The system is flawed in so many ways, most recently I’ve been caseworker free. I’ve had zero contact with DCS and have had no idea if there were court dates, CFT’s, monthly visits, case plan updates, sibling and family visits, nothing. Radio silence. I had called supervisors and left messages and not one has called me back. Jerks. I voiced my opinions to the legal team, visitation team, CASA and to my licensing worker at AZCA.
After a month of winging it I received a call today from the neighboring city letting me know the case was moved there, great okay. I was beyond excited to get some answers regarding the case; unfortunately I was told that they’d probably have to start fresh. It’s heartbreaking as this case has gone on for many years already and now, due to negligence on the states behalf, things may get held up. This is a huge disservice to these children and their families; they need permanency. Loud and Lovely have been in multiple foster homes during their long stint in foster care, not to mention the various family members who agreed to house them yet failed… just to have them moved again.
Foster care is messy. It never goes as planned. Kids get lost in the mix, forgotten. I don’t like feeling that what we are doing in our community is a complete failure. I understand that pointing the finger is easy, correcting the problems is time consuming and practically impossible. There is no easy fix and when it comes down to the wire I’ve learned that an act of Congress is the only hope we have in correcting the problems. How does one person do that? Start here and get educated. Yeah, that’s a bunch of reading and nobody has time for that. Read the quote for the TL;DR version or changes to come.
Under the new law, the federal government will offer unprecedented support for keeping families together. In the past, the federal government would only reimburse states for child welfare services that were delivered after children were removed from their homes. Starting in October 2019, states can also be reimbursed for services that keep children safely at home with their families.
That means that they’ll not remove children from their families and pay for their services for a year (substance abuse programs, parenting classes, mental health, etc.) Pushing for early intervention and treatment instead of child removal. In theory that’s GREAT! The federal government is really upping their game but the biggest concern is that Congress will be taking money away from group homes to fund this project. They’ll still fund the treatment group homes but not the standard ‘overflow of foster kids with no where to go’ group homes. Maybe they’ve got high hopes that the standard group home will no longer be needed as more kids will stay with their families; what about the kids currently in those homes?
We have seen a serious shortage of foster homes, foster homes have decreased while the number of foster children has increased. I don’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m not seeing changes that will help children right now. Either way, children stay at home and parents receive services or the children are removed and parents receive services, there will always be tragedies and the finger will be pointed. There is no winning.