Posts Tagged ‘Home Products and Services’

The Dangers of Foster Care

September 26th, 2021

Due to the FLDS Polygamy case in Texas, Child Protective Services and the Foster Care System has been getting a lot of attention these days. There has been a lot of debate surrounding this particular case. Did they do the right thing in removing all 416 kids, or did they screw up? Let’s look at some of the facts about foster care.

Children in foster care are more likely to be abused then they are in their own homes.

What do the names Dontell Jeffers, Marcus Feisel, Logan Marr, and Cheyenne Delp all have in common? They were four foster children who were murdered at the hands of their foster parents. You can do a Google search on any of these names and you will find lots of information about them.

Foster care is often seen as a safety net for abused and neglected children by those who are ignorant of the realities. Most of these cases are hidden from public scrutiny due to confidentiality laws which are claimed to help keep the kids safe. However anybody who has ever dealt with the system would argue otherwise. The fact is that children are no better or safer in foster care then they are in an abusive home. This is not saying that there aren’t any good foster homes or foster parents, on the contrary. Many people go into it with nothing but the best of intentions. They want to make life better for abused and neglected children and some of them do. The problem is that foster children experience multiple placements throughout their childhoods, some living in as many as forty different homes. This increases the likelihood that they will be abused, especially when they get a foster parent who couldn’t care less, and they are out there. Many of them simply do it for the money.

Many foster parents, who have their own biological children play favorites. This does not provide a welcoming environment for a child who recently had their lives ripped out from under them.

Also, foster children are often abused by other foster children in the home. Some are beaten up, others are sexually abused. Although there are a few stories of such things happening making the news reports, they are few and far between because of confidentiality laws.

Children are bounced around from home to home, school to school.

It is not uncommon for a foster child to be placed in several different homes throughout their childhood. Because of shortages of good foster homes, some are moved far from home. Children are ripped from all that they know, family, friends, their schools; their belongings are taken from them. Many show up on the doorstep of a foster home with nothing but a trash bag full of personal belongings. This can have a profound effect on a child who desperately needs stability in order to grow, thrive and function in the world we live in.

Although their claim is to find permanent placements, that is much easier said then done. First of all, federal regulations give the real parents time and opportunities to fix their situations, although it is not always possible to return the children to a safe home, it is always the first goal. If that is not possible the parent’s rights are terminated in family court and the child is put up for adoption. However nobody wants to take in a child with special needs. Nobody wants to adopt an older child. And many children just flat out don’t want to be adopted so they act out to prevent it.

Many children in the system are flat out considered unadoptable. Also, foster parents often can’t handle some of the children who come into their homes. So the trend has been to put them someplace else. They end up in another new school. They end up living with another set of strangers. Any friends that they have made are gone. Any contacts that they have had with their families are cut off.

Foster children are often heavily medicated.

Children in foster care come with a whole host of mental issues and behavioral problems. Many of these issues are caused by the abuse or neglect that they suffered in their own homes, while many more are caused by being in foster care. In fact, many children end up in foster care not because they were abused or neglected, but because some social worker showed up at their door and decided that the parents couldn’t handle a child with such special needs. Children who are bounced around from home to home tend to develop attachment disorders. Children who have their lives ripped out from under them tend to get angry and act out.

The simple answer to this is to medicate them. It is much easier then actually dealing with the root of the problems of foster children. Children in foster care are medicated with powerful psychiatric drugs for everything from ADHD to depression often whether they need them or not.

Children who age out of the system at age 18 are often not ready to be out on their own.

As soon as a child turns 18, the state is no longer responsible for them. They are often put out on their own ready or not.

At any given time, there are 75 million children under age 18 in the United States. At any given time, there are approximately half a million children under the age of 18 in foster care, yet according to a study from Brown University adults who have spent time in foster care as a child make up 23% of the homeless population in the United States. Why is it that such a large segment of the homeless population comes from such a small segment of the population? And that’s just one outcome.

Former foster children are much more likely then non-foster children to be incarcerated, use drugs, be unemployed and girls are more likely to become pregnant at a young age.

Fortunately often times there are cases where another family member such as an aunt or a grandparent are able to take in and care for foster children. However, I have spoken to several grandparents who would love nothing more then the opportunity to raise their grandchildren. Although the claim is that when a child is removed from their home, the first choice would be to look for a relative to take them in, they simply don’t do that. In fact, many grandparents have reported having all contact cut off with their grandchildren regardless of the fact that they have done nothing wrong.