foster care with families like the Quinns, who are certified by Catholic Social Services (CSS). The Quinn home in Philadelphia is quiet now, and the silence is deafening.
Earlier this year, the city demanded CSS agree to endorse same-sex couples as foster parents. Citing centuries-old Catholic teaching on marriage and the family, CSS refused, but said it would instead refer same-sex couples to one of the other 29 foster-care agencies partnering with the city. For the city, however, retaining a long-standing partner in the care of needy kids was apparently less important than scoring political points. The city refused to refer children in need of foster care to CSS for placement and has threatened to terminate its contract with CSS entirely. Tolerance, it seems, is a one-way street in Philadelphia.
Karen - Quinn - Foster - Mother - Years
Karen Quinn has been a CSS-certified foster mother for 30 years. Her Catholic faith has played a large role in her work fostering children. “When people ask me ‘Why do you do it?’ I respond that my faith teaches me to respond, ‘Why not?’,” she says. “I can’t help the whole world, but I can help one baby at a time.”
Quinn is among the foster mothers and former foster-care children who have joined the Catholic Association in supporting CSS’s legal challenge to the Philadelphia dictate. In an amicus brief submitted last week to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, they shared their experiences working with CSS or growing up in CSS-certified foster homes and their opposition to the city’s attempt to effectively shut down CSS’ century-old foster-care program.
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