Foster Care Abuse Survivors
Child Welfare System Needs Professional Accountability
Apr 29, 2009 Karen Stephenson
Child abuse happens in foster homes and it’s mostly the system that fails children and their foster parents. Tighter restrictions are needed to protect children-in-care.
A recent report by Saskatchewan’s Children’s Advocate concluded that children in Saskatchewan’s foster care system are being subjected to many abuses. The report cites abuse is happening because of non-compliance with policy among staff at the Ministry of Social Service. It also cites how children have suffered because of overcrowding in foster homes.
Foster parents have trust in the child welfare system when children are placed in their home. They know the importance of matching an incoming child with everyone who resides in the home. It doesn’t take long for some foster families to realize, the system doesn’t care about appropriate matching. It’s about filling “available” beds and for private agencies – filling beds is profit.
“AAFG” is a former foster parent. She often caved under pressure in having children she felt were wrong for her home. Two days before AAFG was to attend her father’s funeral, she was pressured into having an autistic boy placed in her home with the promise it was only a brief emergency placement. AAFG recalls, “The days turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months.” She believes, “ If they looked at who was best suited for my home instead of profits, there would have been much more success in helping the children.” AAFG no longer fosters as her frustration with a failing system was more stress than she could manage.
Marvin Bernstein who authored the Saskatchewan report says that ministry staff would use “manipulative methods” to coerce foster parents into taking another child into their care.
A former case manager in Ontario, Anne W., worked for a privately-run foster care agency. She said her boss would tell her to lie and “pressure” the foster parents into taking a child even though she felt it was setting everyone up for disaster. Anne W. says, “My boss rarely cared about anyone’s welfare. If there was an empty bed, he complained about lost profits.”
Read more at Suite101: Foster Care Abuse Survivors: Child Welfare System Needs Professional Accountability http://abuse.suite101.com/article.cfm/foster_care_abuse_survivors#ixzz0cB3aewIb