A Philadelphia native with a compelling story will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night.
Thaddeus Desmond, 28, entered the child welfare system as an infant. His birth parents, Marsha Jamison and Thaddeus Jamison Sr., had been struggling with drugs, and they were unable to care for their baby.
He was eventually adopted by his social worker, Kathy Desmond, and has gone on to help other children in his role as a social worker himself.
Having gone through the welfare system and now dealing with the challenges of social work, Desmond understands its difficulties; he’ll use his convention speech to outline what can be done to improve the system.
“There’s much more work that needs to be done,” he said. “If one person can leave there understanding that, you know, the work is not over, and that this is a continuous fight that needs to be fought — and that the proper resources are needed to really do this work effectively — I think I’ve done what I needed to do.”
The Germantown resident believes more funding is one of the first steps necessary for reforms because the volume of cases exceeds the number of social workers.
“The proper support and resources need to be dedicated to these issues that are going on so that they can be solved or lessened,” he said.
He was first contacted by the Hillary Clinton’s campaign as it collected information from young professionals in the child welfare field.
As social worker at the Center for Child Advocates, Desmond helps abused and neglected children in Philadelphia.
“I’m really honored to be able to speak at the Democratic National Convention — and also to speak on behalf of all social workers,” he said.