Nicole M. Delahunt
Children in Foster Care, Good or Bad? Picture this, being dead asleep at 11 p.m. tucked away warm and cozy in your bed and your phone rings. On the other end is a representative from the foster agency asking you have room in your home for a one month old baby. With a mere 30 seconds to say yes or no you hear “Ok, perfect we will see you in 20 minutes”. Upon the arrival of several social workers, a half way packed diaper bag comes a baby screaming, distraught, covered from head to toe in dirt and a horrendous diaper rash. At this point the social workers hand the baby over and inform you that on her way to jail the baby’s mother admits that the baby may be addicted to methamphetamines because she had been breast feeding her all while smoking drugs. Now is when the social workers have you sign a couple different documents and say “Good luck and we will be in touch” as they walk out the door. Foster children, foster families, and biological families go through countless sleepless nights, therapy sessions, home visits, meltdowns, social workers, and visits from child protective services. Even after going through many hours of mandatory counseling and therapy failure is inevitable and success is a longshot. The children and families suffer long term mental, physical, and emotional problems. Although most statistics and studies say that foster children suffer no more than normal children who are still with their biological families I highly disagree due to my own personal experiences. Most people think all foster kids are troubled, all foster families are abusive, and all biological parents are the victims. Nobody really takes into consideration what everyone has been through solely because of what the parents who claim to be victims have done and put their kids through. CPS doesn’t just take abusive parents’ children away for the heck of it. These assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. This topic is so important to me because most people have the wrong beliefs/ideas. I have witnessed many people judging and talking down to the entire foster system based off of here say from others and based off what the abusive parents tell people. It is important for me to share my knowledge and experiences to bring awareness to people who wrongfully informed. Being in the foster system, children typically deal with physical and mental abuse from their families. Most children deal with neglect and abandonment by their biological parents. After being taken from their parents, foster children are already scarred by their parents deciding not to take proper care of their children and to make it worse being stripped from those abusive parents tends to be more traumatizing than anything. Being passed from home to home causes the kids to gain trust issues in anyone and anything they come into contact with. For example, my family has 15 year old girl who has been to 11 different homes since she was 7 years old. I will call this child “L”. L suffers from severe depression and severe trust issues. Her mother is certified schizophrenic her father is an alcoholic and her brother raped and molested her sister and possibly even her. L has been in my family for about 3 years now (the longest she has ever been with one specific family consecutively) and all parties involved certainly feel she is finally in the right home which fits her needs. We plan on keeping L until she is officially an adult and possibly even longer if need be. L is just starting to really enjoy and find her latest therapist extremely useful and is learning how to channel and deal with her emotions the way a teenaged girl should. She has really started to open up and allow us to love her like our own and has returned the favor. I firmly believe that with the proper treatment and care foster children are capable of rebuilding their lives and living like a normal kid and not as a kid in the foster system.