Episode 77 – Abuse In Foster Care

We respond to a recent news story about allegations of abuse within a foster care home.  We’ve got some specifics ideas on what can prevent this kind of thing from happening and what YOU can do about it.

The news story we reference can be found here.

7 thoughts on “Episode 77 – Abuse In Foster Care

  1. Great podcast! Especially since I was in listener corner, does that mean you’ll be mailing a dunce cap to me? Thanks for addressing my concerns and questions. Very informative as always. We turned in our application and have our first interview with the agency next week!

    When I saw the title of this podcast I hoped you would address how foster parents can avoid false accusations. That is one of my concerns (among many) about becoming a foster parent. Those horror stories of false accusations that destroy good families are probably a small minority, but I’d like to be prepared.

    It’s good to hear that your girls are improving and making strides towards attachment!

    Best wishes to D&K, they have their hands full!

  2. Love the podcast! We are also foster parents – 2 years in – and I love hearing form other foster parents. We blog about our experiences…also from a Christian perspective. Thanks for all your work on the podcast – what an encouragement, and hopefully may inspire a few new fp’s!

  3. Hi Wendy and Tim,

    This episode reminded me why we do what we do and solidified our decision about taking another placement. (That means 4 kiddos for us!)
    I have been listening for a couple weeks now. A fellow foster mom told me about ya’ll and I just had to tell you how impressed I am with your honesty and the ballance of positive stories along with the challenges of fostering. You portray a very accurate picture of what fostering and adopting is really like.
    My husband and I have been fostering for 7 years now. We have had 7 children so far. Five have reunited with family and the other two will officially become our son and daughter this summer when we finalize their adoption. They are siblings, “B” age 6 and “J” age 7. After 3 years in foster care, they will finally have a forever family!! We feel privilaged that we get to be their mommy and daddy!

    Our biggest challenge as FP’s is that we have very little support from anyone (besides grandparents babysitting once a month or so). There is no support group in this area and we do not have the time right now to start one. The only small group at our church is the one we lead and the people in our group are new Christians who need a lot of encouragment and support from US but are not really able to give that back in return. Our 2 yr old (adopted through a private agency) has some pretty significant special needs that leave us feeling exhasted and alone! Do you have any suggestions on how to let people know WE NEED HELP!?? Our general feeling is that people have the attitude of: “You got yourself into this situation, so you can deal with it on your own.”

  4. Julie- Wow I get where you are at. We have a 4 year old bio son (an average kid) and a 2 year old foster daughter with special needs. We have no family in town but for a 20 year old cousin in college (she is great but busy with her life) and every one else seems to say “well you decided to take the foster kid- you had a “normal” son of your own and you got yourself into this, why should we care?” What I WISH I could say is this: if I had given birth to a second bio child with special needs, would you say that? Would people say “well you chose to get pregnant again, and look what you got? Deal with it.” Or would people say oh poor you how brave etc. I am guessing the reaction would be better if the special needs child was biologocally mine. In fact it should be the reverse- we as foster parents should get MORE support for taking on the task (burden or joy, depending on how you look at it) of caring for kids that we didn’t have to help. So true, I did not “have” to do this- I chose to. Good luck to you Julie and all my best wishes.

  5. Thanks Kim! Good to know we are not alone. I wish people could realize the joy that these kids can bring to your life if you let them. No one wants to babysit because they are a handful. They are missing out in my opinion!

    Also, more than babysitting, I need emotional support and encouragement. I need people to say “you are doing a good job” or “I can see how challenging this is, hang in there!”
    Instead, I hear: “So, you really want MORE kids??” which is my father in laws favorite question these days!
    I recently realized that we have not gotten together with three of our good friends since our older two were placed with us a year and a half ago. We have called them and written on facebook, but they always seem to be “busy”. We used to get together every other month or so and now…nothing. That hurts.

  6. Yeah, I also agree with jendoop. We’re just about to graduate our foster classes and they haven’t gone over how we can prevent being falsy accused of abusing. It’s especially concerning because my husband will be a stay-at-home-dad.

  7. Once again, I am years late to the party, but to everyone who will be retro listening or reading this, I just want to give you my experience of working with my county…

    4 years ago, the county voted the family court judge into office. This judge ran on the platform of cutting costs in foster care. She has continued to place children back at home without reasonable progress from the bio family.

    It was mildly disturbing at first, but has now drawn the ire and attention from every county social worker, child advocate, the DA and even bio family attorneys (that’s when you know the situation is truly escalating).

    It is not a rare occurrence for her rulings to go to appeal, and to then not be upheld. The higher court has overturned 3 already this year (it is currently July).

    Because there are so many fewer children coming into care, and the ones that are here dont stay for too long, our county now has more homes than children. This is how it actually SHOULD be, but the circumstances ought to be different. The county SHOULD have more homes so they can place kids with parents that can best care for the children- not just she there is an available bed. It should NOT be because the kids are being sent back to unsafe circumstances at home.

    When I called to find out about getting certifying in this county, they discouraged me, letting me know placements are mainly teens, no babies, and if I wanted to adopt, I should check out uskids.org instead of becoming a foster parent, because kids are sent home just as soon as they come into the system.

    I am sharing this as a case study of what Tim and Wendy already explained- each county is different. Just because there are fewer kids in foster homes right now does not mean there are fewer kids who need to be.

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