A person or persons who apply to be a temporary home for a child "in crisis". Knowing what we now know about the child protection industry...."crisis" has a very loose definition. It can mean anything from a child that has been abused to a child that is selected by a child welfare specialist because of the child's adoptability factors. Those factors include skin color, sex, age, hair color, and eye color, damage, and potential earning ability for the agency.
That #TAKEN child will be immediately dumped in a shelter or a foster home. The foster home is randomly selected by availability of a bed. The child will be subjected to many variables in this foster home. Other foster children who may be much older, violent, or have the deep seated problems of the effects of long term foster care. Too many children in one home. Abuse by the foster provider. Sexual abuse by the foster provider or older children. Being warehoused for the money. These are just a few of the circumstances I have personally witnessed in foster care.
Caseworkers choose foster homes about as carefully as most folks get gas, whatever is closest and cheapest. I am aware that there are foster provider's with criminal records, addiction problems, and psychological pre-disposition for a need to control. None of these facts comfort the parent of a #TAKEN child.
Along with the above issues, we now face the foster to adopt program problem. Prospective adoptive parents, posing as foster provider's, as they shop thru a series of foster children, to build their family. Searching for that "perfect fit" in traumatized #TAKEN children.
Herding over all of this is the career foster provider. A person who has 6 or more foster children, shunting kids thru "the chute" like the cowboy I mentioned previously. After all where can you go to work with a starting pay of a grand or more a month(per child) with almost no schooling or training? Multiply that by 4, 6, or 8. There is no where you can go and start working for that kind of cash. Not even straight out of college.
Becoming a foster provider, in no way, makes that foster provider a professional. That foster provider should not assume they have been given the responsibility to determine the future of that #TAKEN child or chart the course of the parents of that #TAKEN child. Testifying in court, colluding with other foster provider's, advising counselors and caseworkers, and being control freaks are NOT part of the job description of a foster provider. The presumption by a foster provider that they can do so is a far cry from the intention of the creators of the foster care program. The foster care concept was a TEMPORARY housing solution until a permanent solution was found. Permanent meaning reunification with the family, institutionalization , or adoption. Only after TITLE IV did fostering become a career choice.
As an advocate for #TAKEN children, I regularly go to courthouses to talk to parents of #TAKEN children and hand out pamphlets to raise awareness of the corrupt family court. I captured foster provider's and counselors, outside the closed doors of the family court, openly discussing their plans and opinions on the child, the parent and their goals for this family. The first thing a family court judge does is warn everyone that the family court process is a closed proceeding, to protect the privacy of the children involved. If a counselor is going to talk to a foster provider, it should not take place on a sidewalk outside a courthouse within hearing distance of unknown persons.
Which takes us back to the definition of the role of a foster provider: a temporary surrogate parent. Not a forecaster of the future of a family. Not a licensed professional counselor. Not a permanent planning supervisor. Not a caseworker. Certainly not the judge. Most importantly NOT THE PARENT. While their input is important, it should never be given over to the court as a professional determination of a family's future. The professionals in family court are "screwing the pooch" bad enough already!
Foster provider's need to "mind their business" and not presume to be anything more than they were intended for: temporary placement.
The foster to adopt program undermines the efforts of family to reunite with their #TAKEN children. This program places prospective adopters in a position to shop for the family they are building, in the foster care system. Posing as foster providers, these adopters can pick and choose the children they feel are a fit for their family. The courts are swayed by the foster providers apparent readiness to adopt and of course this is all being propagated and encouraged by caseworkers interested in getting a finalized adoption under their belt in order to secure the funding dollars for a completed adoption.
It is my firm opinion that foster care should not be a portal to incentivized adoption.