In the best interest of the child

 Here's something I've just come across. Hadn't heard of it before and quite frankly can't believe it. A Canadian child being held in the U.S. in foster care ....for nearly 2 years!!

 Calgary family tries to get son back


  1. Campbell - now you begin to see! This kind of thing is normal and common in the U.S.! The boy did nothing wrong. His mother has done nothing wrong. But, because the local social worker thought it was neglect - and it varies from county to county and state to state this definition of neglect - the child has lived in a place with strangers for no other reason than no bicycle helmet!

    Campbell, this is the same system that I fought for three years - and believe me, more damage was done to her by the strangers than I could have ever done to her.

    Sigh...this is what I have been writing about - foster care. This and adoption, two industries where parents have no rights and no one standing up for them.

  2. I've not just begun to see. I've seen forever people putting their own interests first before children.

    Our foster care system is imperfect also Lori, hopefully not as whacked out as this though. Now that it's gotten some major media coverage maybe something will be done. Unfortunately, it's too late. This kid has already more than likely been traumatized. With any luck he was with good foster people, because they do exist.

    It just sickens me how we treat kids. And Lori, I don't know if these parents are completely without blame, but the child should be sent back to Canada not subjected to some judge's view of pot smokers, if that's in fact the case. I know there are cases of over reaction by social workers, I used to fret about that myself when my son was little.

    USUALLY there's some impetus for a child to be removed. It may very well not be life threatening but how's the worker supposed to know? We've had babies who've been killed while government kept them with the family/mother. Start googling Phoenix Sinclair.

    Sickening, all of it. You say adoption and foster care are industries where parents have no rights. I say it's the children that have no rights, and no adults are standing up for them, including sometimes their "natural" parents who just "naturally" bond with them the minute they are conceived. Bunch of bullshit. The only myth around here is that conception and birth ensure bonding and attachment, perfect parenting, perfect matches, the "real" deal. That the world would be a better place and all adults would be perfectly healthy mentally had they just remained with their original parents.

    What's necessary in the foster care (and adoption) systems of the world is guaranteed safety for the children who are pulled out of their homes, legitimately or not, in order to protect them from the possibility of abuse, or death. This means kind, caring, foster families properly screened and maybe even not paid and parents having true access to their children while they wait or get their acts together. Or, until the children are adopted by people who can give them half a chance if that's necessary.

    Social workers need to be paid properly, assessed as to their ability to be compassionate and caring, be given the support necessary to perform their duties properly, be reassigned or fired if they've become jaded and/or indifferent, and a zillion other types of reform.


  3. I agree with everything you said Campbell. And I am not just patting you on the back...I really do.

  4. Campbell,

    A little about the U.S. child welfare system. In almost every state the child is assigned an attorney, a guardian ad litem and a social worker w/team.

    The parent however, is not given any assistance and if they can't afford an attorney it is highly unlikely that they will ever get their children back.

    A person without an attorney; with social workers saying that the child is in danger; a guardian ad litem who is probably also an attorney and agreeing with the social worker rather than doing their own foot work; and the child's attorney (who is paid by the state) all saying this person, who may or may not have a good job (not high paying, but steady) or who may or may not have done anything wrong, is a bad parent - who exactly do you think a judge is going to listen to?

    The legal system and social service system from Canada to the U.S. is extremely different. A parent that is accused (not found guilty of) any kind of neglect, abuse, gum chewing, whatever, automatically and without recourse (unless they know their rights) loses their children to the sytem.

    In the system here - and I have confirmation by a study done by the United States Attorney General's Office - 8 of 10 children either in foster care or adopted are abused, neglected or killed by their caregivers.

    Out of the system less than 3 in 10 suffer the same abuses.

    So, paying a social worker who is trained to remove children, who is kept in their jobs by tenure and seniority and who has no idea that they are actually causing more damage than good - is throwing good money after bad. And you failed to add in bonus money's received for returning so many children a year, even if the child is back in foster care within 60 days (ooops, we made a mistake, you did not do what you were told, come on kid).

    I think that the one thing you forget is that anytime someone is paid to do a job - including childcare - who feels that they are not being paid enough, tends to take their frustration out on the job. In the case of foster parents, it is the children. Even though most children are labeled special needs so that, believe it or not, the foster parent can take up to four foster children, full time, to the tune of almost $2,000 a month as well as 2 emergency beds that are paid by the night.

    Do the math - and then remember that the average American household of 4, with 2 working parents who may or may not have an education, is approximately $2000 a month. So, if you take foster children, do not give them more than the system demands (they get extra money for clothing and allowances), and you have 4 foster cildren, the household can be over $6,000 a month. Not counting funds for those 2 emergency beds and the fact that these children are more often than not totally excluded from any kind of family holiday or vacation.

    And adoption, adoption rarely happens with children past age 3.

    The stories that foster care tells are those that are successes - but the failures, we are hidden, lied about and forgotten.

    In 2002, in the State of Arizona, an enormous number of former foster children sued the state and WON for abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and myriad other wrong. This did not include the ones that died at the hands of their abusers - all paid by the state to care for these poor darlings.

    So, before you make quick judgments about what should and should not be, find out.

    I know, I was one of the kids and I worked on the Foster Care review board. A board that convenes monthly, sees 6 cases at 30 minutes apeice and who is given that amount of time to make a decision with regard to the life of a child.

    Reform? No, complete and absolute revamp, including how social workers are trained, as well as foster parents and the criteria for which these people are employed.

    Sad huh?

  5. It's totally sad. Phew...what is wrong with us?

  6. Campbell, our society is sick. Not in the way of an illness, but in the way of forgetting the past. We value things like shoes and tattling on our neighbors for painting their house the wrong color. Not things like being there for aging parents, being family no matter what and loving and sharing with friends.
    We don't teach our children to love, laugh and live - we teach them to reason, work and get more stuff.
    That's really what is wrong with us.
    Things are replaceable. You hear that when someone's house burns down or they are robbed - but no one really believes it.
    If we could go back to letting kids be kids and not forcing them into these little cubicals that make them into little automatons that are geared to buy buy buy. Then maybe kids would be more inclined to remember us when we are old and maybe remember to think of their own children.
    But it won't happen.

  7. Campbell- "Sickening, all of it. You say adoption and foster care are industries where parents have no rights. I say it's the children that have no rights"

    So sad - so true. (You weren't kidding about my post being timely!)

    Lori - "The stories that foster care tells are those that are successes - but the failures, we are hidden, lied about and forgotten."

    Sigh. Another very bleak truth.

    When you witness these truths a part of you forever remains in mourning for the children.

  8. Well Lori, although much of what you say is true, I'm a little more optimistic.

    I'm didn't raise my son the way you described, and I don't think Diane here (hi Diane!) is. I don't believe Kris is, or Jess is, or many other moms I know. You're doing what you can Lori, to speak up and get thoughts into people's heads.

    I figure if just one person reads here or there and gets something out of what I'm saying, or what you're saying, or what anyone says, that's one more person who'll "get it".

    It's about kids and cherishing them. Being true and present parents, setting good examples, making them feel safe, and leaving the ego behind.

    Hah and if it makes you feel a little better, I'm "there" for my remaining aging parent, was there for my dad who's gone, and was there for a grandparent too. It's not always fun, but, I can't have it any other way.

  9. I want my son to grow up and treasure the emotional connections rather than material possessions. I realize that isn't always easy, being bombarded with ads constantly.
    Teaching him to be an achiever doesn't always mean material things; self confidence, happiness, respect (for himself and others), love, knowledge (maybe even love) for his native heritage. The wild card in all of this is -- society. Combating the negatives we see and hear every day is never easy, in fact it's hard, most parents don't realize just how hard and can be unprepared on how to deal with it.
    I want to believe that most parents set out to be great parents and raise their kids to be honest, hard working, respectable members of society. Unfortunately life some times get in the way. Unplanned events can affect how one parents; death, injury, job loss, divorce.

    Maybe I'm looking at society through rose colored glasses again . . . .

  10. I used to love pointing out to my son how they try and entice kids in commercials, and told him how they place things in grocery stores strategically to attract kids etc.

    He understood, and didn't want to be a chump lol

    He did have his "addiction" to pokemon and magic cards though sigh..

    I remember him bugging me to try one of those coin operated grab-a-toy if you can claw type vending machine. I explained how it was just to get your money, that they made the toys too heavy for the claw to pick up and then decided to give him a dollar to give it a go so he could see what a rip off it was.

    You know it. He got one first and only try : |

    cheryl, I think that although parents work hard to give their kids everything they sometimes forget that what kids really want is their time and presence, and, that it's only a relatively small window of time that they do.

  11. I don't even know what to say to that...why isn't Canada fighting to get its citizen back? Heck even if she was an unfit parent, he would belong in Canadian foster care. Not that he belongs there at all, without knowing more details.

    Thats insane.


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