A woman I had just recently met was discussing some of the new abortion laws that were implemented in Georgia. She was against the new law and shared her concerns with me. One brilliant thing she pointed out in the new abortion movement is how this new law is going to affect the Foster Care System.
Before leaving the home I had grown up in, my mother was a dedicated foster parent who had about twenty to thirty different children come through in her home. For as long as I could remember, I also had a foster sibling. The children’s ages ranged from just a couple months old to teenagers.
Since I grew up around numerous foster children, what the women mentioned regarding the law hit home for me. Many people really don’t understand the Foster System at all. People think they know what children go through or what kind of family they are from, but people tend to under estimate the stories that these children bare for the rest of their lives.
One of the worst cases of abuse leading to foster care was the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning article, “The Girl in the Window” by Lane DeGregory in the Tampa Bay Times. If you want to take a better look at what some children face in their youth, please take the time to read this incredible story:
If you didn’t read the story (since it is extremely long and detailed), I’ll save you some time by giving you the part that hurt me and why I wrote this post.
Important excerpt from “Part 3: The Mother:”
“The earliest documents are from Feb. 11, 2002. That was when someone called the child abuse hotline on her [Dani’s biological mother]. The caller reported that a child, about 3, was ‘left unattended for days with a retarded older brother, never seen wearing anything but a diaper.’”
“Nine months later, another call to authorities. A person who knew Michelle from the Moose Lodge said she was always there playing Bingo with her new boyfriend, leaving her children alone overnight. ‘Not fit to be a mother,’ the caller said.”
If you read the story for everything it is worth, you will see how the Florida Department of Children and Family Services failed Danielle horribly. Two instances where Dani could have been saved, but instead was left with her biological family that was unfit to take of her.
The foster care system does everything it can to save children and keep families together, but it is still flawed. Currently, the foster care system holds nearly half a million children in the system across the country and the number continues to grow year after year.
Yes, the purpose of foster care is a program used to help children in abusive situations, but if we focused our efforts towards the rising drug problems and financial inflexibility, there wouldn’t be such a growing need a foster care system.