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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fragile Placements: Jackie Meyer

I have always known that kids who are in foster care think they are
going to get moved. Each child would be told that this was not the
A few weeks ago I was talking with a young man who had been in
several homes. He is now in a home that plans to take
guardianship. He is NOT moving. He said "Ya, I know they are
taking guardianship. I have been in guardianship before. I can still
move." I reminded him of the many bad things that he had done
and that he was STILL in the home. He said to me. "What happens if
I do one more thing? That one more thing will make them change
their mind. I can still move."
This conversation made me realize how fragile foster kids see their
placement. Everyday they wake up wondering if this is the day they
will be shipped off to another home. They have been primed to
think this for good reason. They have been moved for reasons that
they did not understand.
I realized that parent's standards for foster kids are actually much
higher than for their own biological kids. When our son stole from
the collection plate and his dad was the pastor, it never occurred to
us to kick him out. When the same child got kicked out of preschool
Sunday school, we did not say: "I am calling Social Services". He
faced severe consequences and learned that this is not acceptable
behavior. By the way, he is an adult now and is very responsible.
My husband and I took a foster child into our home 40 years ago.
We received NO training. When the adolescent girl in our care
organized a séance with the church youth group, brought a fifth of
whiskey from a home visit, and became sexually active with a young
man from the local air force base, we said, "This girl needs to go."
In our untrained minds these were serious transgressions. If we
had the support to help us set up a safety plan that young woman
could have stayed
Most of foster children's negative behavior is the result of fear.
Their biggest fear is moving. As we get frustrated with our kids
behaviors, we need to ask ourselves: "Would we move our biological
child for this behavior?" Some times we may have to answer yes. If
not, ask what else can we do to help the child.

1 comment:

  1. We have noticed that our foster son(11) was doing really well and then mom showed back up and he started acting out. He was mooding, nasty, peeing his pants during the day, etc. Then he started to get more like he was before when mom was nowhere to be found. Then he found out that the case plan was to have him back with mom or adopted by end of Apr(will probably be pushed back and he is aware of that) and then the acting out REALLY started. And it felt like so much was directed towards me. It has been hard dealing with all the different areas of this situation.


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