If there were one group of people that should help families in distress it should be someone from the Department of Social Services in your state. RIGHT?
Yeah right!!! I know. The sad stories of adoptive families who reach out for help, show they get kicked in the teeth with disbelief, blame and threats. Yep, I said “threats.”
There have been families who can no longer allow their adopted child to remain in their home. “Which way or where should we go?” Is the question. Their child, because of really diverse behaviors” is endangering one or all family members by remaining in their home.
What does the DSS worker do? He or she says “We have to investigate this situation.” “How long will this take to investigate his behaviors?” you ask. The response the families get is “We’re investigating you!” WHAT! “It’s not us, it’s his behaviors!”
Nope! The families get investigated because there’s something they’re not doing right. There must be! This is where the DSS worker has the nerve to tell the family they don’t love their child enough. THAT’S REALLY INSTRUCTIVE, ISN’T IT!
To families in distress, who have tried everything they know how to help their child with therapy and/or medicines, this lack of understanding is just another burden they are forced to carry.
Another thing that always makes me upset is when I hear a DSS worker tell the family if they take the child into state custody, the family will lose all the other children to the state as well and the couple will be prosecuted for neglect or abandonment of their child. This is still blaming the family for the child’s behaviors.
If the family has these types of responses and they don’t agree with them, they’re told the best thing they can do is find a residential treatment facility (RTF) or a permanent boarding school. RTFs and boarding schools have a particularly bad reputation. They’re poorly staffed and bad kids become worse kids the longer they’re there.
Is there anything that can be done to help the families? I know there are several Facebook groups offering support to families of children with R.A.D. These groups are extremely helpful offering support and giving families a place to vent their frustrations.
Do those groups offer solutions to the DSS issues? They really don’t, because the problems stem from a lack of education to DSS staff. From the top executives to the peon foster care workers, the effects of Developmental Trauma Disorder, which I feel is a better description of the children’s issues, is never taught.
No one in the foster care system really understands what these damaged children go through in their young lives. Since there is always a turnover in foster care workers, I feel it is important that each new worker be trained in what effects trauma has on children and how to treat parents of these children with respect and understanding..
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N. Ann Lamphere, MSW