Nervous hello

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heavyaaron
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Nervous hello

Postby heavyaaron » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:09 am

Hello all,

I've been lurking for a few days before introducing myself to get a feel for the culture here.

I am a foster parent, and interested in the perspectives of others involved in the system.

I say it's a nervous hello, in that most mentions of foster parents here appear to be quite negative and confrontational to down right insulting. But I honestly hope to have productive and frank dialogs. I'm very much of the belief that the role of foster parents is that of team member and mentor to birth parents to achieve reunifications. I believe I can do a better job of that with a better understanding of the perspectives of birth parents; thus my reason for participating here.

I'm more than open to questions, I'm even pretty thick skinned, but I'm only interested in productive discussions.

Aaron
Last edited by heavyaaron on Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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monkette31
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby monkette31 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:57 pm

That's great. Most people come here anonymously to get help from the abusive CPS system. In most instances, well mine for sure, the foster parents didn't start out as the bad guys, but as the re-unification process moves along, most foster parents are begged to adopt the children they have been living with and once they agree to that, re-unification is out the door. This is done many times while still in the re-unification period, in my case it was...that's because the county has to have a permanent plan "in place" in case re-unification fails.

It seems pretty apparent that re-unifications are just a joke, when cps wants your child, many times they receive the help of the foster parent. Our foster parent was very difficult to work with AFTER she decided that she was going to adopt my child while we were still in the re-unification phase...so our foster parent turned on us like the devil himself. Suddenly visits were cancelled, new rules happened that disallowed visits, they made it really difficult for us to see each other and it just got worse and worse. I've been on this board and other boards for a couple of years now and it is very rare that we run into healthy foster parents willing to conversate with us. Thanks for joining.
I'm not a lawyer but will try and help you any way i can. My postings may seem harsh but they all stem from personal experience with DCFS. I am not a victim and take responsibility for my part in my life, but I will always help ANYONE learn about the corrupt sick system.

heavyaaron
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby heavyaaron » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:05 am

"I've been on this board and other boards for a couple of years now and it is very rare that we run into healthy foster parents willing to conversate with us. Thanks for joining.'

Thanks for the welcome.

"That's great. Most people come here anonymously to get help from the abusive CPS system."

Sure, I understand that there will be a self-selection bias to the forum. In fact I can think of quite a few:
- There will be a higher proportion of injustices here, as people whose children were removed with justifiable cause are less likely to get involved here.
- There will be a wealth skew. Families with removals are disproportionately very poor to the point of not having internet access, so this site is likely to have a slightly better than average wealth level (relative to the general population of families who have had a removal.)
- There will be a disproportionate number of bad experiences with the system. People who have had more positive (less negative?) experiences are less likely to get involved here.

"In most instances, well mine for sure, the foster parents didn't start out as the bad guys, but as the re-unification process moves along, most foster parents are begged to adopt the children..."

My agency makes it a policy to inform the perspective foster parents during the placement decision as to the perceived likelihood of severance given what is known at that point. Likewise an effort is made to place children who are likely to reunify with foster parents who are not interested in adoption and those that are likely to sever to go to families interested in fost-adopt. My understanding is that, at least here, it's about half and half (that is to say that roughly half of removals which go to the foster system outside of kinship eventually sever.)

I've never been begged to adopt, but certainly I am asked if I (really we, with my wife) would consider it when a case starts to look like it may go to severance. As foster parents we are, legally, first in line after birth parents and kin. It makes sense. We already have a bond with the foster children and it would reduce the number of transitions for the children by one.

"... they have been living with and once they agree to that, re-unification is out the door."

I would consider that very bad form on the part of the foster parents when true. Reunionification is the best possible outcome, and regardless of case status that should be every foster parents' objective throughout the lifespan of every placement (see footnote exception). We work with the children, birth parents, and service providers to try and make that happen. On the flip side, I do not want to quarterback other foster parents with only hearsay to go on. I don't doubt that it happens, though. The emotions and bonds are just as real with foster families, and I can sympathize with the conflicts those parents would be going through, even if I disagree with the priorities.

"This is done many times while still in the re-unification period, in my case it was...that's because the county has to have a permanent plan 'in place' in case re-unification fails."

Yep, same here, and I presume everywhere. Because of the timelines, it's always duel tracked - work towards reunification *and* a permanency plan in the event of severance. The kids could be in foster care a lot longer if the system waited until severance before looking at other options. That would not be in the childrens' best interest. Something you may not have considered, it's hard on the potential adoptive families as well. They can commit to adopting only to see a reunification happen unexpectedly. Obviously, reunification is the ideal outcome, but it's still heart breaking on those who had been preparing their hearts and homes.

"It seems pretty apparent that re-unifications are just a joke, when cps wants your child, many times they receive the help of the foster parent."

??? Sorry - I can't agree with you there. CPS has no ability to sway a foster parent and no authority over me. They literally do not have a single carrot or stick to use. I suppose it might be different in different states, but I doubt it. CPS has occasionally cautioned me or advised me to not get as involved with birth parents when there starts to be an honest friendship. I disagree with them on that. I don't know of a better way to mentor the birth parents or become a resource for them then to develop working relationships. But other than that sort of small advice, CPS has never once tried to influence our behavior or attitudes. I've openly disagreed with them in court - there are no consequences to that. I know that CPS and birth parents often view each other as adversaries, but I can't "take sides" in such a conflict. The children are my only consideration. I work with both groups in that interest.

"Our foster parent was very difficult to work with AFTER she decided that she was going to adopt my child while we were still in the re-unification phase...so our foster parent turned on us like the devil himself."

Again, taking that at face value, I strongly disagree with that behavior. But I will not quarterback another foster parent based on hearsay. I agree with you that, in principle, there's a pretty significant conflict of interests in a fost-adopt situation. The foster parent is supposed to be able to handle that: reunification still the best outcome, willingness to step-in and be the second best outcome.

I've actually seen a birth parent get livid with the reverse situation. We had a placement a while ago that looked like it was going to severance (it actually went to reunification), but birth dad had just been assuming plan-B was for us to adopt. I'm not sure where he got that idea, but it seems like an understandable error (I don't expect birth parents to know the details of a system they've not been previously involved with). He was very upset that the kids would be transitioned to yet *another* family had the case gone to severance.

"Suddenly visits were cancelled, new rules happened that disallowed visits, they made it really difficult for us to see each other and it just got worse and worse."

At least here, visits are not in the purview of the foster parents. I have absolutely no say on them at all. In fact I got an earful in court recently from one of the lawyers for a parent who was unhappy that I even mentioned my position on a particular proposed visit schedule. What I can say is that I'm at least as interested in seeing them occur on a regular schedule as anyone else. When they are cancelled, changed, missed, etc. I am the one who deals with the disappointed, unhappy, or upset child.


* footnote exception - I've never had to deal with this, but I would make an exception if I had objective reason to believe the birth parents are an immediate physical danger to the child(ren). My wife's friend has had this happen. She's a foster parent as well - she fosters newborns (we don't do that age). Anyway, they had a newborn, either CPS or the courts (I do not recall which) decided it was time to return the child as the parents completed the case plan. The foster parents vehemently opposed as they considered the birth parents still unsafe, but case plan was completed and so there was no reason to *not* return the baby. Baby was returned, and murdered by the birth parents the very next day. You can imagine how devastated the foster parents were. Obviously that's a very extreme example, I'm just saying any rule has an exception.

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monkette31
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby monkette31 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:03 pm

Well, that all is very nice, except for the last story. Have you done any research at all regarding the abuses of the CPS? Sounds like you think everything is just dandy out here, that families are not intentionally abused and broken up? Have you read any of the numerous articles of CPS in any state abusing families and violating family rights? Do you know what title iv funds are? I am glad you are a good foster parent, i really hope you stick around and find out exactly and personally what CPS does. We have known many a foster parent just like you and then a few years later, they are here, looking for help. CPS does turn on foster parents and take their children and families to court as well. Just saying, beware.
I'm not a lawyer but will try and help you any way i can. My postings may seem harsh but they all stem from personal experience with DCFS. I am not a victim and take responsibility for my part in my life, but I will always help ANYONE learn about the corrupt sick system.

heavyaaron
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby heavyaaron » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:41 am

monkette31 wrote:Have you done any research at all regarding the abuses of the CPS?


I've read more than you'd probably guess. On top of that I have a natural inclination to distrust government (I'm a libertarian). But the actual accusations of widespread corruption always seem to come from either extremely biased sources (parents who have undergone removals, defense lawyers, etc.) or have a tin-hat wearing feel to them. I don't think any one claims that the system or CPS is ideal, but I don't see compelling evidence of widespread conspiracy.

Nor has my personal experience with cases led me to ascribe malevolent intent on any party - but keep in mind, as I do, that since CPS is a local system, and there are many people and moving parts, that any personal experience (mine included) are not necessarily representative of the national system as a whole. Most birth parents are involved in, at most, *one* case with the system. You definitely cannot conclude anything about the nationwide system of millions of cases per year based off of one single experience to which you were anything but objectively aware.

Sounds like you think everything is just dandy out here, that families are not intentionally abused and broken up?


I have to reinterpret your question to make sense of it. I'll answer the question "... that families are broken up without an earnest belief that it was justified?" And that's true, I do not believe that families are broken up without an earnest belief that it is justified. Is it sometimes in error? Given the numbers involved, absolutely. Is it sometimes legally justified, but possibly still not for the best? Again, given the numbers, absolutely. But I think we're talking about uncommon or even rare outcomes, not the frequent, run-of-the-mill cases. I do *not* claim that "everything is just dandy out here," and I'm not sure how you would have reached that conclusion.

One of the things that does deeply bothers me is that for most of the involved individuals in a case, this is the day-to-day set of events that goes on - just another day at the office, as it were. Whereas for the families involved it is foundationally important in their very lives. As such the courts, lawyers, case workers, etc. take each case in a professional, detached, almost uninterested fashion. Whereas the effected parties are literally involved with every fiber of their emotional being. I don't have any suggestions here. It's just that, given the paramount importance of the outcomes to effected parties, it is difficult for all of the professionals to give it the same weight and consideration (they'd probably go mad within a few days if they tried.)

"Have you read any of the numerous articles of CPS in any state abusing families and violating family rights?"

As above, yes. But again, articles forwarding such a thesis are invariably from a serious bias or conspiracy theorists. I'm a scientist. My beliefs are easily changed when provided convincing, objective evidence. I'm sorry, but I have not reached the same conclusions you have based on the available evidence. It is not that I am unaware of it.

Have you done the reverse? Have you actually spoken with CPS employees apart from a case involvement? Or foster agencies? Or the police? Or foster parents? Or CASAs? Or former foster children? I have had dozens of off-the-record, personal conversations with such persons. And I have yet to encounter anyone who had the slightest hint of anything but a sincere desire to do the best that they can for the children. I've heard a lot of frustrations with obstacles to that objective. But never anything that would cause me to question intentions.

"Do you know what title iv funds are?"

Student aid? What relationship are you implying?

I am glad you are a good foster parent, i really hope you stick around and find out exactly and personally what CPS does. We have known many a foster parent just like you and then a few years later, they are here, looking for help.


How many is "many"? Versus how many foster parents do you think there are? You are probably talking about a literal one-in-a-million. That you would draw conclusions based on that makes no sense. If one-in-a-million foster parents had trouble with CPS, I'd consider that remarkably good!

CPS does turn on foster parents and take their children and families to court as well. Just saying, beware.


Again, CPS has no sticks or carrots on me. Obviously, if I was abusing or neglecting the children in my care they would be removed the same as any other family. But that's pretty absurd on its face. Both we as parents, and our house, are held to much higher standards, and are frequently inspected, it makes little sense that we would ever be below the lower standards that CPS uses for its investigations. We'd have to first have had to drop below the standards required to maintain our foster licenses. Even if you want to suggest that CPS could levy unwarranted charges against us, we'd have ample evidence in defense in the form of countless objective, regular, and professional inspections, certifications, and the like. Of course, since I do not ascribe malevolent intent to CPS, I'm also less likely to have anxiety over future relations.

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family_man
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby family_man » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:44 am

Hello heavyaaron, and thank you for joining this forum!

Most of the people who come here believe they have suffered a great injustice at the hands of CPS and the justice system, and in many cases, perhaps most of them, they are right. They are looking for independent advice from people who have been through similar experiences. However, I don't believe that a majority of cases out there represent such injustices. Instead I believe that most cases are handled in a reasonable manner, in what is perceived to be the best interests of the children. It is only in this rather small minority of cases that false diagnoses of the situation are made by the caseworkers, service providers and/or court system. Once made, these false diagnoses are then cast in stone, and a juggernaut of poor decisions is started which is very difficult to alter.

In my case, I strongly believed that putting my children into foster care was unnecessary and would be detrimental to them. However, once that was done, I only had praise for how the foster parents cared for and nurtured my children, and treated them like they were their own. When it was time for them to be reunited with me, they threw a big party for everyone and helped move everyone back to my house. After it was all over, I nominated the foster parents for special recognition within the local child care community. My only criticism, which is very minor, is that the foster parents were a bit too quick to accept CPS rationalizations for why it was necessary to remove the children from our home. There are always at least two sides to every story, and foster parents hear only the CPS side. You should keep this in mind. Don't automatically denigrate or condescend to parents because of the terrible things CPS has told you about them. They may be exaggerated or not even true. Do not pass any of these bad things on to the children, or you will cause them to distrust or even fear their natural parents. Consider yourself and the natural parent(s) to be co-equal partners in a team whose ultimate goal is reunification. If you follow these general guidelines, you will be a great foster parent.

Thank you for your service.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, and this is not legal advice.

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monkette31
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby monkette31 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:07 am

If there's anything else i can do for you, let us know, meanwhile I'll be helping some poor family out here victimized by the cps system. :D
I'm not a lawyer but will try and help you any way i can. My postings may seem harsh but they all stem from personal experience with DCFS. I am not a victim and take responsibility for my part in my life, but I will always help ANYONE learn about the corrupt sick system.

heavyaaron
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby heavyaaron » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:05 am

family_man wrote:Hello heavyaaron, and thank you for joining this forum!


Thanks for the welcome.

Most of the people who come here believe they have suffered a great injustice at the hands of CPS and the justice system, and in many cases, perhaps most of them, they are right.


I've read through a few dozen of such threads on the boards thus far. As I'll go into below, I try *not* not make judgments on the veracity of the charges; it's not my place. As I've said before, I am certain that there exist both cases where the charges are true and those where the charges are false. I strongly believe that in the clear majority of the charges are, unfortunately, true. But I do not pretend to know which cases are which. There's a double edged sword though. I don't believe the charges are true just because CPS alleges them, but I also do not believe someone is innocent just because they claim to be either.

They are looking for independent advice from people who have been through similar experiences. However, I don't believe that a majority of cases out there represent such injustices. Instead I believe that most cases are handled in a reasonable manner, in what is perceived to be the best interests of the children. It is only in this rather small minority of cases that false diagnoses of the situation are made by the caseworkers, service providers and/or court system.


I'm glad our perceptions on that are in agreement.

Once made, these false diagnoses are then cast in stone, and a juggernaut of poor decisions is started which is very difficult to alter.


I think that's likely, too, as well. Do you have a recommendation for reform? Having been though some time in the system now, I find myself at a bit of a paradox. I think the system sucks; and yet I have difficulty coming up with improvements. It's just so hard to build a good system to deal with such evil situations that it must address.

In my case, I strongly believed that putting my children into foster care was unnecessary and would be detrimental to them.


I do believe that would be easy to occur. Obviously CPS is not popular here (by the very definition of the place.) But I would not take on their responsibilities for any amount of money; certainly not for the pittance they get paid. The decision to remove or not is a horrible one. A mistake in one direction unnecessarily rips a family apart. A mistake in the other endangers a child. The stress of making that kind of weighty decision on a daily basis would kill me from stress within a week.

However, once that was done, I only had praise for how the foster parents cared for and nurtured my children, and treated them like they were their own. When it was time for them to be reunited with me, they threw a big party for everyone and helped move everyone back to my house.


I am pleased to hear that you had the good fortune of working with quality foster parents. That is pretty well how it is supposed to go.

After it was all over, I nominated the foster parents for special recognition within the local child care community. My only criticism, which is very minor, is that the foster parents were a bit too quick to accept CPS rationalizations for why it was necessary to remove the children from our home. There are always at least two sides to every story, and foster parents hear only the CPS side. You should keep this in mind. Don't automatically denigrate or condescend to parents because of the terrible things CPS has told you about them. They may be exaggerated or not even true.


That is sound advise I would second to any foster or prospective foster parents. My personal rule is that it is not my job to weigh in on disputed charges. I try not to even debate within my own head what of them may or may not be true. That's the job of the courts. Of course, I'm also not perfect and sometimes do have a belief as to what I think likely happened, but that I keep to myself. The reality, though, is that much of the time the charges are not refuted - they are admitted outright. The facts are not in dispute - it's a matter of willingness and ability of the parents to be fit within the timelines.

The other area where I cannot be detached from the facts are when the children want to talk about the events (a rarity.) While taking a child's account of anything at face value would be naïve in the extreme, I am not going to deny or minimalize any accounts a child gives me; especially when the correspond to other findings. My role in such a situation is to be a good listener and empathize. Importantly I'm an information *receiver* not transmitter in such conversations. The children do not know that I know anything of the background outside of what they themselves tell me.

Do not pass any of these bad things on to the children, or you will cause them to distrust or even fear their natural parents. Consider yourself and the natural parent(s) to be co-equal partners in a team whose ultimate goal is reunification. If you follow these general guidelines, you will be a great foster parent.


Again, I think we are very much on the same page.

Thank you for your service.


I appreciate the sentiment. It's always funny to me where the "thank yous" come from. The deepest and most sincere are always former foster children that are now adults. (Not people I've personally parented.) The most perfunctory are those from the courts, foster review boards, and such. Birth parents, it seems, either hate or love foster parents. Over the course of a case it tends to go from hate to love. Thank yous do not come from current foster children - but of course no parent expects thank yous from children for being parents.

It's just not like other areas of life. Those I've never met thank me while weeping, while those I spill blood and tears over do not even realize the sacrifice.

A few questions, if you don't mind. I do not wish to pry. But if you are willing to share, I'd appreciate it. As I said, I do have a purpose here and that is to better learn the perspective of the birth parents so that I can do a better job.

- You've had mostly positive things to say about those that fostered your children, so I'd like to know what they did well:
-- You mentioned the reunification party. I think that's an awesome idea. I may even pick that up as a habit when possible. Was it during the transition back, or post transition? Post-transition I would think the birth family wants some space and a break from my involvement. During transition seems a bit pre-mature. God help the children if we have such a party and then something prevents the reunification.
-- Are you still in touch with the foster parents? Birthdays, Christmas, etc.?
-- Since you feel the removal was uncalled for, did you need/want support/mentoring/advice from the foster parents? Did you (would you) resent it if it was offered without being requested?
-- anything else notably good?

- Negative stuff is even more useful to me.
-- You said they too easily believed in the CPS account of the events. What led you to believe that? I.e. how would you know what the foster parents did or did not believe?
--- It occurs to me that perhaps birth parents think I believe CPS without question, after all, I never question them! But that's because it's not my job to question either CPS or the parents' account.
--- So then it's a matter of, how do you suggest I approach this? My current strategy is to not address it at all. But perhaps I can do better. I just don't see how.
- Surely you have more than the one complaint? Even the quickest of cases are long enough for there to be a lot of interaction. I think I'd be pretty critical of the parenting prowess of someone else who is actively parenting my kids; especially if it wasn't someone I chose.

Neither positive nor negative:
- How old was/were your child(ren) at the time of removal?
- How do you feel about the child(ren) calling the foster parents mom/dad?
Last edited by heavyaaron on Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

heavyaaron
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Re: Nervous hello

Postby heavyaaron » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:13 am

monkette31 wrote:If there's anything else i can do for you, let us know, meanwhile I'll be helping some poor family out here victimized by the cps system. :D


Cheers. I appreciate the good attitude there. Having settled that we just don't see the system in exactly the same light, I think we do agree that it could stand some improvement. But since neither of us have much power to achieve that, how about a more pragmatic question.

Given that many birth parents feel similarly about the system that you do, how can I reassure any such parent that I have no desire to "steal" their children or otherwise collaborate in any conspiracy against them? How can I believably show my honest, good-willed intentions to merely be the best temporary parent I can be to the children of parents who believe that the system is against them?

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Re: Nervous hello

Postby whosechildrenarethey » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:17 pm

The way the Child Welfare System is run is reason enough for parents to be suspicious of the true motives and intentions of Foster Parent's in my humble opinion. Thinking back on my own personal experiences with CPS I'm persuaded that unless and until you're on the receiving end of being accused of abusing/neglecting your children, having to stand back while the state kidnaps your children, presumed by all to be guilty being forced to prove your innocence and then being thrown into a court system of no due process you just really have no idea until you have some of your own skin in the game.

I personally had and have no beef with Foster Parents in general. There are a few things I think any parent who finds themselves having to fight for their right to be a parent and have their children returned to their care and custody do naturally resent in relationship to Foster Parent's. Adopting a child can be very costly if one goes the traditional route. Combine that with high annual abortion numbers resulting in a shortage of infants available for adoption and many people turn to fostering as an inexpensive expeditious route to find and procure a child. Foster parent's are paid rather nicely for their efforts as well. They rake in a lot more than relative caregivers. Foster Parent's can attend hearings and receive copies of case plans and have released to them all kinds of private and personal information related to the children and their family, school, medical etc... Unless and until a parent's rights have been terminated they're right to privacy should be respected. Foster Parent's are asked by Case Managers to create what they call life books memorializing our children's stay with their fosters. WHO DOES THIS KIND OF STUFF? A better question might be, how could anyone involved think the natural parent's and their children would wish to have this done? As if any wrongfully accused parent or the helpless child want to memorialize what to them is a nightmare. In my own personal experience I had any number of issues with establishing visitation with the children because the Foster Parent made herself unavailable so much so that it took an additional hearing and a court order to straighten it all out. I don't think there is a parent alive that wouldn't resent that kind of interference.

The Child Welfare Agency's also have what I believe is at the very least, a questionable relationship with the Contracted CPS Case Mangement paid for with Federal Funds. CPS does the actual investigations resulting from hotline tips and mandatory reporters. If the children are removed, then the case is turned over to a Case Management Contractor who works for the Agency that is charged with adopting our children out. Suppose you tell me how people managing a child welfare case with the authority to sway a courts decision's on one end, work with and for the people who will receive and then adopt out children whose family's have had their parental rights terminated are supposed to be trusted to tell the truth and be impartial in their documenting? It smacks of collusion, it reeks of conflict of interest and is rife with corruption and at times feels like legalized child trafficking.

We can't have an honest discussion about this without understanding fully how this well greased machine known as CPS is run.

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Re: Nervous hello

Postby heavyaaron » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:00 pm

whosechildrenarethey wrote:The way the Child Welfare System is run is reason enough for parents to be suspicious of the true motives and intentions of Foster Parent's in my humble opinion.


I'm curious what alternative motivations you would/have entertained. Quite frankly, other than the intrinsic rewards of parenthood and charity work, I don't get anything out of it. It takes a lot of time and effort, rarely even resulting in even acknowledgement. I cannot fathom how anyone could believe in selfish motivations. A regular truth among foster parents is an occasional questioning of why am I doing this? Because there are so few good answers to that question. My go-to answer is "because someone has to."

Thinking back on my own personal experiences with CPS I'm persuaded that unless and until you're on the receiving end of being accused of abusing/neglecting your children, having to stand back while the state kidnaps your children, presumed by all to be guilty being forced to prove your innocence and then being thrown into a court system of no due process you just really have no idea until you have some of your own skin in the game.


I don't doubt that anyone dealing with a removal has some pretty seriously strong emotions involved. That's only reasonable. Obviously, I accept that that's just a fact. There's not a lot I can do about that. Obviously, I deal with the children's emotions. But beyond acknowledging the parents' emotions, I don't consider it my job to deal with them in any way. I think you are just looking for acknowledgment that the emotions are real, strong, and warranted. And I grant all of that. If you have a point here beyond that, could you restate it?

I personally had and have no beef with Foster Parents in general.


Good to hear.

There are a few things I think any parent who finds themselves having to fight for their right to be a parent and have their children returned to their care and custody do naturally resent in relationship to Foster Parent's.


I'm more than interested in those listed. I'm not sure if you intended what follows to be that list, as they don't seem to apply generally.

Adopting a child can be very costly if one goes the traditional route. Combine that with high annual abortion numbers resulting in a shortage of infants available for adoption and many people turn to fostering as an inexpensive expeditious route to find and procure a child.


Certainly a number of people are interested in fost-adopt. I do not happen to be one of them, but yes, a lot of foster parents are interested in adoption. I do not know the motivations for all such people going that particular route; no doubt that they are varied. What I am certain of is that you are making an uncharitable generalization here. I know a lot of these families personally; and for at least those that I know it's not about adopting cheaply, but adopting the otherwise less adoptable. Perhaps your feeling/belief is common, though, so what can I, as a foster parent (not looking to adopt at all) do to reassure birth parents that we are not trying to steal away their children?

Foster parent's are paid rather nicely for their efforts as well.


Yeah, this always gives me a chuckle. I'm in Arizona. Arizona is the most generous state for foster reimbursement levels relative to living expenses, and the reimbursements do not come close to covering our out of pocket costs. I can't imagine how lopsided other states must be. The reimbursements are less than $20/day per child. We are not just volunteers raising other people's children. We are financially worse off for the effort. But again, this perception of easy money is out there. So, how do you recommend that I reassure the birth parents that I am not motivated by the cash (lol), but by an interest in the welfare of children?

They rake in a lot more than relative caregivers.


Rake in... yeah, okay... I'm just living the dream! It pays so well, that's why there's always a shortage of foster homes.

As for relative to kinship, I am not aware of any difference in reimbursement, at all. Maybe it varies by state? In any event, I never understood why kin get any reimbursement in the first place; what family needs to be reimbursed to take care of their own? Perhaps that's best left as a topic for another day.

Foster Parent's can attend hearings and receive copies of case plans and have released to them all kinds of private and personal information related to the children and their family, school, medical etc...


And we need it. How am I supposed to handle medical appointments, school enrollment, etc. without medical records? How am I supposed to deal with taxes without SSNs? How am I supposed to deal with any of life's official interactions without those sorts of records? If it helps, we are under confidentiality agreements to not divulge such information. I only have what I need, and I need what I have.

Unless and until a parent's rights have been terminated they're right to privacy should be respected.


And it is. Everyone is on a need to know basis.

Foster Parent's are asked by Case Managers to create what they call life books memorializing our children's stay with their fosters. WHO DOES THIS KIND OF STUFF? A better question might be, how could anyone involved think the natural parent's and their children would wish to have this done?


This is interesting to me. We absolutely do create such books. If the case goes to severance they can be all the child has of their life to date. If they go to reunification the birth parents can do what they like with them, but I've only received gratitude for them. It never even crossed my mind that someone would be offended by them - trust me, they take a lot of work to do correctly. Since, quite frankly, we are not about to stop this practice, do you have any recommendations as to how such books might be presented to the birth families upon reunification to prevent inadvertent offense?

As if any wrongfully accused parent or the helpless child want to memorialize what to them is a nightmare. In my own personal experience I had any number of issues with establishing visitation with the children because the Foster Parent made herself unavailable so much so that it took an additional hearing and a court order to straighten it all out. I don't think there is a parent alive that wouldn't resent that kind of interference.


I don't understand. How was the foster parent's schedule relevant? Was the foster parent acting as the visit supervisor as well?

The Child Welfare Agency's also have what I believe is at the very least, a questionable relationship with the Contracted CPS Case Mangement paid for with Federal Funds. CPS does the actual investigations resulting from hotline tips and mandatory reporters. If the children are removed, then the case is turned over to a Case Management Contractor who works for the Agency that is charged with adopting our children out. Suppose you tell me how people managing a child welfare case with the authority to sway a courts decision's on one end, work with and for the people who will receive and then adopt out children whose family's have had their parental rights terminated are supposed to be trusted to tell the truth and be impartial in their documenting? It smacks of collusion, it reeks of conflict of interest and is rife with corruption and at times feels like legalized child trafficking.


This is not an arrangement I am familiar with so cannot comment. What I can say is that it's not like that here. The organization I work most closely with, that is responsible to pairing foster and/or adoptive homes with children of matching needs, is my foster agency. We have 17 such agencies in my metro area. They are an independent non-profit organization and do not answer to CPS.


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