1.29.2009

Trying to find the words...

I've been formulating this post in my head since Tuesday night. I think I've rewritten it ten times and each time I get more frustrated.
So rather then not posting at all, I will just write from my heart and let you take from it what you will.

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time you know that I am a huge advocate for foster care and foster care adoptions.
Of course I wish that all parents understood the value of a child and treated their children the way they deserve to be treated, you know food, clothes, love.
But the reality of our World is that parents don't always do what's best for their children. Kids are neglected, abandoned, abused, forsaken, everyday.
And that's when foster care steps in.
In my mind, it's a caseworkers job to advocate for the child. To speak for those without a voice, to protect the most innocent of the victims.

Andrew and I attended our counties Foster Parent Association meeting on Tuesday.
It was basically a meeting to let the foster parents ask any questions or bring up any concerns that they had in a group setting. I'm sure to keep the case workers from having to answer the same questions over and over.
Our main question was why there had been a complete drop off in placement calls in the past few months.
Until last September, we had been receiving at least one call a month. But since then we have not heard a word from DFCS which is surprising considering the economy, especially in our county. I would have assumed an increase in neglect or unfit living conditions resulting in more placements.

I am still, 2 days later, in complete shock about the answer that the case worker gave.

And I quote, "Due to the recent budget cuts the department is facing, we won't be bringing kids into care if they just have a couple bruises. You know what I'm saying?"

Ummm, no Ma'am, I'm pretty sure I do not know what you are saying. Is it not your job to care for the kids? A couple bruises are OK now?
Our county took NO children into care in the past 3 months. I would be rejoicing that parents are finally taking care of their kids if that was the case, but it isn't.
What the hell is wrong with our country when we are spending millions of dollars on road construction while telling a child with two black eyes that there just isn't enough money for us to protect them?!?!
This is a statewide budget cut for foster care.
My heart literally hurts when I consider the number of kids that are being left in harmful, emotional or physical, situations so that we can get tax cuts.
I am not a fan of Welfare or redistribution of wealth. I don't like most of the programs that the government has to help the poor. I'm sure some of them are actually benefiting people who honestly need the help, but I know far too many situations where pure laziness is rewarded.
But even though I do not support many Welfare programs, I fully believe that it is our responsibility to protect children.
For Heaven's sake, they are children.


Andrew used to work for an organization that did trainings for foster parents.
On the way home from the meeting he told me he remembered this happening about 10 years ago. Budget cut backs forced DFCS to limit the number of kids that were brought into care.
That summer, four children who were referred to DFCS for abuse but were not taken into care due to budget cuts were killed by their birth parents.
Only then did the State cry out for reform for the foster care system.

This is Terrell Peterson.
He was 5 years old when he was beat to death by people in his own family.
DFCS had been notified numerous times about his abuse but he was left, forgotten, let down once again by people who were supposed to protect him.
His horrific beating that resulted in his death was the one that finally caught every one's attention.
His death was only 10 years ago.My, how quickly we have forgotten little Terrell.

Lord, please put your covering over the innocent children that are the true victims of these "budget cuts." I pray that you would rally your people in a miraculous way, ignite a flame of passion to protect these children. Send us to be your hands and feet. Only you can save them now.

16 comments:

Elizabeth said...
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Lani said...

I have tears in my eyes reading this. I don't know what the answer is but I agree that those budget cuts are a horrible tragedy and something should be done.

Kameron said...

OMG, that is terrible. I have been talking to my husband about getting involved in fostering. I have a lot more research to do, but I really have felt compelled to do something to help. I might be asking you some questions in the near future.

Lost In Splendor said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, but I have yet to comment until now. This breaks my heart. I was literally crying while reading it.

It is so heartbreaking to think of all of the children both in the system and in bad homes.

I'll be honest with you I always loved adoption, but I always thought I might have some children of my own someday too. However, since finding and reading your site I am totally on board with fostering/foster-to-adoption.

It just breaks my heart.

I'm Angela, btw from www.lostinsplendor.com

The Glover Family said...

This is the real reason we all blog. Once in awhile we can share something truly meaningful with others and ask for their help.

This is the most important thing you've ever written. Can we do anything to help, except pray?

The Glover Family said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brooke said...

It's truly terrible! Your voice is what others are hearing, and as you continue to spread the word, people will listen. I agree with the Glover Family - is there something WE can do? Do you know somewhere we can write, who we should contact? Thank you for making your readers aware of this.

Amber said...

Wow...I'm speechless.

Bev said...

God help them and us all. When the government is too big to help someone small...there is a problem!

There was no one to help 30 years ago when so many people, including myself, were being beaten, shot, sexually abused and other atrocities. People ask me often: Didn't they do something? "NO"

I survived. God is stronger than that. I don't know the answer to each child's hell right now. I do know that HE does and He will answer.

We have to have hope that He is bigger and ask HIM what each of us is to do. There is no sense in anyone going through hell on earth. Seek Him for what He wants you to do to help.

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

My heart is breaking for these children. I can't understand how anyone can hurt someone so innocent, someone so dependent on them, and I can't understand how it could be OK to let any child sit in a situation that is harmful. No child deserves that. I will be praying for the state of the children, for their welfare and well being in these hard economic times. How can we expect our country to turn around if we turn our backs on those who need us most.

Lindsay said...

as my parents are Foster parents and my main goal in life is to be a social worker, it makes me angry inside that a case worker said this...it makes me angry inside, I have seen so many budget cuts here in Seattle, they are firing lots of people who work for the DSHS..but still these Kids need to be protected..there is no reason as to why, kids who are being harmed should be left in the home.....even if there are budget cuts... Jesus, help protect these innocent Children...

Melanie said...

I worked in a group home for just over two years with girls that were in the foster care system. We had ages from 3 to 19 there. It was difficult everyday to see the conditions physically and emotionally that the children were in. Unfortunately, these kids slip through the cracks everyday and it's so painful to watch. This country needs more people like you that care about these children and their welfare!

Crystal said...

How horrible. This really brought tears to me eyes.

I hope one day I can do something to help out.

Missy said...

This was the most horrible thing i think i've heard. I know things like this happen and i know there are children all over the world that are hurting. I don't understand how something can just be overlooked as "it's just a bruise".....i can't wrap my mind around that. My heart breaks for these children who have no one to turn to. I will be praying for them.

Betsy said...

Thank you so much for being a champion for all the children in America who are lost in the system. You truly are a guiding light.

Ashley said...

I just found your blog thru MckMama. :) I am foster mom myself and find myself thinking the same exact things that you posted... word for word. While I love fostering, it's hard to advocate what's really best for these kids when almost everyone else (DCFS/the state)has other motives that better suits their bottom line (budget & numbers on paper). I could go on & on, sadly.