I work in the field of Human Services and I have been thinking about the thousands of children in foster care. I realize that some children are in imminent danger due to severe abuse and neglect, but there are thousands who are removed from their homes because of parents' substance abuse or other issues.
It would be extremely traumatic for a child to be suddenly jerked out of their home, no matter what their home situation had been. Having no choice in the matter and being sent to live with complete strangers, sometimes one foster family after another, can't be healthy for a child.
Are there other options? Could our foster care program be complimented by another program that would help parents gain the parenting skills they lack, get into substance abuse treatment, learn job skills, attend parental support groups, learn how to budget their money, and learn what their children need? Could our communities come together to address the basic problems in so many homes, with federal, state and local governments partnering with non-profits and church organizations partnering together to help at-risk families? Instead of taking children out of their homes, could we help their families function better?
What do you think?
I think most social workers know foster care is risky, and only permanently remove kids in imminent and serious danger. It is not as if these issues have never occurred to them. But the other side of the coin is the kids who get left in the home, and are murdered.
I have been in and out of foster care and some of those foster care homes are horrible screening back in the 60's, I have no idea but was horrible. Movies have even been made of such homes and resulting deaths of children in care which was heartbreaking. I was returned to a unchanged environment after foster care, which I had protested against, but I was ignored. I think having parents attend 'mandatory' parenting classes would be great! also, if they refuse, the child should go into a long-term home rather than be bounced around. All I learned from that experience was to continue bouncing in my own life before learning, 'hey, I have control of my life. It's mine, nobody but me to listen!'. Lack of education to the child in care, of real life experiences, laws, health, education etc., don't help at all.
Dame, thank you so much for sharing your personal story of what it's like to be on the receiving end of foster care. Some major reforms need to be passed so that children will not be bounced around as you were. I'm sorry that you didn't have a healthy childhood and I hope that your life now as an adult is characterized by good choice and strong relationships.
I have suggested to local gov't bureaucrats and social workers, to try to listen more to children in care. If a court will allow a 12 yr old child in court to choose where to go, regarding custody issues least in Canada, then research information from children in care, could also provide information to help reconstruct policies to be better geared towards children. Your welcome with my sharing my own experiences. It took time but yes, my own family relationships with my children was a far better improvement than what I had as a child.
by waterbottle 2 years ago
i feel as if they need another chance, because most of the time it is not their fault for the position that they are in. so tell me how you all think about this topic... and also would You ever become a foster parent?
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