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.
Continue reading What about these kids? Didn’t they NEED foster care?
I’ll make this brief.
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.
I joined Quora in 2010. I try to answer questions about foster care from the view point of a survivor.
So far it’s been mostly positive. I’ve received some feedback that has been helpful. Mostly, I’ve met some other survivors. And I try to – nay, I beg them – to write more about their experiences.
The other day I was reviewing this question from last year:
“How do I tell my 9-year-old foster son that we will be adopting his younger half-sister, but not him (he’ll be removed to a group home)?”
Most of the 100+ answers to this question are pretty direct that this is a horrible question from a horrible person and a horrible thing to do.
I agree it’s a horrible thing to do to a child.
I honestly don’t know that the person is horrible.
Continue reading “Professionals” and the chip on my shoulder.
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.
First word – “Survivor” – To have survived the trauma of foster care beyond age 18 and still be alive and functioning. Congratulations, you are now one of the 6%.
See if you notice a pattern. This took all of 5 seconds to find:
(May 14 update: gong to keep revising this post as an ongoing list of aging out examples, check back often).
But remember, when you hear about the progress in foster care and how “it’s different now” than it used to be.
Yes, there are people who care. Yes, there are good programs. Yes, there are good social workers and good foster parents out there. Yes, yes, yes.
But the data don’t lie. And systemically, it’s not changing.