Unfit mothers everywhere!

Miriam Libicki (https://twitter.com/@realgonegirl) published this on The Nib the other day. I linked to it with her permission.

For the 6% (or more) of us in the US who have lived in foster homes, we know this scenario all too well. Just one pissed off, asshole idiot can make your family’s life a living hell.

The rules need to change. Mandated reporting needs to change. Foster care needs to be destroyed.


Unfit mothers everywhere

The six percent

Each year there are approximately 500,000 kids reported to be in foster care in the United States. Each. Year.

Over 20 years, that’s 10 million kids.

Over 40 years, that’s 20 million kids.

Now, I never liked algebra. I don’t write algorithms. But I do know that some of those 500,000 kids per year are the same kid. I get it. There isn’t a sure fire way to calculate the numbers per year over the last 40 years.

Many kids enter and exit the system in just a few short months of time and are not counted in that number. In 2013, ChildrensRights.org reported 650,000 kids in foster care at some point.

It’s probably safe to stick with that 20 million number over the last 40 years.

How does this compare to the overall population?

Take the same 323,400,000 number for the 2016 US population found by searching Google and 20 million current and former foster kids, and that comes to 6.18% of the US population.

Are you part of the 6 percent?

The price of admission

This summer, my wife and I completed the foster parent training course in our county.  I’m not sure we will foster at this time, but it’s on our radar.  Regardless, I went through a little dip in my psyche after six Saturdays of being triggered 4 hours straight and not screaming.

Depressing would hardly define my feeling as I watched the faces of every prospective foster parent in that class admit they have never heard of the ACES study on the last day of the course – even after the facilitator specifically instructed the class to view a video about the ACES study. “How many have heard of the ACES study?” Chirp. Chirp. Un-fucking-believable. {Here’s a nice Ted Talk so you have a clue about why the ACES study is so profound and why I probably won’t see my 75th birthday.}

Continue reading The price of admission

Patient “Forever”

One of the biggest frustrations with former foster children who have managed to make a life for themselves is the inability to give advice in an impactful manner.  Specifically, to give open, honest, direct and sometimes harsh advice to the people who need it – the social workers, the prospective foster parents.  I think I am starting to understand why.

First, the need for foster parents in this broken system is so extreme that most social workers who are in charge of foster parent training are probably worried about scaring off prospective foster parents. Bringing in a former foster child for a group conversation can backfire. Things come up and out of our mouths that can scare the shit of people.

Second, you have to think of DFCS as a business.  DFCS is the supplier of children, the foster parents are the customer. The foster child is not the product, but rather the patient.  We are the never ending patient.  We are “Patient Forever.”

Continue reading Patient “Forever”