abnormalities in the vanilla world

Foster Families Instill Fear and Failure – Part I

I`ve blogged about the foster care system before but recently i ran across a few personal accounts of being in the system and they are much more moving and real than stats. watch corrupt child protection agents steal kids   You have to wonder: why do people who obviously hate children, foster them. watch child protective services  destroys kids Maybe it`s for the bucks.  Maybe it`s the opportunity to abuse someone powerless. One thing is certain: the vast majority of foster homes are equally abusive, or more so, than a child`s original home. watch john bradshaw interview family secrets  Make sense. Of course not. watch foster parents abuse child

Children Services probably does the best it can. watch child protection documentary  They have limited funds and limited resources. watch what it`s like for a child protection worker at the office  They rely upon volunteers who are never reliable in the long-term.  They need foster homes to place children into and CS does its best to run a background check before allowing people to foster children. watch don`t mess with texas CPS They claim that a thorough investigation into foster homes where children have been place involves regular visits by social workers, yet in spite of these visits, the abuse still continues.  watch foster mom shocked by child abuse case

Laws must change in order to secure safer environments for children. watch stop child abuse  Abusers (including original families) have significant legal rights:

  1. Flippant reasons for offering foster care is acceptable in some circumstances  (eg. adults are `bored“)
  2. Foster parents:
    • come from all walks of life – that one truly bothers me….foster parents who live in impoverished conditions and have little or no formal education in particular, seem like candidates for abuse
    • can be part of a child’s extended family – since abuse runs in families, how can CS be certain aunts and uncles or grandparents won`t also abuse the child
  3. To recognize that while parents may need help in caring for their children, that  help should give support to the autonomy and integrity of the family unit and be provided on the basis of mutual consent…mutual consent between an abusive family and CS.  Seriously. watch role of social workers
  4. No temporary care agreement shall be made in respect of a child,
    (a) who is sixteen years of age or older; or
    (b) who is twelve years of age or older, unless the child is a party to the agreement…what 12-year-old can make a fully informed decision about placement in foster care. A child`s first loyalty is to the family, no matter how abusive. watch bradshaw story on shaming children
  5. When a parent with an addiction enters and completes a rehabilitation program, children are returned to the home although the addict hasn`t demonstrated an improvement in child care. And round and round we go….watch Secret

There are many more laws I personally take the exception to, but they are too numerous to list. watch CPS steals children for profit  The problem with these laws and amendments is that they are too general, not specific enough, and leave easy legal loopholes for lawyers to use when appealing the removal of children from an abusive home. watch this morning: protect your children from social services  Once when i worked for Victim Services of Peel, I attended court with a woman who was continually physically and mentally abused by her husband. watch the nervous cps worker  She paid a trial lawyer $700.00 to get him out of jail.  The lawyer pocketed the money without explaining to her that ultimately it was the judge`s decision as to whether or not her husband was released.  She became panicked, and the lawyer arranged an agreement with the D.A. to send her husband home under certain conditions.  It was one of the saddest examples of cyclical abuse I have ever witnessed. watch child abuse PSA

One of the first-hand foster care accounts that I read was very disturbing:

A little girl was 1 of 5 children who were removed from an abusive mother`s home.  They spent numerous years being moved among various foster homes. watch the truth about child protective services  In some homes, the little girl and her siblings worked as servants: she had to clean the oven, sweep and mop the floors, hang the family`s laundry, polishing silver, vacuuming the entire house, and staying up late to iron clothes.  She was 8. The foster parents particularly enjoyed whipping the children`s legs with a switch. watch children`s aid society oversight

Sad Stats

  1. Individuals who were in foster care experience higher rates of physical and psychiatric morbidity than the general population and suffer from not being able to trust. watch healing the shame that binds you
  2. Children in foster care have a higher incidence of Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). watch foster child by NFB
  3. Foster children are at increased risk for a variety of eating disorders, in comparison to the general population. watch john bradshaw on eating disorders
  4. Disorganized attachment is associated with a number of developmental problems, including dissociative symptoms, as well as depressive, anxiety, and acting-out symptoms. watch dr dan Siegel – on disorganized attachment
  5. Individuals with a history of foster care tend to become homeless at an earlier age than those who were not in foster care.watch why me  entering foster care
  6. Children in foster care are at a greater risk of suicide, the increased risk of suicide is still prevalent after leaving foster care and occurs at a higher rate than the general population. watch rare 1964 interview with Norman Jeane`s Foster Parents
  7. Several studies have indicated that foster care children tend to underachieve academically with many never completing high school.  read foster care: one child`s experience in leSeur County

I personally don`t have any solutions to the abhorrent conditions of foster care but I do know that CS and Ministry of Child and Youth Welfare aren`t doing an effective job, or else why so many abused foster care children. watch Ontario ombudsman speaking about MUSH sector Perhaps increased training is the answer, or more frequent and unexpected visits to foster care homes.watch john bradshaw – oprah A lower turnover rate of CS workers might help lower the incidents of abuse in foster homes, but due to the stressful nature of the job, many CS workers don`t remain on the job for more than 5  – 7 years. watch three life lessons for new social workers.  Clearly, more support for social workers is needed. Child Care Workers`average U.S. salaries in 2009 were a meagre $25,000.00.  In Canada, the average salary is approximately $40,000.00. watch so you want to be a social worker

However, lest I give the impression that all foster parents are cruel and apathetic to their foster children, there are exemplary parents, as the little girl from the aforementioned case study acknowledged: watch what makes a good foster parent

Of all the foster homes I’ve been in, one stands out as a shining example above all the others. They were an older couple in Eclectic, Alabama. I only remember their last names, the Hayes, and their son was the local pastor of the church we lived near. This was the first foster home, and I wish we could have stayed, but tragedy struck the family, and then we were gone.

That figures.

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