Tuesday, May 19, 2009

LIfe has REALLY been CRAZY!

WOW! So the past couple weeks have just been one huge thing after another!!! Thinking back though, I think this time of year always gets like this. For a parent with kids in activities and school, this is like the second "Christmas Season". Many sports end their season at this time, school is ending, summer activities are already signing up or you at least have to have the foresight to plan for them, some FALL activities already require getting signed up...... It is exhausting!!!

I added to that finishing up my training for becoming a CASA. Signed my volunteer paperwork, took the photo for my Juvenile Dept badge. No cases as of yet. That can be considered a good thing. I can hope that means less children are in need of a CASA at this time. I doubt that, but I can hope.

Which leads me to another subject entirely.

I am an open, honest, blunt person. Sometimes to the point of rudeness many people would say. I try to temper it, but I run off emotion a lot of the time, and that usually isn't a good way to run. But I am also a fairly objective and insightful person. And then comes naive. I didn't consider myself to be naive until I entered the world of foster parenting...... wow!!!

Now first of all, call me crazy but it's weird that when you become a foster parent there is an assumption that you know how to use Medicaid, you know how to use WIC, and you have a basic all around "know how to use any system" knowledge set. I am not sure why the system assumes you know all these things, but I am going to guess it goes hand in hand with the horror stories you hear on the news about children who die in care at the hands of people who were not properly taking care of them. I know I am not getting the link between these thoughts right for others to understand, but bear with me.

There are people out there who are doing foster care for all the wrong reasons. There are social workers who suck at their jobs, there are CASA's and GAL's that suck at their jobs as well. There are, and I have met a few of them, some foster parents who do it for the money. Which is super sad because even strictly monetarily speaking, the issues even a baby comes with are not worth the less than a dollar an hour that the State reimburses you!! That is CRAZY!!

My real point in all of this is that there are good foster parents, there are good social workers, there are good CASA's and GAL's, CPS does sometimes save a child's life. There are good people working within the broken system, and there are parents who are not fit to raise their child and there are other biological relatives who are not fit either. EVERYTHING should be judged on a CASE BY CASE BASIS!!

Does the system need to be fixed? YES!! Are there people who should be fired? YES! Are there Foster parents who should lose their license? YES!!

Should we assume that we do not need a system of some sort? NO!

The saddest thing to me is that typically the people who complain the most about the system are the people who did deserve to have a child removed from them or from a family member. What I would like to know is when all these caring biological relatives come out of the wood work to complain, where were they when the child was being hit, starved, neglected, or otherwise abused? Nobody should get to judge how you care for your child in a general sense, but when there are obvious signs that a kid is being hurt, then the kid should be removed. I wouldn't want the laws to get too general, because then they start coming for everyone. But we do need to have basic moral guidelines out there by which we can stand up for a child and say that is not OK! You cannot do that even if you are related to that child or even if you have been entrusted with the care of that child.

I had no idea that by becoming a foster parent or a CASA I would also become public Enemy Number One. I thought there were lots of other reasons why I would get into that position with some, but not a desire to help. I didn't know it would happen because I got into a system that I know needs fixing and I thought I could better fix it from within than from without.

Everyone has a calling. Thankfully the callings vary, that way all the different areas that need to be covered in life get covered. From the person who obsesses about soccer fields and jerseys, to the Mom who runs the Booster Club, to the Candy Stripers, to the Humane Society workers, the list for volunteering goes on and on...... the different causes people take up, even the ones I don't agree with. Even the people who hate me for both the new jobs I took on. Everyone serves a purpose, checks and balances are necessary......... we need people to have different passions so that everything in the world gets taken care of. Everyone's thoughts and ideas count and are important. If everyone just worked together not only would all the bases be covered, but maybe all the children would be safe..........

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