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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2 thoughts on “Foster Care Reform

  1. I was raised in the Michigan Foster Care system along with 6 of my siblings. 4 boys together, my older sister and I together (most of the time) and my baby sister all alone. Nearly every home we lived in there was terrible abuse. Bad people always find a way to be around children and the rest of us need to be Brave and step in. My sister and I were never hit by an adult until we were taken away from our mother.
    I love the CASA program. Just can’t imagine someone being there looking out for our interest as foster children. Society has paid a price for the negligence of my brothers. We have to do better!!!

    • Melody Annabel says:

      Michigan is known for having one of the worst foster care systems in the country. We do have to do better. The laws in Wisconsin are extremely rigid and it makes it very difficult to become a foster parent. But those laws are there for a reason. It doesn’t stop everyone. The best thing you can do to achieve reform is try and reach out to one child at a time. I am sorry you had to go through what you went through. My experiences in the system were not always pleasant either. I hope that when my foster kids leave my house they feel as if someone loved them even if it was only for a few days.

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