Problem 1 – no place for the kids

(1) There are over half a million children in foster care in the United States on any given day.  While we are certain that parental care has the greatest potential for ensuring the welfare of these children, not enough people are willing to open their lives to the problems of raising other people’s children.  We cannot begin to ensure that each child has a home. 

3 responses to “Problem 1 – no place for the kids

  1. Most people will need some compassion and support from society when they assume the task of nurturing children with emotional damage. Instead of support and compassion, these heroes are held to impossibly high standards and scapegoated as “the problem” when a child has difficulties.
    One famous case in Washington State was a foster parents whose license was revoked and her children taken away because she swore. How many biological parents can say they have never sworn at, or around, their children? Have you ever heard of someone’s child being taken away because of swearing? Why do we treat forter parents like this? (I redirect my foster children to use polite language many times every day.)
    Foster families are reimbursed about 40% of their actual costs, but the public opinion is a suspicion that many of us “do it for the money”. I believe ALL foster families should insist on being 100% reimbursed. (As directed by the Federal Social Security Act.)
    Taking away the financial burden would help increase the number of families willing to raise other people’s children.

  2. Steve,

    Is there a study on the actual annual costs of raising a child in the State of Washington?

    I’d like to compare that with the state reimbursement rates.

    I’ve always found it fascinating that the free market suggests that parenting an infant is a more exhaustive task, in that it costs more to obtain infant care in a private childcare facility, but that the state reimburses foster parents LESS for an infant than for any other child taken into their home.

  3. http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/marc.htm

    Above is the link to the report Missing the M.A.R.C. that shows state by state how foster parents are not being reimbursed enough to meet the basic costs of raising a child. It is a federal requirment that our states reumburse us for the full cost of care, but this does not happen.

    I agree with the Steve that this is part of the reason that we are losing many foster parents. A much larger reason though, that have seen many wonderful profesional people leave foster care for, is how they are treated.

    Foster parents are supposed to be included in the decision making process, their input is to be sought, they see the children day in and day out. Though this area has improved we are still in a foster care crisis as many wonderful people continue to leave our ranks, and homes for children become scarser.

    As a foster parent for 11 years my husband and I talk frequently of quitting. The system is so frustrating, and seeing what it does to kids is heart breaking. It causes so much stress and strain, and though we love the children dearly, we often wonder how much longer we can take the stress of the system on our lives.

    We are watching children being returned home that had such hanious crimes comited against them that their parents should be in prison. Yet the court system and the Dept are at such odds that they don’t trust or listen to each other and justice is not served. The children become victims once again. It is so hard to stand by helplessly and have no re-course, foster parents have no rights in these matters.

    If the public knew the full story, which they can’t due to confidentiality laws that protect the abusive parents and the state, there would be a public outcry for true justice for these children.

    As it is foster parents often just quit, walk away with broken hearts and strained memories, and go on with their lives while trying hard not to look back. We put the children in God’s hands and hope for the best, yet the best is not forth coming.

    Until the public takes up the cry of the abused and neglected child, reforms the broken system, and practices preventive measures as well as intensive family preservation programs, change will not be forth coming.

    So dear reader, either watch the news for the next tragic story and cry for that child and their losses, or get involved in advocating for change, these children need a voice.

    Blessings to all…
    MJ

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