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The Throw Away Kids - Help stop this

Updated on January 11, 2011

Have you ever had a conversation like this?

“Were you nervous about your kids coming home, the first time they were in foster care?” was the question posed from a 16 year old boy to a Mom and foster care worker. Her response “Well, my kids were never in Foster care, they’ve always lived with me.” His response to this; “No, that isn’t right, all kids go to Foster Care.”……”Don’t they?”

When my friends son brought her McDonalds one evening around 11 pm, one of the boys in the home said “Oooo, he’s in trouble! He’s out past curfew”. When my friend explained that “No, he’s never gotten in trouble, he has no curfew.” It was met with much confusion.

Do you know a Throw Away Child?

This is the common misconception of so many children who are in Foster Care. They are being cast away from their families and consider themselves ‘The Throw Away kids’. Thrown away by their families, thrown away by society to be forgotten. To be raised in an institution of any kind.  Reality gets confused with what is happening in their world.

My friend and her family are trying to undo years of institutionalization. They have a home that for all intents and purposes is to resemble a ‘normal’ home setting. Two boys to a room, they have to attend school and are assigned chores.

Some of the boys have committed crimes and are monitored by the court system. They are also on probation and must be seen at any time the probation officer see fit to do so. Because they are also ’Ward’s of the State’ they have also been assigned case workers. Some are better than others at their jobs.

As in every family there are rules that must be followed. To help them adapt in this setting the use of levels along with a reward system has been enacted. It is a non-profit organization that they belong to, that helps them survive and keep the bills paid. Rent, utilities, food etc...

They try to Help them in the short time they have them.

By the time this home gets these kids, it’s because they’ve been in the system so long and there is no other place that they can be placed.  The ages range from 16 to 18.  When they turn 18 the State wants to cut ties with them and just ‘let them go’.  The directors of the home generally have to fight to keep them until they at least graduate high school.  If they don’t win the fight, then the boy (new man) is out on his own.  No high school diploma, no job and generally no survival skills.

Part of the Program

The time that they are at this home is pretty fast paced, in the sense that many things need to be taught in a short amount of time. Some of the things they are taught in this home are;

1. You are worthwhile! No matter what the world says, you are someone special.

2. Schooling, most of them have been lacking in school by the time they arrive.

3. How to volunteer - Volunteering is a very important part of the process, to show them there are others in need as well.

4. Acceptance of others and their differences.

5. Proper behavior in the world. Ie; abiding by the law.

6. How to prepare their own food. Since most of their food has been prepared for them, they need to learn food does not come handed to them.

7. How to behave in public, since most of them have rarely been out even to the store, this is very important to learn.

8. How to talk properly to adults. Since most of them have had no parents, the only rules they’ve had are what is in place at the institutions, cussing and calling names have not been issues addressed. The view in these places are “They are just expressing themselves”.

9. Relaxing on schedules. Being in an institution for most of their lives they have lived on schedules. Life does not always have a ‘set’ schedule. They need to learn how to become flexible.

10. Do normal household chores such as laundry.

11. One at a time they are taken out to grocery shop.

12. They learn how to balance a checkbook, keeping track of their money is very important.

13. Proper hygiene - showers, brushing their teeth.

To us who have lived ‘normal’ lives, these things may seem simple.  But these are the Throw away kids, the kids who have never had any normalcy of any sort.  In a short time my friend and her family are attempting to prepare these kids for the world.

Do your part! If at all possible!

There are programs in your area that are in need of volunteers, if you found this as heart wrenching as I have, take some time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with these Throw Away Kids.  Help make it so they do not feel thrown away.

Where are the parents, you ask?

The parents of these kids? Some are abusers, some are alcoholics, some are drug users, and some are in prison. So before you take that hit, drink that drink or raise your hand to your child, remember The Throw Away Kids…. Do you want yours to become one?

Let's get the word out!

Keep in mind when having children or if you know someone who is about to give birth, these are PEOPLE, CHILDREN, HUMAN BEINGS…. They are NOT throw away kids, raise them, love them, care for them.  Don’t throw them away, don’t make them think that being in Foster care is ‘normal‘.  Don’t make someone else attempt to raise your children, do it yourself!  You had them it is your responsibility to raise them to the best of your ability.

When times get hard and the ‘bad’ teenage behavior sets in, don’t give up!  Dig in your heels and work harder, cry yourself to sleep if you have to.   Ask for help when you need to!  If you need a break away from the child, this is normal, ask someone to take them for a night or two.  Whatever you do, DON’T give up on them.   In the long run, all your efforts will pay off.



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    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Michigan

      There is so much more that I have learned after writing this Hub. Some children are being taken from parents who are just mostly poor not necessarily unfit - only to be given to families who are just slightly less poor... Then when the kids balk at being taken away they are put on psychotropic drugs to quiet them... It's all very heartbreaking.

    • peeples profile image


      5 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for writing this. I was one of the kids who went to these type group homes in the process of foster care. I was an unwanted teen so there were no long term placments for me. I appreciate the fact that you took time to write about this topic that can use as many people helping as possible!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      This has been running through my mind for quite some time. I think when we take away the money involved in dealing with children (for profit) then the needs might begin to be met.

      Are children are our future and we need to take extra care with them, if we don't where are we headed??

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome article as a professional social worker and therapuetic foster parent; its devastating to watch the system return children who have been abused by their biological families. The laws needs to be changed to protect children by all means necessary. One of the child a foster was reunited with her biological mother last year and within four months returned to foster care in worse shape than before. Abused beyond measures yet still the mother is still fighting to re-gain custody of her and her siblings. The question is when are we going to make children the utmost priority?

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      @ shannon - I do not have any statistics at this point. Because they are minors it is difficult to find out any details. I can tell you in Michigan last year (2011) there were over 2000 adoptions. To me that seem quite high, I am working on another angle as well. Look up to the comment with the link. That link will give you a better idea of what I have discovered going on.

      @ That Grrl - It's very difficult to decipher what makes a good parent and what makes a bad parent. My mother used guilt on me, I now care about the world, I used a slightly different technique and my children though are wonderful, care mostly about themselves. Who is to say what is good and what is bad? We all love in different ways, she might feel that she is their mother (I brought them into the world I can take them out. I've heard from others this phrase)but will become a 'super tigress' when someone else dare hurt her child. There are so many variables in parenting.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I know someone who treats her children this way. Yet she has all the right talk to anyone who questions her. She isn't an alcoholic or anything else, just someone who has a different set of values and loves her kids in her own way. At least they have a home, live with their parents. I do wonder how they feel and what kind of people they will become when she decides they are 18 and should be out on their own.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      hi. iam doing an assignment for high school.

      susie, do you any statistics about the throw aways??

      please lemme know asap!


    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      There is so much out there. I have written an article that just touches the tip of the ice berg, it's absolutely terrifying!!

    • Free2seethemoon profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean

      Monetary purposes for the state? I haven't heard about this. There is no end to drug-addicted mothers and fathers dropping off their kids at the lockdown unit for the weekend,though, for that matter, no shortage of kids pulled out of homes because they were/are being abused. It is definitely a web of tragedy most people aren't aware of .

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, it is a terrible cycle. It's sad that so many children have to go through it. There is more and more information coming out now that may include the lies that are told to these children, that just maybe they weren't 'thrown away' but were taken away for monetary purposes by the State. Not necessarily in these cases, but in others. It's a serious web of deceit that is going on, no one knows what the repercussions in the future could bring.

    • Free2seethemoon profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean

      So many things to say about this hub. It is a terrible cycle. Like you said 99.9% were literally thrown away ("I don't want him/her anymore, just take them,") by sexual and physical abusers or drug users, and the rest were taken away by CPS for one reason or another. Usually it's a combination. It can be a sick world and the children pay the price. By the time they are teenagers, odds are they have been in the system a long time, have suffered at the hands of one or more abusers, and often become the perpetrators/users/criminals themselves. Then, as you said, at 18 they are tossed out into the world to make it on their own. Thanks for speaking out on this important subject.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      @ Millionaire Tips - I've never been at foster parent, at one time I did want to do so, I felt never had a big enough house. It certainly is one of the roughest of jobs. Being a parent is tough enough, but having to say good bye when you have gotten attached, I'm just not sure I could or would want to do it.

      @ Cousin Fudd - I also have a high regard for foster parents. As a young person I knew a husband a wife who took in foster care kids. They loved her dearly, as did I.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Cousin Fudd 

      6 years ago

      This is a great write and I have the highest regard for those who are foster parents.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      I was a foster parent, and it is really sad the things the kids have gone through. Great hub to bring attention to this important matter.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Oh it saddens me to see the fate of the children of today, what scares me even more is their tomorrow. The selfish people of today fail to realize that Children are Our future. We have to love a nurture them so that they in turn will learn to love and nurture.

      So many parents work (this I understand and do not condemn) BUT - when the day is done spending TIME with them is WAY more important than spending dollars on them.

      There is so many things the young people of today need to learn, and that can come ONLY from spending time with them, for then they will feel valued.

      Thanks for stopping by and for being a child advocate!

    • Pixienot profile image


      7 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      all too often the rich kids, kid stars etc are no better off than The Throw-Away child. Proof is in the various things they face way too young in life. I am a child advocate. It saddens my heart to see and hear all of the aching of a child's soul.

      In the driver's bureau of a small town I had walked in to renew my license. There was a young teen in front of me. The clerk took care of another lady that had walked in. I said "Ma`am, this young man was first in line." "Oh he's a kid he can wait." By this time I am pushing the boy ahead of me and saying, "He deserves as much respect and attention as I do." I was livid. She took care of the boy right away and he walked away amazed.

      Too many children are treated as non-people.

      Great article! Thank you!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      My point exactly. It's happening more and more these days. The lack of responsibility that people are exhibiting is getting beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      How can anyone blame these kids for thinking themselves as throw-aways when their own biological parents didn't even want them regardless the reasoning behind their actions. The birth parents are in my eyes despicible, I don't care what their reasoning is or was, you do not create a life to give it up or toss it aside like yesterdays trash.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I have to agree with you, she is my hero! She does call me from time to time to vent her frustrations concerning these boys and the stuff they have to go thru. She really loves these boys, and has taken to using a line from 'Steel Magnolias'... "I have a strict policy, no one cries alone, in my presence!" (Dolly Parton)

      So when those boys cry, she cries with them. Right now she has 9 of them that she cares for. Because she truly loves them and calls them her 'Bonus boys', they look upon her as a Mother figure and treats her with the respect deserving of a caring mother. She loves her job!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Joesy Shmoesy profile image

      Joesy Shmoesy 

      7 years ago from New England

      Wonderful and sad Hub. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone of us could just help one child each. It breaks my heart to think about those innocent children trying to figure everything out for themselves. Your friend is a true hero and I hope she realizes it. We could all learn from her greatness. Thank you for sharing her with us.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Oh this is so true!! The case workers hands for the most part are tied, the courts intervene when they aren't needed, yet stand back and do nothing when there is a desperation for something to be done.

      Due to the intervening, my eldest son's upbringing could have very well been like one of these boys. I was a very determined Mom who would have taken on the Devil himself had he gotten in my way...

      I find that my job is not over as a Mom, now my children have children of their own and I find them asking for advice. My daughter feels that her son doesn't feel like he has a home. I told her to tell him that "Mommy is his home, where ever Mommy is, that is home". I hope for now that is enough, he is only 3 1/2...

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Our child welfare system is broken. For the most part, it isn't the individual case worker who is to blame, but the set-up of the institution. The government has gotten way too involved in parenting. Every child deserves to be loved and nurtured.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      SuzieB - It's heart breaking and frustrating to watch a teenage boy cry and just want to be held by his mom, only to know that there is no way his Mom will be coming for him. We should be taking tips from the animal kingdom in our child rearing. It has become well known that the reason elephants go off on rampages is because of the lack of nurturing they would have received had they been allowed to stay with the herd and be reared by not only their Mothers, but sisters, Aunts etc... With the lack of nurturing these kids receive, it's no wonder we are turning out monsters to live among us!

      arthurchappell - Thank you, I don't think it's so much Foster care, just more of learning to take care of what we create.

    • arthurchappell profile image


      7 years ago from Manchester, England

      impressive insight into the reality of much needed foster care

    • SuzieB profile image


      7 years ago

      Good article Sweetsusieg. I work with 7th 8th and 9th grade students who have emotional issues. In my experience most of these kids have emotional issues because of their home lives. Usually due to many of the things you mentioned, abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, a parent in prison etc. All of my kids have in been either in foster care or in a residential placement or both. Few people realize the scope of this problem. Thanks for helping to inform others about this growing issue.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      cbmm24- I agree. If my house was big enough...!! I get so angry at what people do, I tried really hard to keep my emotions in check with this one!

      Malvin13- It is very hard just being a kid, compound that with the stigma of being a Foster kid, everyone at your school knows it!! It just breaks my heart with some of the things these kids say to my friend. Hers too, she spends a lot of her 'free' time crying...

      Thank you both for stopping by!

    • Malvin13 profile image


      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Good article. It is tough out there and I am sure that it even tougher for foster kids. It is not easy. It tough for foster parents and tip my hat off for most of them that are tying their best to give them a home.

      Very heart filling article

    • cbmm24 profile image


      7 years ago from Monroe, Mi

      Oh Susie I love this one.. And that is one of my Favorite songs.. I would love to take all those kids in if i could.. Everyone needs a chance the are people not pets..


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