Let’s Talk About The Foster Care System and Abuse
You may have read that I was once a foster mom, I thought since I couldn’t have children of my own that God was trying to tell me that I have so much love to give to a child, why not try to help the unwanted or abused an older child.
Everybody wants babies, but there are so many that are neglected by abuse. Maybe they come from a young, uneducated person or persons, drugs, economic situations, sickness, or the worst sexually abused by a relative or sibling. The absolute worse is RAD, Reactive attachment disorder, these are children that were never natured as a baby and become almost like a living terminator. If you want to know more about that one, just ask.
We first went through background checks, psychological checks, and were counseled on what we should be looking for on the national website. President Clinton had passed a new deal that if the bio parents didn’t get it together, their rights were terminated, and their children were put up for adoption. If you adopted a special needs child, that child would continue to receive benefits through the government, and they were eligible for free county college. Sounds great, right?
ASFA was enacted in an attempt to correct problems inherent within the foster care system that deterred the adoption of children with special needs. Many of these problems had stemmed from an earlier bill, the Adoption Assistance, and Child Welfare Act of 1980, although they had not been anticipated when that law was passed, as states decided to interpret that law as requiring biological families be kept together no matter what. The biggest change to the law was how ASFA amended Title IV-E of the Social Security Act regarding funding.
Moreover, ASFA marked a fundamental change to child welfare thinking, shifting the emphasis towards children’s health and safety concerns and away from a policy of reuniting children with their birth parents without regard to prior abusiveness. As such, ASFA was considered the most sweeping change to the U.S. adoption and foster care system in some two decades. One of ASFA’s lead sponsors, Republican Senator John H. Chafee of Rhode Island, said, “We will not continue the current system of always putting the needs and rights of the biological parents first. … It’s time we recognize that some families simply cannot and should not be kept together.”
Ideas for the bill originated with both Democrats and Republicans. First Lady of the United States Hillary Clinton originally voiced interest in the issue of orphaned children in an article she wrote in 1995. She then held public events to bring the issue exposure,, and met with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials and private foundation executives over policy questions and recommendations. She cited the Act as the achievement which she initiated and shepherded that provided her with the greatest satisfaction. The bill began in Congress with bipartisan support, then became contentious over issues of terminating birth parents’ rights to children and funding levels for programs to keep children out of foster care. Hillary Clinton played a key role in finding a compromise between Republicans and Democrats on the latter issue after negotiations first broke down.
In greeting the final measure, Bill Clinton stated that the bill “makes clear that children’s health and safety are the paramount concerns.”
Well, we passed initially and accidentally became foster parents to our neighbor’s kids a few years later and had to go through the process all over again! We were told all these good things I mentioned above, and the recruiter wanted the rights of the parent terminated for previous offensives of neglect and now adding incest/rape to the abuse complaint.
The complaint about the younger child was for the stepfather, and then another complaint came later for the older child after therapy and a DNA test that determined the child she carried at age 14 was her father, and that took years to find out. To this day, she has no recollection of the encounter. I want to mention that she was also raped by her brother for a gang initiation when she was ten years old.
The girls knew who we were, they were already comfortable in our home as I helped their older brother when he was little, but he ended up back in the care of what we thought was his grandfather but ended being his father. Yep, you read that right.
We weren’t ready at all! It was a rush job to find everything we needed to provide a safe environment for the girls. It was a nightmare! The bio mom begged me to take the kids and promised she would be there for me as we transitioned the kids. The girls were grateful, and they already had friends in the neighborhood. There is always the big, BUT when it comes to DYFS, the kids called it DYFass.
Okay, I was ready to go and be this kickass foster mom advocating for the kids! Woo woo! Right? Oh, not so fast, assertive one; this is the foster care system! How dare I! The kids were delivered to me with what the recruiter called dandruff, not until a few days later; my phone started to ring! Mrs. JD, your kid, gave my kid head lice! WTF! That wasn’t dandruff!
Off to Walmart for treatment, no, it got worse. I ran into a dear friend of mine who is in a rock band who knows all my friends, and I’ve got Rid X in my buggy. My oldest is hugging him because I took them to see his outdoor concert at one of the Harley Davidson shops. I used to hire his band to play at my bar and grill.
The treatment didn’t work because the kids called it Super Lice! The kids told me they had lice for years, and the bio mom wouldn’t apply enough to rid them of the pests. I went to the internet to find a holistic treatment of the neighborhood problem because you know, I’m the one that had to treat the kids’ heads.
Ever see the commercial with the foster mom applying mayo to the kids, well, that’s me, only head lice. The kids made a party out of it, and I was more embarrassed then they were because I never had or had to deal with that problem. God, I’m itching already thinking about it.
Of course, the bio mom was standing by her man and denying everything up and down to which the DYFS told me that’s regular everyday occurrence with women like her. The social worker wasn’t surprised and even said she’s got victim stamped on her forehead. The child predators would seek her out as easy prey! Wow, my neighbor, who lived across the street from me, was allegedly molested his stepdaughter! I did have a clue about that, but in one incident where it made me uncomfortable enough that I left their apartment and told my husband. You’re a deer in headlights. There is more to that story, you don’t know which way to turn.
Back to the momma drama, mom showed up once, and the kids were going to bitch her out and chickened out. That’s okay; it’s a hard deal. Bio mom never showed up again, accept in court, and she ignored me. Great!
Refer the Wikipedia link; the new social worker didn’t give a rats bottom, she was determined to reunite these abused mixed up kids with bio mom. I had never met such a cee you next tuesday in my life, and in Jersey, they are fighting words! Word! This woman went to war with me, and she threatened a shrink on her diagnosis that the older child has Asberger’s. Nope to expensive, and if the shrink pursued it, she would no longer use their services, just like that, over! Right in front of me!
As you can tell, I’m a social justice warrior, and I can’t keep my mouth shut. I went to my foster daughter’s high school and demanded that she be tested. Boy, did that piss SW off! The older girl had to be tested in the board education facilities, and they determined she was borderline. This enabled me to get her help for PTSD, Bipolar, ADD, suppressed memories; she was dissociative at times. Poor kid was a hot mess. I love her to death.
The social worker from hell drove us crazy with surprise visits or never showing up. One day, I told the kids, if she is late, more then a half-hour, we are going somewhere! I did it! That pissed her off even more. The kids love it, and I had a conversion van we lovingly named Bertha and took them everywhere, even girls camping trip, never again, but I got lots of brownie points with the child therapist.
That’s enough background for now, SW from hell sent us to DYFS mandatory classes on the weekends. I ended being a spokesperson to other potential foster families. I didn’t mind one bit, but as we were learning, we were taught all kinds of tell-tale signs to watch out for, which scared me half to death! This is something to take on seriously when taking on sexually abused kids that have been in the system their entire lives. They know how to work the system! The system abandons them when they reach 18, and it’s so sad! There is nothing for extremely abused young adults to fall back on. The older sister came back to me at age 19, and she was out of control.
DYFS told us that these abused kids might act out sexually to other children in the home. They may also accuse the foster parent of inappropriate touching or rape. They threatened to call DYFS on you, that happened, and I handed the phone to her. You must maintain structure and boundaries.
They may act out violently, and I can confirm that I did have a visit by the police and my youngest sat there and it didn’t affect her one bit at the dinner table when I asked, Do you want to tell me what’s going on before I answer the door? Nope. I bought them cell phones, and she bullied a girl on the cell phone. The mother called the cops, and I had to apologize profusely.
My punishments are you sit with me, and I don’t send children to their rooms. They have all their favorite things there. The child therapist said that it was a great idea if you can stand it, and it does work. The kids are angry, and then they get glad again. I’ve had to watch the steak knives fights, girls being drug down the stairs by ponytails taking out the spindles on my stairs.
DYFS is not for the foster parent that cries for help. They want the ones that won’t rock the boat: the criminals, the ones starving children like the one in Camden, NJ. The molesters like California. The mothers that deny anything happened.
SW from hell took all my kids sample clothes and kept them for herself, nice move, and complained to the judge that they had no clothes. In the beginning, they gave me an allotment of 125 bucks for two kids.
There should be clear and concise changes to the system, and I do know that Social workers are burnt out quickly, making significant mistakes in catching these pedophiles and career foster parents. It can be a moneymaker for some, and I didn’t see it that way, everything was about the kids. Even though I’m ranting, it was the most fulfilling, challenging job I’ve ever had.
In the end, the girls were adopted by a caring single mother with other kids that were challenged physically and mentally. God bless her for knowing how to work the system. She is a ball buster, and I love her for it, the girls are still in touch with me and fully grown.
Thank you for reading, JD 🌸😎🥰