Author: Savannah D. Miller
My family and I volunteer at a place called The Hope Center. They provide food, clothes, and a safe place for kids to hang out. They also try to find housing for those who need it. Not too long ago, a 90-year old lady came in asking for help with her great-granddaughter. Her granddaughter died from an overdose which left the lady as the only one to care for her daughter. She tried to contact foster care but they told her the homes were at maximum capacity, and unfortunately could not take in the infant.
Every day, the number of children in the foster care system increases. Personally, I believe some of the children do not need to be there. Some kids enter the system simply because they are living in a car with their parents due to homelessness. For those trying to get clean from prior substance abuse issues, relapse is a high possibility. Having a 15-month period where one must break these bad habits can also put a lot of pressure on the abusers. The stress could potentially counteract the entire process. A support system within the family is ideal, but some do not have that simple luxury.
If there was a sub-system, that might help. If people could feel safe enough to express their situations without fear of having their families taken away, that would also help. The thought of separation and possible abuse is enough to scare anyone into silence. Another possible solution to the foster care system issues lies in timing. If counselors could spend more time with families dealing with pride and addiction, it might help them to overcome their circumstances. Of course, this might be an impossible suggestion due to the caseload of the workers and lack of families who will provide homes…..but it would certainly be nice!
There are many ways the foster care system can be revamped, and I hope it is one day, but for now, we must try to do what we can for those who need help most.