Monday, September 14, 2009

Common Sense in Foster care

OK, I realize that the term "common sense" and "foster care simply have no business being located anywhere near each other. But I have some ideas about the system.

Cindy in her post about something a friend of hers wrote touches on this. Her friend, like most of us large adoptive family moms, had been through the CPS nightmare and stated that unless you had the money to hire a "big bully attorney" you had no chance to fight CPS. True. But that isn't necessarily what this blog post is about.

Twice CPS has threatened to take our kids for damage to the house done by those same kids, and the lack of money/time to fix those things. Flooring ripped up, holes in the walls, etc. If you're reading this, you know what I mean. This put me in a unique spot and had gotten me thinking.

If they had been able to remove my kids, the emotional damage done to them would have been extraordinary. So much so that any foster or future adoptive family would have had one H*LL of a time managing them while they grieved, and they would grieve forever. The future of these kids would have been changed from rosy to untenable for young fragile personalities, all of whom are bonded well, because in the past 20 years we only adopted infants with Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida. Oh, and a superpremie crack baby got in there too. Breaking that bond with us would have destroyed them.

How much better would it be if children were left in their home and round the clock supervision were provided in home? A person to just BE THERE, to help out and to make suggestions. To teach parenting, if that needed to be done.

The kids wouldn't have to leave the parents they love. They would be safe and their lives wouldn't be abruptly changed to live with strangers. Life would go on without damage to the children's psyches.

Now,I realize that some parents would STILL screw up and some kids would still be removed, but if it saved the largest part of threatened children, then it would be a success. I mean, if the supervising lady said, hey that kitchen isn't safe or healthy, please clean it up (with the implied thought 'I can take your kids if you don't') surely a parent who loved their children would do it.

You say, it's too expensive? Oh no it isn't. Foster care and all that entails is way more expensive. And then there are the psychiatric bills that will always go along with a child removed from his own home. This plan would do away with the residential treament often needed with damaged children. No foster care, fewer damaged children.

Now this in home round the clock services would only work if the children were also granted access to medicaid, and money would be there to hospitalize severely disturbed children in the home.

A good solution all around, I think. Kids with a future, versus kids with nothing but torment in their future.


Anonymous said...

Even worse than that is what happened to my family. The children ( my husbands Neices and nephews) were placed with us for a year told they were staying with us forever then on some weird whim yanked away from us and not allowed contact until we went to court to get visits with them. Since they left our home they have been moved 6 times,split up, and put back together again several times. Not to mention abused in several of these homes. The damage to these children can never be undone. They were removed from their parents for neglect. it seems to me they were better off staying in that home.

Dusty Hart said...

I agree with you 100%. I paid worker in the house who reported back to a social worker once a week would have worked out much better. It's like saying to the family, "You now have a second chance. Don't screw it up."

annieology said...

We have 3/6 of a sibling group. The younger 4/5 of the younger five have been in the same home since birth either foster or family placement. The oldest child we have was initially placed with the oldest overall child, they moved 6 times in 18 months before landing in separate foster home where our child is stable and we are adopting. The oldest will not be adopted because there are no post adoptive services available for him and it's better for the foster family to keep him in foster care for him to get services. That family already has six adopted kids that cannot get services. So instead of bucking it up and keeping him in care they are hell bent on finding him an adoptive home and ruining the only attachment he's had.

Us other foster parents are trying to convince the state to send him back to his mother, she's 7 years older and so is he. I wish the workers had to live this life and get updates on the decisions they make for the rest of their lives. They are done with it in six months when they move on to something else. Sucks. Sucks much.

Anonymous said...

I think that workers need to be updated for life what happens to the children that were under their care. But they just work for the Dept for 6 months and move on. Meanwhile, the rest of us get to deal with their decisions until someone else makes a decision that they don't have to live with.

Sucks. Sucks much!

And it would cost more here, as opposed to adopting the kid out. Our region apparently only got $100,000 for all the kids in post adoptive services this year. That'll cover what a couple of psych evals and a few stints in residential treatment. For how many kids?