Foster Care Reform

Happy Children Playing Kids

Happy Children Playing Kids (Photo credit: epSos.de)

I see so many people on the internet complaining about needing foster care reform yet I never see anything being done about it.  There are so many things wrong with the foster care system that are in desperate need of reform.  The laws do not protect the children, they protect the parents and the social workers.  I have seen so many times kids going to places they should never be just because the social workers don’t want more work or because the judge believes the parents lies.  Its horrendous.

Wisconsin overall has a pretty good foster care system, but it is still lacking in many areas.  Including the fact that some homes in the state remain with unfilled beds, and children in larger cities are housed in shelter care which is basically jail for kids because there are no beds for them to go into.  This is ridiculous.  There is no system for the various counties to communicate with each other.  And since everything is run by the county, instead of by the state there is no obligation either.  So in smaller counties like mine, foster parents complain of open beds.  Counties with major cities in them have severe bed shortages.  We are less than an hour away and our county has open beds.  It is ridiculous.

Not to mention, the children who have to be repeatedly traumatized and abused so as not to hinder the parent’s rights before the court will step in.  Another problem is the kids who sit in foster care for years because of loopholes in the laws.  State of Wisconsin mandates that children in foster care 15 out of 22 months are required to go to termination of rights.  However if the parents basically work half their plan and do just enough to get by, the judge won’t authorize the termination.  The laws are written for the express reason of preventing kids from sitting in foster care for years and YET the judges disregard this law because of loopholes.  It is awful for the children.  It is disheartening for the foster parents.

I don’t even know what can be done to change this.  The laws are there but the judges have final say and they disregard the law.  Foster care reform will get nowhere if the judges don’t crack down and start making these parents work their plans.

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Bedrooms For Foster Children

So I am trying to think up ways to decorate my foster kids bedrooms.  I had thought I was the only one truly concerned with this but after visiting several forums where people are asking the same questions I decided to address the issue.

Herein lies the problem.  You don’t always know what gender or what age range of child you are going to receive.  In homes with narrow intake qualifications, this is less of a problem.  In an emergency home, like mine, you can get any age, any gender, any time.  Originally I though the best way to handle this would be to have one girls room and one boys room and one baby room since we have three rooms available. Well with now having a permanent child, we are down to only two rooms to work with.  And what happens if we get 4 boys?

You would think that decorating gender neutral would be a good idea with the exception of one problem.  The gender neutral stuff is ugly.  Like really ugly.  So I am at a loss as to how to decorate.  I want the rooms to  be fun not plain old white with “grandma-themed” bedspreads.  Our kids rooms look more like a hotel then an inviting personal space.

So I am now on the search for gender neutral, not ugly, welcoming, and all age-appropriate bedroom designs.  If anyone has insight or ideas, this lady would totally welcome them.