Foster parents; ‘as the wheel turns’
the CPS wheel. 1 / 4.
In dealing with ‘as the wheel turns’ first we must understand the structure of this system, called Foster Care, then we enter, via contract, Administrative Law when we become foster parents.
The Foster Care System design, simplified three steps;
- Children are removed from their biological parents; they enter a protective care called The Foster Care System.
- Each child is assigned to a judge (a court) to oversee their care, they are “wards of the court.”
- Judge assigns agencies, this agency appoints social worker to each child. Social workers reports back to the judge on each child’s progress.
These are the primary spokes of the CPS wheel. It seems appropriate, however, as any organization that is not built on solid foundations this wheel is failing America’s children. This foundation is unstable, leaves accountability behind, often resulting in children falling through the gaps.
- Social workers, with extremely large case loads at times overlook the needs of children whose lives wait within their files, many are often found without home visits, without follow ups, without services.
This is where foster parents enter the picture. Foster parents are the double check system, however, this too has become a problem. Foster parents often have children not receiving the services they need are sometimes reluctant to bring this to the attention of their social worker.
- Seasoned foster parents who understand what the agencies responsibilities to the child as well as to them tend to attract attention to services omitted, demanding services and the issue becomes focused on the mistakes made by the social workers, in the hope of gaining access to services. Sometimes, this results in foster parents being labeled as uncooperative.
- New foster parents are simply unprepared for the challenges they will encounter tend to go along with whatever the social workers tell them to do struggling, making do, caring for the child the best they can. Balancing in the center of this scale is the child who is floundering without services.
Either way, reluctance becomes a way of encouraging the gloss over approach to social work. The system is failing in both areas, not a functioning double check system instead we the foster parents are in essence assisting in covering up the mistakes that are often made.
Accountability, our only double check system is designed for this purpose; it helps us identify errors and allows us opportunity to correct them. CPS has bullied parents into adapting to this cover up system as an acceptable alternative to the double check system. Understand, there is a double check system in every form of government, except CPS.
If, we are doing what we are told, allowing ourselves to be blind to mistakes, choosing to ignore the gaps in care, ignoring the money train in fear of losing licenses, then the next question we must ask ourselves is, are we aiding in these mistakes.
Interesting questions, stay with us as we explore answers.