Kids in Foster Care: Life in the System

It is sad that tens of thousands of children in this country are abused, neglected, abandoned and without a safe home to live in. We find that there are a host of reasons why: poverty, drug addiction, mental health issues, or violent family legacies. Or a number of other circumstances that parents find themselves in which mandates a child be removed from their home.

 A story of one girl’s experience

The experience of a girl in the foster care system.
The experience of a girl in the foster care system.

To give a foster child a home is a wonderful thing; however, it is such a violation for children to have to make these transitions.

They want to be with their parents and natural siblings and yet they cannot. Often these children display all kinds of destructive emotions, and we find that they are not easily managed. It is really difficult to provide a healthy environment for them when they are in such an emotionally destructive state.

As we encounter these children in our communities, our schools and sometimes even in our families, it might be really hard to understand or empathize with their emotions, reactions and behaviors. However, it is easier to understand if we can hear a voice that represents the messages that these children believe and live each day.

In the following production, I think many of these messages are glaringly apparent. 

Although is it is a video production, I believe it has been carefully designed to reflect what a young girl typically experiences as she leaves a violent home and attempts to engage the foster care system. I encourage you to watch it, particularly if you are dealing with a child who has been removed from his/her home and is in foster care.

They need more than just a home

While we have great concerns about these foster children, their families and what will happen to them in the rest of their lives, we are also concerned our foster parents receive the proper training for the major task they are about to embark on. These parents need information and skills to raise a child with such fear, terror, anger and despair inside. We need to support our children with the sensitized and patient care to help them process and grow through the pain and suffering they have experienced.

It is not enough just to provide a home. They need a place to heal, cope and emerge with a new outlook that they can be loved.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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