Foster Homes: Better the Hell You Know

foster parents, foster homes, children, family services, child abuse

Universal's Despicable Me is a film where fostering goes right

Yet again one of Canada’s ministries of children’s welfare is in the news because a child in their care died under questionable circumstances. This one’s in Alberta and after taking a four-month old baby from the mother the child died within a week of removal. The ministry, or department, seems to keep itself steeped in secrecy and obscuring the facts. These ministries were set up to rescue children from terrible situations in their families lives and give them a chance at a normal and healthy life.

It is even the stuff of movies and books; the child removed from the abuse at home and put into a foster home. The foster home becomes one jumping off point after another, because of neglect or a host of abuses. The child grows to be a teen, often on drugs, into prostitution and on the street. The teen grows to be a criminal adult. Those fictions and tropes are unfortunately built on fact. The movie Despicable Me is about a villain who takes on foster children as a cover. The results are hilarious and fun and with a turnabout that gives the children a good home. It’s a fantasy in many ways, but a good foster home is not something all children get.

There are good foster parents who do give a child a loving and stable home in their life. There was a case in Alberta a few years back of a foster mother who lost her right to foster, not because she was bad (in fact she had fostered many children well) but because she was a lesbian. Yet ministries in various provinces have time and again placed children in homes where the people were abusive (physically or sexually), alcoholics or drug users.  And of course the worst cases are where the children lost their lives due to being placed in a home possibly more horrific than the one they were in.

Imagine the nightmare of being a child and thinking you are saved to find the situation worse, or to be torn from the dysfunctional beings that you still love and placed with monsters who care nothing for your well-being. Sad and unfortunately no exaggeration for some. For Alberta last year, six children died and five of those were Aboriginal. Makes you wonder where the ministry is placing these children.

I know of someone whose mother was a foster parent. This woman, an only child, was placed in foster care at times by her own mother, because the mother could make more money raising other people’s children than her own. Eye witnesses report that this mother would be quite verbally abusive to a child she was caring for. I also know of a couple who rescued their relation from an abusive sibling. The sibling was unfit for several reasons to be a parent and they are giving that child a stable and loving relationship that he would not have recieved from his own parent.

There are good and bad foster homes but the governments who oversee these services need to screen the foster homes far better than they do, and get their facts straight. They need to charge the people who are killing the children and they need to clean up their own acts so that they can truly rescue children from a dire situation and put them in a safe environment. I guess I’m lucky that I only had my own dysfunctional family to deal with and didn’t have to face a foster parent as well.


Filed under crime, Culture, family, health, news, security

3 responses to “Foster Homes: Better the Hell You Know

  1. I’ve always wanted to help the kids out there that need better homes but unfortunately i would end up not letting them leave. I would rather adopt kids then foster them. I couldn’t stand loving them for several months and then letting them go back to parents that in my opinion prob aren’t any better then when the kids were taken from them.

    I’ve chatted with my foster mom friends and they have no life at all. Up here they end up with 3 or 4 kids from a single family on top of their 2-5 kids. Then there is the waking at 2 in the morning to except more screaming kids cause their parents just had an all out drunken brawl in front of them. My one friend had over 13 people in her 2 bedroom house! Kids sleeping everywhere! Although she had the cleanest house I have ever seen. You couldn’t tell there was that many people living there cause everything is folded and put away then all the surfaces washed down. wow she is my role model. She finally had to stop cause she has 5 kids of her own and she adopted 2 of her foster kids. They are in a 3 bedroom now but still teenagers need more space.

    I hope that when I get more bedrooms added onto my home I will be able to adopt. I don’t feel my house would pass any inspections cause i have mold in my addition bedroom. There are 7 people in my house! Ya I take them in and they never leave!

  2. kelly pflug-back

    This is such an awful issue…even the United Nations has criticized Canada’s foster care system for it’s high rates of abuse, so I’m surprised so many people don’t know about it. There are many citizens groups trying to push for oversight of the foster care system, but it’s very difficult since child welfare is made up of private agencies, not government agencies.

  3. d

    In all the years that my younger sister and I were in an abusive foster home, Foster care services never asked us once if we were happy living there, and being children , and scared for each others safety, we never said a word to them of how abusive they both were. We both moved out as soon as we were old enough to get jobs and never associated with the foster parents since that day. I wish I could say that once we left it got better but the scars of physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse take years to heal, I’m 40 and I’m still trying to heal ,it’s forever affected my friendships, and relationships, suffering through fear, anger, depression, low self esteem even sometimes suicidal thoughts. We have both been to counseling, and both have had severe mental breakdowns. I don’t know how parents, not only foster parents are capable of deliberately inflicting such harm to a child. I have a child and I would do anything, without hesitation even risk my own life for my child’s safety, because I love my child, and my child means the world to me.

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