Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Don't Blame The Social Workers

... they're doing the best they can.

As a preliminary, among my Cursillo* friends is a married couple who have taken in foster children. Some of them have worked out and some of the children have been so badly damaged that nothing the couple did could bring normalcy to the child. It's a horror show, make no mistake, even for foster-parent couples that are doing everything they can.

Into this come reports from Oregon of abuses in their system. Pressed for time here, I won't quote them, you can read them at the link. The stories are right, but the narrative is wrong.

The problem isn't that the system allows abuses, it's that the system is overwhelmed. You can't have a 40% illegitimacy rate across the population and not expect to see this. Almost all foster children come from non-traditional homes. The more non-traditional homes you have, the more shattered foster children you'll have. At some point, you run out of places to put them and you end up sending wrecked kids into horrible situations because it's all you've got.

When we decided that the traditional, married, biological family was no better than any other and indulged ourselves in whatever we felt like at the moment, we created the conditions for what we're seeing now - a foster care system completely drowning in desperately hurting children.

Did we think we could go down this road without consequences?
* - Cursillo is a movement within the Catholic Church which helps us try to be better Christians.


tim eisele said...

So this got me wondering, what is the trend in the number of foster children over time? Is the number increasing? And I found this:

That looks - actually pretty stable, really. If the foster child system is overloaded, then it has been overloaded for at least the last 30 years.

K T Cat said...

On the other hand, the number of stable, traditional families who can take them in has been decreasing. So maybe it's not the supply of foster kids going up, it's the supply of foster homes going down. Let's see if we can get our resident social worker to weigh in...

K T Cat said...

Check this out.

K T Cat said...

From that link:

The shortage of foster homes across the nation can in part be attributed to the increase of children being placed into care. In some parts of the nation, there has been a sudden and large increase of children placed into care due much in part of an increase in parental drug usage and substance abuse, with Heroin use being the chief drug increasing among parents. Other substance abuse among parents include meth, cocaine and prescription medication abuse.

Renee said...

Over the past 30 years social services focus more on family preservation/keeping kids in the home/ in home services/ and kinship guardianship w/ children with family without the need of social services. It's mandatory to seek out the father, and his family members. Yes, that is sometimes a dead end but if we find someone willing and passes the application process it's one less home we have to find.

Just a volunteer with DCF in my state.

K T Cat said...

You wouldn't have to do that if there was a glut of foster homes and a dearth of foster kids.

K T Cat said...

Something else that occurred to me was that if social workers are trying to keep kids in family settings and out of the foster care system, then if the number of kids in the foster care system remains constant, there must be more kids in desperate situations which was the point of the post. All you've done is channel a set of them to different outlets which you've renamed. It makes the foster situation look much better than it is.

The motivation for the post originally was that the Oregon social services workers, almost all of whom are presumably postmodern progressives, deserve very little blame and lots and lots of praise. It's inconceivable to me that they are trying to screw over these kids, having given their lives to continual acts of love and charity.