What Should We Do About Foster Care in the United States?

This is my second blog on the foster care Systems:

The other day when I did the blog on Foster Care, I was amazed at how many people read it.  Usually, I get between 20 to 50 readers of the blogs I’ve done.  There have been over 200 readers of the post.

That leads me to a question, how many more people have suffered at the hands of inept case workers in the foster care systems?  If my post had a response of between .01% and 1%. (which by the way, I think is too high) the Foster Care systems need a reality check and a complete overhaul.

Anyone want to join me in a crusade to change the policies of the Department of Human/Social Services of the United States? The programs are very destructive to a child’s life and the people in power have no regard for the children in their care.

Case workers are really the low-men on the totem pole. They have to follow the rules and regulations decided upon by politicians with no respect for the issues children have.  All anyone has to do is research on the internet and you will find all the regulations that the case workers have to follow.

Many case workers go into the system hoping to change the children’s lives for the better, only to find their hands tied by a policy that makes no sense, but they have to follow it or their job would be in danger. So, they grit their teeth and do what could really cause the child to experience a major trauma.

I found this job description for Foster Care Social Workers on the Internet. I will give my opinion on how all the requirements are accomplished.  The original article will be in Italics.

Foster care social workers provide support to children and families who are part of the foster care system. Their responsibilities and job duties include ensuring that children are sufficiently nourished, checking up on their living conditions, offering support to foster parents in need of help, monitoring a child’s progress and helping place children into appropriate foster families.

(Foster care workers often don’t have the luxury of picking the right foster care home for a child.  Their objective seems to place the child in the first available home, not an appropriate home. I hear all the time how foster kids aren’t given enough food, are treated differently in some foster homes and are even abused in some. From my experience, the kids in danger are generally left in those homes too long. Why? 1-no other home available, 2-workers’ case loads have too many children and 3-lack of believing the child when issues are reported.)

They may also work to reunite families that have been separated through the foster care system. Foster care social workers need to have excellent communication skills and a background in conflict resolution.

(I love the statement about conflict resolution, no case worker I know wants to get in the middle of a conflict The statement about reuniting families goes along with a statement on reunification down a few paragraphs that refer to juvenile judges.)

A foster care social worker provides support for the many problems that foster care children experience, such as limited educational opportunities, lack of support once they ‘age out’ of the system, and depression. In this position, you would investigate situations in which a child may be abused or neglected and provide aid to families and children.

You would assess the situations, capabilities and issues of your clients and decide what services they need. If families are unable or refuse to take care of children or the children have suffered from abuse or neglect, you might suggest foster care.

(How many times are these requirements ignored?)

In this position, you would also counsel families and children, guide adoption decisions and educate families about social services they might access. You may need to speak in court to determine custody arrangements and other legal matters.

(How many foster families get the right information with the first placement of the child? To answer my own question, few to none.)

REUNIFICATION: How I hate that word. It is a major cause of Reactive Attachment Disorder in young children. If a child has the misfortune to land in the foster care system due to parental neglect, abandonment, or drug use by the parents, the ugly system makes it worse by trying to convince themselves that the parents need to parent their child.

The juvenile court judge is a perpetrator of reunification. The judge will give the parents 6 months to get their lives in order and give them visitation rights to their child. What this does to the child is not even considered.

Those meetings can be so traumatic for the child that the foster parents spend upwards of a week trying to get through to the child that everything is all right. This does not improve the foster child’s feelings of stability.

The worst part is the judge will assess the parents’ efforts and if they have tried or attempted to try, the judge will give them another 6-month period.

My personal experience is of a judge who gave a family something like 6 years to get their child back. That child was finally adopted by his foster parents after the parents’ rights were finally terminated. The child was in therapy most of those 6 years.

No one takes into consideration the rights of the child. It’s adults making decisions to suit other adults. It’s no wonder adopted children are not considered the same as biological children. But who do the people in power blame, not the judges, not the case workers, oh, it’s all the parents’ faults! They needed to love their child more.

ANN LAMPHERE

Sorry folks, I am on my soap box.  I think some major changes need to happen to the foster care system and it needs to happen now!!!

I’d like to hear from you about your experiences with the foster care systems. Please email me at lamp1685@yahoo.com.

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Thanks for reading my blog. If you’re interested in reading my life story, My book, “My Adoption Life” is available from Amazon. Here’s a link to it: amazon.com/My-Adoption-Life-Reactive-Attachment-ebook/dp/B08VH3C144/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=my+adoption+life&qid=1619460327&s=books&sr=1-1

Published by annla1441

Adoption Social Worker. Lived in Utah

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