Author: Luke Waldo

Luke Waldo: Why reimagining the workforce across Wisconsin will better support overloaded families

“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.” – Andrew Boyd Twenty years ago, I was living in Bolivia and working with boys and young men that were living in the streets. I spent my days navigating the hot streets and markets, dark...

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Luke Waldo: Why mandated reporting is not supporting children and families in Wisconsin

In a Milwaukee duplex, a mother, her two children, and her medically fragile father faced a challenging situation. As a single mother working a minimum wage job, her financial situation only allowed her to afford rent in a home that had been poorly maintained. She soon found their home infested with cockroaches. This issue, unknown to her, would soon draw the attention of Child Protective Services (CPS) due to a health worker’s safety concerns for her father and role as a mandated reporter. The mother felt both anger and embarrassment when CPS was alerted, as her financial situation was...

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Luke Waldo: A Journey through India and its lessons of social connectedness for Milwaukee

“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.” – Mahatma Gandhi “India is the world’s oldest continuous civilization.” I heard this thought-provoking statement a number of times when I traveled to India with my wife, son, and in-laws in February. As I reflected on the significance of a people living together, building community and culture for millennia in resistance to or temporary co-existence with would-be conquerors and colonizers, I was moved by the idea of such deep connection to one another and one’s identity to make such a...

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Luke Waldo: How the weight of poverty and systemic failures are overloading families

“The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Economic circumstances do not determine one’s ability to be a nurturing parent; poverty, though, can overload caregivers and families with stress and create conditions by which neglect is more likely to occur and be observed and reported. The stressors of poverty are complex and represent a constellation of challenges, from housing...

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Luke Waldo: Why the root causes of child neglect have overloaded families in Milwaukee and across the state

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou Children thrive when they are nurtured by caring and responsive adults who have the time and resources to be able to meet their needs. Communities strengthen caregivers’ abilities to care for their children when they provide support and remove barriers through safe spaces, good schools and jobs, and access to resources and social connections that aid in overcoming life’s inevitable hardships. But not all hardships are inevitable. This column will tell the story of families that are overloaded by adversity,...

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