One thing I’ve heard before – “What about the kids who NEED foster care?”
Well, what about them? Please, show me some kids who NEED foster care. I’ve never seen a kid who NEEDS foster care. I’ve seen kids who need family, a home, food, clothing. But I’ve never met anyone who NEEDS foster care.
The question, like so many illogical statements about foster care are simply begging the question – using a premise to support the question. The premise is that foster care is the solution to maltreatment, neglect and abuse. Ergo, kids in those situations NEED foster care because foster care is the solution.
How do you know you have a bias against a group of people?
For your consideration:
One: This comic from Katie Wheeler and Ryan Deveraux about the life long effects and trauma of being separated from their parents when immigrating to the US.
Two: The (apx.) 20 million current and former foster children across the US (6% of the population) who no one seems to think suffer the same life long effects and trauma.
When you are of the belief that the same action hurts one group of people in one way but not another, you have to ask why you think that. When you think that you have an obligation to fight for one of those groups, but not the other, you have to ask yourself why.
And the only answer anyone ever comes up with is “but their parents…” Yeah. I know. I know their parents did something you didn’t like. How does that justify the trauma we are inflicting on kids taken into the foster system?
The scene portrayed in the comic is EXACTLY the scene that plays out everyday in this country with parents and children taken into foster care.
A few months ago I had this weird thought… When the public speaks about racism, sexism, rape, abuse – all these wonderful things – we use a specific language. Rather, we use specific words in our language which have unique and different meanings.
For example, “sexual assault” can mean rape, or unwanted aggressive advances, or many things. But it’s clear when a victim of sexual assault uses that term that they are conjuring up something more traumatic. It is the specific use of these words and phrases in our language which allow the “normal” people to understand the specific trauma endured.
For foster survivors there is no common language. Yet. Let’s make one.