Foster kids “readiness” to return – does it matter?

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A statement from a foster care meeting several weeks ago is haunting me. We were talking about what needs to happen in order for our foster children to move back with their dad. We had discussed the things that their dad needs to do to be ready. So I asked how would we know if the kids would be ready to return home. The answer? It doesn’t matter if the kids are ready; it only matters if dad is able to parent the children.

Ever since then, there’s been an argument raging inside my head.

On the one hand, children are not removed from their homes because of what they do, but rather because their parents are not able to parent them adequately (keep them safe, feed them, school them, etc.). So if a parent can parent the children, then why not reunite the kids? If a parent can handle a traumatized child, then send the child home.

On the other hand, if the children have been deeply traumatized by the parents and their emotional wounds haven’t healed, is it fair to send the children back? Is it fair to send a child with post traumatic stress disorder back into an environment where they are being triggered?

Help me, folks, ‘cuz I can’t wrap my head around this.

This post is part of the Adoption Talk Link Up. Check out other great blogs on adoption and foster care.

No Bohns About It

5 thoughts on “Foster kids “readiness” to return – does it matter?

  1. This is terrible. The system is objectifying the children – making them passive in their own lives. At the very least they need to be prepared, but ideally they need to be asked.

    I’m so sorry that this is the method children are being treated – like a “pass the parcel” game.

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  2. I often feel that children are treated more as commodities in the system. Taking them into care in the first place is traumatic and yet, not many are given therapy or grief counseling. Hopefully this child and their parent will participate in therapy together to address the trauma and build a healthier family system.

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  3. No, it is not fair. Sadly, even though the system says they want to do what is in the best interest of the child, that really is not reality. Because to be honest, the BEST interest of the child is probably not reunification. But that is what the law says is in their best interest.

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  4. Sometimes I think it can’t be that no one in the the realm of CPS acknowledges the trauma our little ones face when they are taken from their parents, placed in a foster home, sent back to their parents only to be moved again. This type of treatment is causing intense trauma and we as foster/adoptive parents are all to often ill equipped to handle the resulting chaos.

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  5. Realistically a traumatized child’s wounds never heal and if they ever do the child is more than likelikely we’ll into adulthood. At the end of the day it is a parents job to parent. Children don’t ask to be born they only ask/ need/ require care. If care has not been provided then the parent comes to the point of being able to provide or someone steps in. When the parent is ready it is time for the child to come back. If the system functioned on when the child is ready you would have a system that is more overloaded than it already is.

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