View Full Version : Foster Parents

06-22-2006, 08:00 AM
I was a foster parent for years in California .. I was naive and thought that I could change the world.

My nephew was taken away from my sister as a baby and I was very attached to him.. I was in agony knowing he was with strangers - probably scared to death. he had been taken away in a police car and taken to a children's shelter and then to a strangers house. He was one year old and I was so worried about him, the distress and pain I felt was physical and I couldn't stand it.. I cried all night and the next day.. even at work, I couldn't stop. But, I got him back within two days and he lived with my mom and I for months but the feeling of him being scared with strangers was horrifying. I decided that when I could, I would be a foster parent and be the 'stranger' to help ease the fear and anxiety. It didn't quite work out that way but I tried.

Over time my concern was that the kids who had no relatives to take them stayed with strangers and then, went back to parents who weren' t ready.. only to be taken out again and given to other strangers.

I was frustrated with the vicious cycle and the authorities so much so that I decided to give it up after six years. I just couldn't take the ever popular stance that just because two people decided to have sex they now had omnipotent power ( parental rights) over these innocent little lives even though they hadn't taken care of them since birth.. take a few drug and anger management classes ( and get your baby ( back.... forget about what it does to the child to be taken away again and again and shuffled around like unwanted animals ... it was not a good system.

However, I've yet to figure out a better way (other than sterilization for repeat child abusers and drug users). Apparently, though, not many other people feel as I do, so the cycle continues. The system is a lousy way for a child to grow up.

I have to add that I did therapeutic foster care for severely abused children.. it might be different when you don't do this level of care. There were some weeks that I was at counseling, therapy, doctors, dentists, and parent visits five days a week trying to get these kids help. I was visited once a week at home by a social worker - it was intense. I imagine it might be a little easier for children who don't have all of the associated problems with abuse.

Anyone else have experience with foster care and the system? Any ideas on how to improve the system?