Those of us who live within the foster care system often at times find it to be somewhat less than perfect! We may feel that a particular case is taking much too long to be resolved. Or perhaps the targeted end goal for a foster child is not one that we agree with. Sometimes we just feel as though the whole foster system is too full of holes.
Often we hear on the news stories of abused children who were killed or seriously injured by their biological parents or relatives. Often we find out that a report had been called in but not adequately followed up on. It is not always the fault of the social workers or foster case workers that these children were missed. Too often our child welfare agencies are understaffed with inadequate funds to hire more help. These Child Care Workers are very often just as frustrated as we foster families are.
With so many children being placed in the Foster Care System, it is important that the supply of good, caring foster homes keep up with the demand. A Foster Home offers children who have been removed from their own homes a safe and nurturing place to stay, sometimes for a few weeks or possibly even a few years. A child who is placed in a “safe” foster home which turns out to be “unsafe” must endure even more pain and feelings of being unloved.
It is extremely important that families who decide to take on the responsibility of housing foster children have available to them all of the support and care that is necessary for them to maintain a loving, nurturing and safe environment in which these children can stay for as long as is necessary.
If you do not feel as though you are in a position to take in foster children, but would like to help in some way, there are things that you can do. If you know a foster family, you could offer to drive their kids to sports activities, or to doctor’s appointments. You could just visit with the parents and offer words of encouragement. These small gestures are ever so helpful in recharging the empty batteries that the foster parents may be running on. And it is a great way to feel better about yourself, too.
Please keep in mind that even though our foster system is not perfect, it is operating in the best interest of our country’s children. Imperfect human beings run imperfect organizations. That does not mean that the hearts of each worker is not in the right place. They are doing their best.
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