Something that seems pretty much universal no matter where you look in the country, on the continent, or even in the world, is the state of the child welfare agencies. Though they have names like “Child And Family Services of *insert place*”, they seem often, unaware or blind to there objective, the protection of children they are looking out for.
There is no shortage of big cases that make the national news, such as the Phoenix Sinclair ( http://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=cr#bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&fp=5b02d6e7fbf95d8c&q=phoenix+sinclair ) case out of Winnipeg. The ones that end nastily, always get the most media attention.
But what about the rest of the children?
I will be honest up front, this is a full on rant, that may or may not be mainly about a certain child welfare agency in my local area.
In any case, when it comes to the foster care system, and being in such a home, the picture that pops into my mind, is of a nice family home situation. Maybe a single parent or a couple, with adequate means to support a child, who has done all they can to show that they can be a good parent(s). And after adoption, my idea is that the agency can drop by for surprise visits, just to ensure that all is well.
But it seems that, possibly more often then not, such a common and sensible situation, just, isn’t the case in reality.
Take one person whom I know. They were put into the foster system, because there biological single parent was having trouble when it came to discipline of the person at the time.
Though the parent tried to lay down the law of the house, the daughter would flat out refuse to follow, and pretty much made there own rules. So the parent reached out to the child welfare agency, both for help with the disciplinary situation, and because they had some other issues of there own at the time, that was affecting life in the home.
And so the daughter was sent away, and placed into a foster home (a family of 3, one son), which at the time looked to be an ideal and nice place.
But as time moved on, cracks appeared in the facade.
The family also had in there care, at least 2 other girls, and they all shared the same room. At least one of them turned out to be a thief, so nothing of value could be left anywhere in sight or where it could be found. The parents were apparently lazy a lot, choosing to opt for fast food as opposed to cooking at home (im not against a treat every so often. But most of the time? No.). And one of the parents was a chain smoker, and insisted on smoking in the house.
It culminated one day, when the kid had an entire paychecks worth of cash on them, and the parents refused to take them to the bank to deposit it securely. As a result, one of the other foster girls got a hold of it. And by the time they found out, it was spent. The kid never got that money back.
Looking back, it becomes obvious that the parents interest was more about getting the regular check for each kid then it was about looking out for there well being.
Had there been surprise visits, that may have weeded these bad apples out.
But the problems of the child care system, do not just stem from inadequate supervision of foster homes and parents. Even the homes run by the personnel of the organization itself, can be a nightmare.
I know one person who grew up in such a group home, but turned out alright, but it seems he is a minority of sorts. I do not know his whole story, but I have a few of my own, having lived in the vicinity of one such place for much of my life.
A decade or so ago, a family bought a home on a quiet street in a nice neighborhood for a fairly good price, considering the size of the home and the land. The area was all around nice, but the home was situated next to a big 2 story place, which turned out to be a group home for troubled youth.
In the first few years, there was much friction between the kids of the home and the neighbors. Partly fueled by the words of one of the members of the organization, who stated that once the kids are off the property, they are not responsible for there actions. Which is frankly, FUCKING retarded.
Considering that if I committed a crime off my home property, my parent would be still responsible for me.
In any case, for the neighbors, after years of playing tag with higher ups in the organization, and eventually getting the home phone number of one of them, suddenly a fence was erected around the property.
This did a lot to solve the problem, since it gave more privacy then the tiny picket fence of old.
In recent years however, the problem changed.
Instead of the kids being the biggest problem, it went to the councilors. Just in there dealings with the neighbors alone, many of them are fucking MORONS.
I know someone who has been in an almost constant battle with them, and there assholery.
Mainly with there inconsiderate nature, of taking a shoveled parking spot in the front of the home next door, because they don’t bother to shovel out there parking areas, front or back. Its actually quite amusing to watch, because though the councilors try and use the same assholery on this guy as they do on there kids, the guy can be just as much of a prick, right back.
Its the most hilarious thing, and I bet the kids LOVE it.
And I have heard some interesting things, just from overhearing conversations within the yard of the place, all late in the evening.
I have heard the kids confronting there councilors for there immaturity, and rightfully.
I have heard the kids knock on the door of the place, sometimes for 30 or more minutes STRAIGHT, asking to be let in.
I have heard the kids begging to be let in to use the bathroom (a girl), then after awhile, overheard them say “thanks a lot, I pissed in the garden!”. Something tells me that this would fall under child abuse, for any other parent.
If the majority of the councilors are fucking jerk offs like this, its really no wonder that many of these kids turn out on the wrong side of the law.
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, I can not contain my disdain for the useless fucking organization that is supposed to be looking out for kids around here. Seriously, FUCK YOU you bunch of ignorant unintelligent fucking PRICKS!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that thats out of my system, we can talk solutions.
Though each area of the world has different specifics, what I will go though below, should be interchangeable.
First of all, foster parents need to be checked a LOT more then they are being checked now (if they are at all). And there should also be communication with the kids, so that the parents don’t just present a facade. A minimum number of foster children one can care for at a time, may also be helpful (weed out those just out for the extra money).
And when it comes to the group homes and other such settings, once again, get the fucktards the hell OUT of there. Its no wonder many kids grow up fucked up, if thats the bullshit they put up with.
And after that clean up is done, revamp the whole way the system works. If the kids are calling the place a home and living there, then why are the councilors there, running on shift work? Its no wonder they don’t give a fuck much of the time, they see it as a 8 or 12 hour job.
Get rid of the shifts, and start having them working in say, 1, 2, 3 day intervals. Have more then one, so that they can spell each other off and sleep. During that time, they will actually “live” in the place. This should do 3 things:
1.) Give them a better attitude, because if they start something, they are stuck with the consequences for more then a short time.
2.) Help them grow more appreciative of the neighborhood and its inhabitants.
3.) Weed out the people only working for the check, or out for the power trip.
Is this doable? I don’t know.
What I do know however, is we can sure as hell do better then we are now.