Is the Foster Care System Perfect?
January 23, 2016 21 Comments
Sarabeth and I were extremely lucky with our daughter when she was our foster daughter. (The picture is her at the zoo a few months ago.) Other than the tedious waiting, everything went smoothly from the day we brought her home from the hospital to the day we brought her to the courthouse to sign the official adoption papers, one of the happiest days of my life (even happier than the day Pixar Animation Studios wrote me a personal email).
Stupidly (and luckily for us), no friends or relatives sought her out. She had no visitations whatsoever.
But what about the people who have their foster kids taken away from them because the states deem it best to return them to their parents who had their kids taken away from them in the first place? (Whether it be for abuse, financial loss, drugs, etc.)
One thing that floors me is the states’ insistence on reunifying these broken children and babies with their (often) undeserving parents.
The state values reunification over anything else, and, often above the child’s own safety and wellbeing.
Think about it. Foster parents go through rigorous background checks, take many hours of classes and training programs, they’ve proven that they’re financially and mentally stable, yet the state insists, “We will do EVERYTHING in our power to reunify the kids with their parents if they show even just a sliver of change in their habits and behavior.”
Thus violating their own motto (at least this is our state’s): “Moves hurt kids.”
I’m not complaining about the system. Right now, I’m just questioning it. I’m questioning if the whole foster care system is even operating as smoothly as it could be. Are America’s foster children being given the fairness and safety they deserve?
Are foster parents treated fairly when they form a bond and connection with the kids given to their care, provide a safe and loving roof over their head, and then the state rips them apart at a moment’s notice?
Are social workers being treated fair? Overworked, underpaid, overwhelmed.
If you’re a foster parent or know of any, what are your thoughts about the system? Where would you like to see improvement? Or is it as good as it could be? Share your thoughts below.