Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The truth about Foster Care

I did NOTHING wrong...
I heard it before and I’m sure I’ll hear it again. I remember Kim saying that before we got Braxdon. My advice to her was, than prove that to DCFS (Division of Child & Family Services). Do whatever they want you to do to get him back!

I’ve heard most birth parents say, “DCFS had NO reason to take my child!” Why do they say this?
1) They are in denial there is a problem
2) They don’t want to admit to themselves ot others they were doing something wrong
No one wants to admit they are a bad or unfit parent.

I was just scrolling through Facebook while waiting for a load of laundry to finish. I saw a link to an article about a child that was “wrongfully taken”. Now, I’m sure there are times that children have been taken for no legitimate reason... BUT 99% of the time, there is a good reason that DFCS steps in and removes the child from the home. They are not into baby stealing or medical kipnapping.

In majority of our foster children’s cases investigations went on for weeks or months before a judge determined there was enough legal findings to remove the child/ children. In fact, CPS (Child Protective Services) had been out to investigate Samantha to see if they should remove Emma from her. After they came Samantha knew she would be taken so she fled the state with her. A month later when she came back, Emma was then removed.

They do NOT just knock on your door and say, give me your kid!

The goal in Foster Care to “reunification”, to reunite the child with their parents. DCFS doesn’t take children to give them to childless couples. They want to keep families together. They believe that the best place for a child is with its birth parents. Obviously if they parents are using drugs then that is not the best place for the child. DCFS does everything they can to work with the parents to get their children back to them.

I remember one case I was called about. I was told they were investigating a family for neglect and might possibly be removing the children and wanted to have foster homes lined up. We agreed to take one of the children should they be removed. A few days later I was informed that they decided to not remove the children. Instead they were going to work with the parents in counseling and parenting classes to try to fix the problem without removing the children from the home.

Brad’s co-worker (Kim’s friend) was so upset when Braxdon was taken. He kept telling us over and over again “They had NO reason to take him!” Sometimes we don’t want to see that our friends or family are doing something wrong. It is easier to blame the government then to see someone we care about being unequipped to parent their child. In Braxdon’s case, I actually was able to read the report of their investigation and yes, they had found legitimate proof that he should be removed. Kim and her friend were in denial that anything was wrong. Kim’s friend told us, “The only truth to the report is their names!” My husband told him, “Then it should be easy for her to get him back! Take their drug tests, do what DCFS asks. If she really is clean and equipped to parent then she will have no problem getting him back!”

When Samantha had her 4th child removed she told me the couple that DCFS placed the baby with had been trying to give her money for the baby before it was born (which is illegal). Then once the baby was born DCFS took it from her and give it to this couple. It is easier to scapegoat the problem onto the state or foster couple than admit you’re wrong.

If my own sister or best friend were to have their children removed I would be heartbroken for them. However, you never know what is going on behind closed doors. For all I know my best friends could be abusing her kids and they should be removed from her. If DCFS says they are abusing their kids, or neglecting them, or using drugs, I would tell them the same thing I tell all birth parents, “Then do whatever DCFS wants to get your kids back/ prove DCFS had no reason to remove them.”

I do know someone who’s ex-husband filed a false report with DCFS saying she was abusing the their kids. He wanted DCFS to remove them from her and give him full custody. She was able to prove to DCFS before the kids were ever removed that the allegations were false. The case was then dropped.

Yes, I’ve heard the stories of horrible foster parents killing the children in their care. It does happen. It is heartbreaking and sad. There are foster parents who “do it for the money”, but trust me, you don’t make a lot! FYI to bring in my husband’s income I would need to be caring for about 6 kids, but then I would have 6 more mouths to feed than usual, so more like 7 or 8 just to make ends meet. Oh and there are laws that you can’t have more than X amount of children in foster care in your home all at the same time. I can’t remember the number off the top of my head, I believe it is 4, unless it is a sibling group. And you have to have enough bedrooms/ square feet to equip that many children. Since our house is 3 bedrooms, 1 being the master, 1 room is only big enough for 1 child and the other room is big enough for 2 children we would only be approved to care for 3 children total (including our own/ adopted children).

*Note- I’m only speaking from my experiences and I’ve only dealt with foster care in the state of Utah.


Savannah Hawkins said...

Im glad I found your blog! I can totally relate to this!! We have a daughter and son adopted from the system and all parties involved always denied do anything wrong to get the kids taken, its very frustrating to listen too!
I am new to blogging and also write about my experience with foster care/ adoption! Stop on by:

Jesse Sterling said...

love this thanks for sharing. I am also a new foster parent in utah and have not recived a placement ye.. had a phone call today but just dint feel right about it with the ages and my won childern. Also 3 kids at once plus my 3 and the same problem only 2 kid rooms.. can be very stressful and fustrating.. my blog is thesterlings13.blogspot if that doesnt work let me know .. thanks Tara Sterling

Angela said...

Pretty much the same in Alabama. Only difference is the name, DHR (Dept. of Human Resources).
And sometimes the kids are given back and don't need to be.