Tag Archives: broken foster care system

Foster Care – A Failed System

Changes in Congregate Care in 8 States (9/30/04-9/30/13), Author US Govt. Accountability Office (GAO), Source https://www.gao.gov, (PD as work product of federal govt.)

Reporting by the Washington Post confirms what the public has long known.  Our foster care system is failing, nationwide.

One major flaw involves the use of detention centers and similar facilities to house children who have committed no infraction whatsoever [1A].

Warehousing

“…in an era when a surging number of biological parents are falling into the grips of drug addiction, and child welfare systems are struggling with a shortage of foster parents…case workers and courts have been funneling children into crowded emergency shelters, hotels, out-of-state institutions and youth prisons — cold, isolating and often dangerous facilities not built to house innocent children for years [1B].”

Both literally and figuratively, children taken into foster care for their own protection are instead being warehoused with rapists and murderers.  Some are forced to sleep on cement floors with harsh fluorescent lights on during lockdowns.

Scope of the Failure

Because foster care is decentralized, accurate figures are difficult to come by.

As of 2013, approximately 56,000 of the 400,000 children in foster care across the country (14% of the foster care population) were living in what is known as “congregate” care – group homes, detention centers, residential drug treatment facilities, and the like [2].  In West Virginia, fully 71% of 6800 foster children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been relegated to such institutions [1C].

The Opioid Crisis is greatly increasing those numbers. Continue reading

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“Why I Am Leaving” by blackbirds2015

Social worker, Grace Abbott, a tireless advocate for child welfare, Library of Congress, Div. of Prints and Photographs (Digital ID cph.3c11723) (PD-US, No Known Restrictions on Publication)

I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land.  I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall…” (Ezek. 22: 30 NLT).

Social workers are among the most dedicated and selfless people on earth. They stand in the gap when parenting and other institutions that should serve our children fail.

The tragedy is that we have our priorities skewed, as a society.  We shower sports figures and others with countless millions, but expect those charged with protecting our children to subsist on a pittance, and carry impossible workloads.

This is a heartrending post by a dedicated social worker dealing with burn-out.  It speaks volumes about the broken foster care system.

“I love my job.  Really, I do.  I love some of the foster parents and some of the kids and some of the bio parents.  I love working with the courts and knowing that I have a good reputation with them.  I love the flexibility and the ability to work from home.  I love returning kids home or helping them gain independence.  There are some biological families that I still talk to and I love them as well.

What I don’t love: turning kids into numbers, meeting dashboards instead of needs, looking out for the best interest of DCF instead of the child.  I can’t keep up with the changing policies and new requirements; the updated trainings, changes to our computer system, and the daily threat that I could really get hurt by someone.”

TO READ MORE, go to Social Work(er)ing at: https://threecatsandababy.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/why-i-am-leaving/

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse