Friday, June 15, 2007

Foster Parent Allegation - States need to do something now!

They had a heart for those with less. The couple who had two of their own biological children wanted to give back. So they went to foster child training. They were certified and then sort of let it go because many of the stories they heard were disturbing. To the credit of the state they attended training in, no punches were pulled and counselors/social workers shared the toughest and some of the ugliest from bedwetting by older kids to firesetting to sexual deviation. Marty and Mary didn't really want to subject their children to such and so they simply marked the experience off as educational.

Only months after the training, a close friend of Marty and Mary brought a concern to them about children who were being neglected in their biological home. The friend was very concerned for two at-risk girls especially. Marty and Mary listened and couldn't put down the fact that they might be the ones to help out since they were eligible foster parents.

Long story short, the two girls were pulled from their family and placed at Marty and Mary's home. They were a decade older than Marty and Mary's children and in high school. Marty and Mary poured out their heart to them and helped them through their issues and made them a part of their life. They thought about adopting, but the children didn't need it for their security, they were treating Marty and Mary as parents and family after only a few months.

Years have passed and both foster daughters have attended college and have degrees and are moving forward in their lives. Marty and Mary have always been strict in their home life and as the foster daughters get out in the world, some of their habits are of concern to Marty and Mary. The oldest foster daughter is asked to leave as she refuses to acknowledge a home curfew and other rules which Marty and Mary have always maintained. For now, we'll just call the oldest Betty. Betty is very bitter and leaves and estranges herself from the family. Barbara, the youngest continues to stay home and soon meets someone she believes will be the love of her life. Barbara is engaged and announces this to Betty, who is estranged.

Betty is very jealous and now some of the tough parts of Betty surface. You see, Betty has been passed over (in her mind) by her sister's ability to find a companion before her. She is jealous and envious and filled with rage. Betty reacts by jumping onto the Internet and advertising herself as "available". Betty refuses to be Barbara's maid of honor because she doesn't want to go to the wedding where Marty and Mary will be (even though it is a small one in the home). Betty remains estranged and bitter.

Five years pass and Marty's biological daughter Suzie has finished college and has now announced her engagement. Marty suggests Suzie ask Barbara to be her maid of honor. Barbara and her husband are over for dinner and Suzie poses the question expecting a yes and excitement and joy regarding the announcement of her engagement. Barbara's response is negative and she and her husband make a quick exit. The Marty and Mary household is flabbergasted. They ask themselves over and over, "Did we say something wrong?". What is the problem?

Two weeks later, Marty is summoned to the police station and is informed that a restraining order has been taken out against him! The order was filed by his eldest daughter. He doesn't know what to do. He is shocked and dismayed. The order is examined and questioned and a judge throws it out. A few weeks later, Marty is informed a second restraining order has been taken out against him and this one now by Betty! He goes to court to fight this just as the first and the judge will not even think about dropping the issue. Marty finds out there are 12 counts in addition to the order accusing him of sexual crimes committed over 15 years prior.

This story is true. What most people are never informed of, is that foster children are not stupid. They are very street savvy and the system actually hurts and destroys more children than it helps. Most children are abused more in the foster care system than they were prior to being pulled from their homes. They are most often abused by other foster children who are veterans and damaged by the system. Pulled from home to home in a shuffle of low budget money passing maintenance type behaviors, social workers simply pull, drop and move on. They are referred to by the little ones as "child grabbers". They are overworked with too many case loads and they are undertrained as the average life of a social worker in the public system is 6 to 12 months. They are simply managing chaos with no power to do much more than swap children amongst at-risk foster care homes. Now for the good stuff - Foster parent allegations are placed by foster children on an almost daily basis as a means to get out of a place the child doesn't like and move on to another "home". When an allegation is made, the foster child is immediately pulled and "protected". In most cases, any other children are pulled from the home and biological children of the foster family are also pulled from the home. Google "foster parent allegations" and read the horror stories.

Marty is now broke. He has had to hire a lawyer to defend him of all of the false allegations. You see Betty and Barbara were simply jealous of the wedding Marty was going to give Suzie. They had been passed over so many times, they simply wanted to make Marty's life miserable and hopefully disrupt the wedding. Little did they know that it would completely destroy Marty and his family life. Even though Mary is sticking by Marty, it's been hard. Marty's children are also sticking by Marty because they know in their hearts, that Marty is not capable of such horrific and heinous action. But the damage is now done. Marty's life will never be the same. The question of whether anything ever happened will sit over Marty by his peers for the rest of his life. His defense budget is all of his savings and all his equity of his entire adult life. Well into the six figures with no guarantee of "getting off". Marty will now have to wait and see and even if the judge throws it all out, the money is gone, the doubt will never be erased and Marty's life has now been ruined by a couple of teenage foster children who felt slighted because they couldn't have something that the biological child was granted.

Do you think you would foster older children after reading this story?

I was a foster child and I know the feeling of being passed over. It is not the fault of the children that they have these feelings. I place the blame solely in the hands of the system for placing a family at risk and not putting failsafes in place to protect against this type of action by a child. There are cases all over this country which deal with foster parent allegations. People are fighting for their biological children to be returned while they are now being abused by the same corrupt system that allowed Betty and Barbara to destroy Marty's family.

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