Fostering and adopting a child can be an act of pure love. When someone takes a child into their home to raise and to love, it is a great gift. Not everyone is up to it. Fostering can be particularly hard as many times the child has been raised in a neglectful or abusive way. It takes the time to build trust, and it takes a lot of patience to get through to some of these children. The foster care system can also be difficult to navigate. Some people are just not up to the challenge even if they do it for the right reasons. Before deciding to foster a child a deep personal inventory must be taken if the child is to be raised successfully. It should not be entered into lightly.
Some of these children have been in the foster care system bounced from parent to parent like an unwanted plant. They aren’t plants they are people and raising the child you are forming the adult. Many failed fosters have been badly abused and in severe situations they have been murdered. Some fosters only foster to collect whatever money and benefits can be obtained by fostering. The child doesn’t see much of it as it goes to support the foster parents. If you see abuse like this, please report it.
Social services in many countries including the US are overwhelmed with cases. With few social service agents, much of the neglect goes undetected until it has done severe damage. The agents are given more cases than they can really investigate and keep track of. Some agents will fake visits, and the children are never or seldom seen including whatever circumstances they may be in. The effective agents that try to help sometimes get burned out by the workload and sometimes dangerous situations in which they find themselves.
Most of the care is in the hands of the foster mothers. These wonderful souls who take children into their homes and hearts need support. They should be treated with respect. It is very difficult work raising someone else’s child. That is particularly true in cases where the child has suffered neglect and abuse. These children are hard to get through to, but the rewards can be significant.
If they haven’t been shown love and respect they have to learn it. Once a child learns distrust, it is very difficult to overcome but with patience and time I believe it is possible. Children need to know they are safe, cared for and secure without that how can they possibly grown up to become successful adults?
So to all you adoptive and foster parents I send my respect for your work. I hope that the love and respect you give to these children multiplies and fills the world. To the social workers who endure abuse, hatred and fear I also give you my respect. It is a poorly paid profession monetarily but gives much joy when a child is placed and loved, successfully.