Around February the 7th 1979 my siblings and I were placed in foster care. At the time, my mother had 11 children, and four years later four more siblings were added to the family. On this cold and misguided day we were placed into foster care. While in foster care, 2 of my sisters were adopted and my younger brother was placed into a mental institution. Not only did I have to cope with being physically challenged but now I had to cope with being in foster care for eight years and it was a living nightmare. I suffered every kind of abuse, psychological, physical, emotional, and sexual. I lived with a foster mother who for eight years never told me she loved me. What a nightmare for anyone to have to endure. From age nineteen to twenty nine I waged war with the department of social service, and I was blessed to get custody of 10 of my siblings, including my 2 sisters and my baby brother in the mental institution. I believe that there are some decent foster homes, but there are also many foster homes that are filled with day to day abuse. It is time to make a demand that the government would change the laws that govern our foster care system. We need to devise ways to see if we could keep more children home with their parents or a loving and mature family member. We can change the laws to weed out these abusive homes by sending eighteen-year-old to twenty-one-year-old social workers that would go undercover and act as foster children if there is a report of abuse in a foster home. We can also change the law if a child is being placed in foster care due to a lack of financial support from the parent. Whatever money a foster parent is paid could be given to the parent as long as the parent is not on drugs, alcohol, etc. We need to change the law if the child is taken from the parents that the family of the child should get visitation rights. Every child in foster care should be provided with counseling while in foster care. I cried out many times for help only to be denied and rejected by the foster care system. To all social workers we are more than just a file on a desk or in your file cabinet. We are real humans with real feelings. We don’t need foster care, we need real care. In my closure, please keep in mind I am the Ambassador of Hope and the author of the book “They said I wouldn’t make it.” This book can help you restore your faith and possibly help you to unite your family back together.
I understand in some cases good foster homes are needed, but to each foster parent it will be helpful if you would try to put yourself in the place of the child. Get educated and look at the positive side of foster care and also the negative side of foster care.
They could have kept us all together. Our mother was not on drugs or alcohol, nor was she abusive. She was just a single parent who had great love for her children. The money they gave the foster parent, they could have given to her.
What took me ten years to do they could have done in ten minutes. They could have given us back to our mom. If I was physically challenged and was blessed to pull my family back together and help raise ten of my siblings, my mother could have done it. Instead of tearing families apart lets see what we can do to help keep them together.
What could we have done to help keep them with their family?
Help us stay connected
Help change the foster care system laws
See if the biological parents qualify for the money given to the foster parents
If the parents lose their children, see if you can find the next of kin that is qualified to care for them
If the parents are out of the picture give the siblings and family visitation rights
Many foster kids feel as though they don’t belong, by the time they turn eighteen they are kicked out of the system. At that age they don’t belong to the foster family and many of them don’t feel like they belong to their own family. Lets help them connect so that they will know they do belong and don’t belong in prison.
To all foster children, you was Born 2 Win.