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.
- New advisory group hopes to improve state’s foster care (dispatch.com)
- State to pay $11 million to foster children from Tacoma ‘house of horrors’ (blogs.seattletimes.com)
- Foster children seek ‘semi-normal life’ (dispatch.com)