It’s Inevitable (foster care)

June 23, 2016 in Adoption, education, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

image001In America, the average cost of foster care for dogs is between $30 & $35/day.

Foster care for children in this nation run from $8.07 / day (Nebraska) to $30 / day (DC) with an average of about $18 / day.

Dogs (owners) must bring dog food and don’t need to supply diapers.

Foster parents must buy food and sometimes diapers for these children (and pay for transportation costs to doctors, schools and the broken and worn out things that will be broken and worn out by this foster child).

Dogs require 30 to 60 minutes / day of a caregiver time – traumatized children* require 12 to 24 hours of caregiver time daily.

Any foster mom or dad that’s stayed awake all night to monitor a violent or sexualized state ward on psychotropic medications to insure that the rest of the family stay safe from unpredictable behaviors of a dangerous  traumatized child can tell this story with greater impact (I know, I’ve heard it many times).

No dog** ever carries lighter fluid or has the intention of burning down the house.

Raped  and tortured children not getting adequate help for their traumas often exhibit  terrorizing behaviors that hurt themselves (cutting, suicide attempts) and others (lighting fires, stabbing pets and other children).

Our communities are dealing with the fifth and sixth generation of traumatized children without coping or parenting skills having their own generation of traumatized children without coping or parenting skills.

Every year Americans report twelve – eighteen million abused & neglected children to child protection services.

Almost one quarter of our nations (74 million) children are reported to child protection each year.

As someone with many years in the trenches of County Child Protection,  I know that the vast majority of these children really need someone to speak for them and keep them from further harm.

Traumatized children living in toxic homes suffer ongoing abuse and often don’t get the coping skills necessary to develop normal human relationships or succeed with in school.

Children that don’t do well in school often don’t graduate (many are already preteen moms or part of the juvenile justice system).

Children that don’t graduate from school are statistically much more likely to graduate into the criminal justice system, become single moms & become state wards leading dysfunctional lives.

These are statistically significant truths that summarize the inevitability of our failing schools, high crime rates and incarceration rates and the headline grabbing meltdown of violence and public safety throughout our nation.

“What we do to our children they will do to society” (Pliny the elder 2400 years ago)

Taking care of children is the responsibility of all of us.  Let’s get started.

*it is this 20 year volunteer CASA guardian ad Litems observation that no child enters a child protection system and becomes a state ward unless they have been horribly traumatized (usually for many years).

**I love dogs and believe that they are worth every penny of the $35/day it takes to care for them.  What is mind boggling to me is that children in some states are not worth one quarter of that figure to care for a child (Hey Nebraska).

Please share this post with your foster family friends and let them know you love them for what they do. 

Also, send this to anyone that lives in or has connections to Nebraskans.  Your effort could make life better for a foster child in Nebraska some day.