Divotdawg , who left the following comment on my post from yesterday...
I see a lot written on here about how wonderful and great foster care providers are (they are NOT parents) but I don't see anything about natural parents. CPS social workers lie, twist facts and exaggerate so that they can remove, terminate parental rights, and adopt them out of the foster care system for the ASFA federal bonus money AND for Title IV-E funding.
It is very apparent that foster carers do it for the money because the vast majority kick the kids out of the home on their 18th birthday. So if it's truly for love, why do they kick them out? It's because the money dries up. Now they're trying to extend monthly stipends until the age of 21 to fosters who allow them to remain in the home. They should do it because it's right, NOT because they get paid to do it. Plus they get WIC, food stamps, and Medicaid. If they so much as buy a popsicle out of their own pocket, they get reimbursed by the state. At Christmas and on other special occasions, they get the crap presents while the money they make off these foster children go towards buying their real children expensive presents. In the city I live in, every October we do a toy drive for foster kids. They're in foster homes, not in a group home either. The fosters are just too cheap and sorry to buy them gifts.
Then I talk to all of these real parents whose only crime was poverty who have to beg for every scrap of help they're entitled to because let's face it, social workers and CPS target the poor, the uneducated and the weakest of the bunch. Poor people have become nothing more than breeders for the states.
I know this won't get published and if it does, it will be quickly taken off but I had to have my say. So to anyone who reads this, I have documented proof of everything I said here. No, I am not some pissed off real parent who had their children removed. I am a really pissed off human being, appalled at how badly foster children are treated.
Children are way more likely to be abused, neglected, raped, go missing and even killed while in foster care. Google Hassani Campbell, Gabriel Meyers, or just plain Foster Care deaths. You will be amazed at what you're going to find out
First of all, I never delete comments from my blog. Yours is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. If you had left a way for me to contact you, via email or a blog of your own, I would have told you these things. Despite my belief that you are only seeing one side of the picture - I appreciate that your side exists.
Second, I want to address a statement that I see made all too often by those who criticize the child welfare system. That statement goes something like, "All social workers want to take children away from their parents so that they can adopt them out and get money for them". Let me tell you right now - SOCIAL WORKERS DON'T SEE A DIME OF THAT MONEY. We get paid the same pitiful amount whether we have 10 families on our caseloads or 30. We get paid the same whether children are in intact families or foster families. We get paid that same amount whether the child gets adopted or returns to their biological families. So, the person who is in charge of the case, makes the decisions, and testifies in court is NOT being bought off.
Now, do our agencies get extra money when children get adopted? I think so - that is the rumor. I've never been able to confirm it and couldn't tell you how much it is. My understanding is that the money was supposed to be an incentive to get children out of the foster care system. Without it, people would just complain that agencies wouldn't send kids home OR let them be adopted because they would lose money. Let me assure you - NO AGENCY is worried about there being a lack of cases to fill that slot. When a child goes home or gets adopted and the case closes - there is another one waiting to fill that slot. And, where I live, the state keeps paying the board payment even after adoption - unlike when a child returns home and the state is not obligated to pay that money. So, in fact, adoptions are much more expensive to the state! When a child goes home - they are free to the state! When a child is adopted - its costing the state at least $3,000 a year! So please, be reassured that money is not any kind of incentive in children being adopted.
But most important is this:
I have never claimed that all is right with the Child Welfare system. Nor have I claimed that foster parents and social workers are perfect.
I have also tried very hard to bring the biological parents' point of view into my blogging. In fact, if you'd truly read my post closely - you would have read the following paragraphs,
Sometimes I read things that I wish I hadn't - I read A LOT about how unhelpful (and sometimes downright awful) social workers can be in the lives of children, foster and adoptive families. Sometimes I side with the social worker - we are not perfect, we do not know everything, and we come at a situation with completely different perspectives and goals for children and their families.
But other times there is just no excuse for what happens to some children. I am grateful that OnceLost blogs about her experiences because, although she is anonymous, her experiences put a very "real" person in place of the statistics I hear about how often children get bounced around in foster care.
And it is sometimes very hard to hear anger and frustration directed at birth parents. I am sad every time I read, "If she really loved her kids..." or "They don't deserve this child...". Not because I have never been angry or frustrated with them though! I have had those exact same feelings! But as the social worker, I have the advantage of being able to really pull myself back and see the whole situation. I know what happened to the parents as children, I've seen birth parents overcome their past, I know that their "bad behavior" is often a coping mechanism just like the tantrums their children throw because they don't know how else to express themselves. I wish I could find some blogs written by birth parents who could tell their experiences.
If you browsed my blog a little bit longer, you would find many examples where I encourage and advocate for children being returned to their birth families - start here and here.
I have also talked about how screwed up the system is for quite some time, and I hate when people talk about the foster care system as if it were the cure for all unpleasant situations.
However that doesn't mean that there is not a need for the system at all. Children are abused by their parents. Children are neglected by their parents. Children are abandoned by their parents. These things happen for a multitude of reasons - lack of education, lack of support, lack of appropriate role models, mental illness, substance abuse, poor coping skills, death. But never the less, there needs to be a system in place to protect children when their parents can not. See this post for my thoughts on how the system should work.
But my bottom line has always been that biological parents love their children.
And that children should be with their biological parents if at all possible.
If you have further comments, please feel free to leave them - they will be read by all who come after you. If you want to encourage people to look around, help their neighbor, and try to reduce the number of children who have to be involved in the system - please do, that is something I can get behind! If you would like to suggest ways that people can make the system work better - please feel free, I'm always willing to pass them along! And, if there is something you would like to discuss, feel free to email me - my email address is listed on my profile page.
Nothing in the world will ever change if we can not have open and productive communication with people on every side of an issue. I hope that this blog can be just one little piece of the solutions.