Monday, May 26, 2008

The Story of Joseph - A Clarification

Two things I want to be sure are clear before I go any further with the story.

First off, I was not upset that Daniel was leaving because Jesse and I had wanted to keep him. We got into foster care with the clear intent to never adopt. In fact, I had told our placement worker to never send us a child who would need to be adopted because we would not do it. Foster care was supposed to be a temporary deal for us. We figured we would do it for a few years, take a couple of years off and then have some kids of our own. We were 100% prepared for Daniel to leave us one day. What was upsetting to us about Daniel's case was that he was not leaving us because he was going home or going to another home to be adopted. He was leaving us because his mother had manipulated the system and bullied an incompetent social worker into taking him away. To top it all off he was being taken to to a facility where he had gotten a very dangerous infection (which he had still not recovered from all the way!) and where he would not get the two on one attention he was getting with us. And on top of that I was being accused of abusing him!

Second, accusations of foster parents abusing their foster children are very common. A lot of the time it happens because parents cannot stand to see their children bonding with someone else and so they try to get the foster parent into trouble. It's unfortunate but it happens a lot. It happened to us and it happened to another set of wonderful foster parents that I know.

Even more unfortunate though is that sometimes the accusations are true. Sometimes the people who are supposed to be protecting the children most in need of protecting are the very ones hurting them. This makes me angry but it also makes me understand why every allegation of abuse must be taken seriously by social workers. If a social worker has any doubt at all about the safety of a child then he or she must act upon that doubt. I would learn that this was not the way things had gone in our case (I'll talk about that more next time) but I understand why that's the way it's supposed to work.

Sadly, the foster care system is so broken that it can be manipulated in so many ways by both bad parents and bad foster parents. The ones who will always be hurt the most when this manipulation occurs are the children in care. Yes, Jesse and I were hurt when Daniel was taken away but the person who suffered the most because of Angela's actions was Daniel. She had him taken out of a good and caring home because she couldn't stand to see him doing well with us. (I'll go into that more later too.) The fact that Dippy played a willing role in it? That's just flat out effed up.

1 comment:

Laggin said...

You know what I admire? The fact that you went on serving these kids after this experience. It would kill off the "care" in most of us.