The short answer is, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Every single case involving a child in foster care is unique for many reasons. They could have parents that visit or parents that have never showed up to a scheduled visit. They could have a worker that is genuinely interested in their best interest or a worker who is only showing up for a paycheck. There are ultimately countless reasons why cases can vary which is terrifying because, you never know if the system will work in your favor or not.
Now obviously a lot of younger children don’t give this much thought however, teens most definitely do. When you really start to think about it, these workers hold the entire fate of a child’s future in their hands. Their choices will determine if the child grows up loved, grows up with access to services, grows up in a healthy environment, grows up with absent parents, grows up with drug exposure, and so much more. This is a HUGE deal and yet there are workers out there only showing up for a paycheck.
Most of us have the ability to choose the trajectory of our lives and put in the work to reach our goals. These children are potentially set up for failure or struggle depending on what a group of strangers decide for them. Yes, I said a group of STRANGERS. These individuals are assigned to cases and then only interact with the children once or twice a month. These individuals would include county workers, GALs, etc. In fact, there are times that the GAL (court appointed attorney for the child) only sees the child once every couple of months. To give you some prospective, as mentioned in a previous blog, these individuals are to be advocating for what is in the child’s best interest balanced with their desires. A judge who ultimately makes the major decisions hardly ever meets the children, hears about the case every 3-6 months, and is only making a decision based on documents that are submitted a month or so ahead of the court date.
So do you think the foster care system is fair? Would you trust putting your entire life in the hands of complete strangers who don’t spend enough time with you to know the real you as a person? Now put yourself in the shoes of a 3 year old that is newly placed in the system with minimal way of communicating and no idea of what is happening. This is TERRIFYING!
Children deserve a voice too!