The story "Studies Link Childhood Abuse to Adult Social Dysfunction" (Feb. 17) carried no surprises. Volunteers at Advanced Resources for foster Kids, a community-based, nonprofit organization that works to better the lives of abused children who have been placed in foster care in Orange County, see these "hidden" effects of child abuse every day.
It is one of our community's great tragedies that the study results so clearly cited in the article have been so long ignored here.
This county spends thousands to rescue children from abusive homes. Orangewood, the county shelter, is a model of what happens when the public and private sectors forge an alliance to reach a goal.
However, when it comes to dealing with the serious problems that are the aftermath of abuse, we, as a community, are woefully lacking. We see to it that the physical wounds these children have suffered are healed but we make no effort to heal the psychic and emotional wounds.
According to these studies, it's this "hidden" damage that persists, turning these desperate children from victims ultimately into victimizers themselves.
Last summer's budget debacle in Sacramento resulted in the loss of $13 million statewide in counseling programs that had been available to children in foster care.
Based on the findings of the four studies, that so-called savings is only going to cost us additional money in future years when we will have to deal with even more severe problems brought about because we were too shortsighted to help thoroughly heal these children now.
JOANNE S. REYNOLDS, President, Advanced Resources for foster Kids, Newport Beach