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Merkin

Foster Care: I'm From the Government and I'm Here To Help You

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You may have thought that we have a generally practised foster care system in this country.  Guess again.  If you are a homeless teen be careful to choose the right state to be homeless in.  http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/06/14/giving-group-homes-a-21st-century-makeover

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I'm concerned about what happens to the kids in those states/counties where group homes are forced to close due to the funding cuts. Will they somehow manage to find foster families for them? If not, will they stay in a group home that has no funding, meaning no clothes, no food, no supervision...?

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The ones I worry about in LA are the ones given to families who are signed up for kids only for the money that comes with them monthly.  Often the care the kids get is minimal, or less.   We've heard many horror stories, and even of deaths of young ones.  The system is drastically undermanned, every kid in a social worker's charge needs a multi-page report written about them each month, and the worker has almost no time to actually check on each child.

The system here is beyond broken.

C

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My parents were both social workers and we saw some of the problems up close. On a few occasions we even ended up as a very temporary foster family. (usually <72 hours)  The problem was always "what are the options?" and there are very few. And this was back in the days that most of the kids were local yokels. Today the greater problems is immigrants. Families arrive with zero preparations to live in American society and come face to face with "The System". They don't know the language, the culture, the infrastructure... nothing. Education and marketable skills are limited or non-existent. They have hope for a better life, which is a great start, but where do they go from there?

Where are the funds supposed to come from to support programs for these folks? Nancy Pelosi makes $193k (same as Mike Pence) in salary and I don't see their donations.  How many people here at this website have put off buying a new car and sent the money to a juvenile center? (And yeah - don't be surprised when the money gets used for new office furnishings instead of on the kids.)

It's ugly out there, but so far I haven't seen Bill and Melinda donate their billions to an actual, functioning, kid-centric system. Nor do I honestly expect to see it any time soon. The crisis seems more useful in generating political heat than solutions.

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There was a series of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle in May thru July, 2017 titled Fostering Failure about the problems at many county-run foster facilities in California, and the inclination to turn a kid over to the police for a minor infraction like hitting another kid with a blanket instead of handling it at the foster facility level. I hope this link works for those interested in what is, unfortunately, the way we treat kids in the foster system in California and probably many other states.

Colin  :icon_geek:

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On 6/16/2018 at 1:13 AM, ChrisR said:

. Today the greater problems is immigrants. Families arrive with zero preparations to live in American society and come face to face with "The System". They don't know the language, the culture, the infrastructure... nothing. Education and marketable skills are limited or non-existent. They have hope for a better life, which is a great start, but where do they go from there?

I support your entire comment, ChrisR, but this appears to be a crucial point.  Children from immigrant families have overwhelmed the "juvenile care system" as we know it, and it is unable to respond. In fact, it was never constituted to be able to respond to what is, indeed, a situation a whole order of magnitude more complicated and significant in its own right.  I believe we should separate this element of the care puzzle from the purview of our presently in-place juvenile care apparatus and invent one that works for immigrant families.  I don't have the answers but it is clear to me that undertaking necessary reforms to our present "system" has been overtaken and overwhelmed by the current situation with immigration in almost all of our states, yet it is, I think, a somewhat different set of problems.  We actually have two crises on our hands.  Both of them demand our attention.

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