“I’ve got to find out who I am, got to find out where to go. I might end up taking this long dark road through the ditches and I think, on me. I got to find out who I am. I got to know where I fit in.”
Sometimes children are removed because of abuse, but most of the time children are removed because of neglect. SAMSHA says that about 40% of children removed on the national average are removed because of the parent’s drug or alcohol abuse.
No matter what situation a child comes into the system from, they are traumatized. The system itself is traumatizing for a child, and unfortunately states do not train people that take in children through foster and adoptive placements to deal with the children’s trauma. This lack of service for the children leads to even more damaging outcomes.
Many adults and foster children compare the experience to psychological torture, and many times the placements themselves turn out to be more abusive than the homes where the children were taken from. Even adoptive parents complain of bad placements. Fortunately and unfortunately, children can be returned when “bad placements” happen. Foster children feel like outcast and the truth is that many times they are treated that way too. Children are traumatized both in abusive homes and in foster care. Families that have been reunited after years of separation say they “went through living hell” dealing with the foster care system and the courts. There is an overall feeling that no one deserves to be treated as badly as the people that live it.
Children are most often taken away from their families in the middle of the night from their own beds. They are isolated from all of their family and friends. They feel alone yet they are expected to act normal as if nothing has happened to them and if they don’t, they are treated even worse. The children lose any sense of joy that they had and they struggle spiritually and physically.
Private foster care systems have proven to be abusive adoption mills. So have state systems. No one seems to have an answer. Still, children have basic needs such as housing, clothing, and food. Services for the children are contracted out to foster parents and mental health professionals. Often because the foster and adoptive industries have to make a profit, they ignore spiritual needs and the need for training. Instead, the industry paints itself to be “helping” children. No one tells the foster parents what they are in for. Adoptive parents even speak about horrors of placements and a lack of concern for them and the children. What happens when a placement is a bad fit leads to even worse outcomes for the children.
State health departments report year after year that there is not enough money and that they do not have enough workers, but many believe that the problem is deeper than that. There is no accountability. The failure of workers, lawyers, judges, and doctors to provide quality services falls under qualified immunity. When things go wrong and they always do, workers point fingers at each other, but no one takes responsibility. No one has to take responsibility, and with no oversight the money continues to pour in.
A study conducted in Florida shows that 80% of the fatalities that happened to children in bad homes happened because the foster care agencies failed to intervene when the children really did need help. Could the umbrella of neglect be leading to children being left in bad situations? Watch Janice Catherine’s documentary.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.