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Topic : 08/19 Caught in the System

Number of Replies: 75
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Created on : Thursday, May 21, 2009, 05:57:56 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 05/25/09) Over half a million kids live in foster care, and many are neglected, unloved and viewed as a paycheck by their new family. Dr. Phil takes a hard look at the harsh realities these forgotten kids face and sends an urgent message about the need to repair this ailing system. Jessica, 24, aged out of foster care six years ago, but before foster care, she says her childhood was horrific. She says she experienced things a child never should, including witnessing the murder of her 5-year-old sister … by her mother and stepfather. Will Jessica find the strength to overcome her abusive past? Don’t miss Dr. Phil’s surprise for her! And, Dr. Phil and Robin are the national spokespersons for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which trains volunteers to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children. Find out how Robin laid down the law at a recent CASA graduation. Then, Juan is 18 and has lived in 25 foster homes during his childhood. Now that he's been emancipated, he has no job, no identification and jumps from couch to couch. Can the young man get the tools he needs to turn his life around? Plus, find out how the New Orleans Saints head coach, Sean Payton, his wife, Beth, and The Dr. Phil Foundation scored a touchdown together! Join the discussion.

Ten years after the Columbine shootings, Anne Marie found a way to give back. She became a CASA volunteer. Read Anne Marie’s Blog.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

May 26, 2009, 12:19 pm CDT

What About the Victim?

Dr Phil,

 

Thank you for your attention to abused children, and the ongoing abuse that occurs within the foster care system.  Yes, heartless people engage in the foster care system as a means for a paycheck, which further traumatizes children who are already sustaining without roots.

 

I was traumatized in the middle of the night by the vision of this beautiful young lady at the conclusion of your show.

 

She was hurting, and alone, and reeling in the cycles of her abuse.  After revealing the trauma of watching the murder of her sister, the disposal of her body in a freezer, and the dis-memberment of that body into pieces "the size of oatmeal" she was discarded into an abusive and unloving foster care network.

 

In addition to the trauma of the murder, she was tragically abused herself.  She doesn't trust you enough to include the horrifying details of her abuse.  Her survival is miraculous, and it will take  a good bit of time and deep love before she reveals those details.

 

The survival of her daughter depends upon ongoing love and caring - in a relationship that is not financially movtivated.  This woman has never been loved, and therefore does not know how to love.

 

My dissapointment is in the apparent outcome of her painful revelations.  She received a crib and supplies for her baby, a JC Penny's gift card, and a scholarship for on-line education.  These are all wonderful and generous offers, but who is standing tall to help her heal her heart?

 

We all were born with a gift to love and be loved.  The gift - on both sides of the equasion - were stolen from this beautiful woman.  She is no different from me or from you.  She was born to love and be loved, and faced daily horrors from the moment she was birthed.

 

Who will help her reconcile the fact that she was an innocent victim?  The gifts given on the show are a thirty-day pad into an economic system that can never repay the pain that she feels.

 

Will you continue to emotionally help her recover from this abuse, Dr. Phil? 

 

Please?

 

She and her daughter will not survive otherwise.

 

 

 
May 26, 2009, 8:24 pm CDT

I am a foster parent, for the right reasons... this system is so broken. Thank you for airing...

Dr. Phil,
My husband and I are foster parents. I can say that we have been blessed to have been able to care for over 21 children from the foster care system in our home over the last couple of years. We have been frustrated for so long about the issues you brought into the light on your show Monday.

We expected, prepared for it and welcomed the challenges that each child brought us. They were a victim of horrible situations in which they had no control... What we were not prepared for was the injustice from the "system" or the ones who were supposed to be protecting the children right along with us, the social workers.
As a result, we have not nor will we be accepting any more placements from the foster care system any time soon.

I know there are a lot of really great social workers out there, I know a few, but there are some workers who I would like to refer to as the ones who have the "God Complex". And heaven forbid you as a foster parent ever speak out against or question the judgment of one of these social workers because the consequences are catastrophic emotionally for both you the foster family and most importantly, the foster children.

As a foster parent, we are required to stay quiet... for fear that if we speak out against a social worker or a biological parent, we will (AND WE HAVE) had children taken from our home.
We are the ones who are supposed to love these children, treat them as our own, counsel them when they are sad and hurting, help them learn the life lessons they have never been taught, and yet... not be able to have any say when it comes to how they are treated from the system. 

It sickens me to remember all the children who we cared for who were bounced from 3-4-5-6 foster homes within their first couple of months in the system. Or, the 6 siblings we were caring for who wanted to stay with us, and I would have adopted in a second if the chance had been available who were moved from our home and split up into 3 different homes because the "African American Specialist Social Worker" (as her card read) thought that although they were perfectly happy, loved, and all living together in one home (which is rare by the way) they should be and I quote, "in their own type of neighborhood, with their own type of people".  The oldest child called for weeks and weeks crying and begging us to come and bring her home to us... after trying to follow the chain of command w/ Sacramento CPS, our cries went nowhere.

You were right to say that the system is broken, and we feel helpless as we watch some of the children we love with all our hearts suffer the consequences.
The truth is,  there are foster parents who do foster care for all of the wrong reasons. The don't care about the child, never raise a concern on their behalf and collect a paycheck each month. We were not one of those families. But like so many other great foster parents, because we actually cared, once we spoke out - we were burned by the system, just like the children.

How many times can you fall in love with a child, care about that child, and watch them move from your home to the next, then the next, again, and again... before your heart can't take it anymore either?


Again, thank you for airing the show. My heart goes out to all the children who have suffered, I wish things had been different.


 
May 26, 2009, 8:44 pm CDT

05/25 Caught in the System

Quote From: weathergirl719

You need to check into the Coats amendment of 1952...they are suppose to place children with relatives when possible...kick butt...dont stop fighting for your grandchildren. I never stopped fighting for my boy and finally he was returned to me...13 months and tons of abuse later. Our children are vulnerable and they are lied to and made to do things they dont really want to do....you cannot trust CPS.

We have been trying to return these kids to our family for 4 years.  According to St. Francis Academy the adoption to the new family will be very soon.  I doubt we would have time to stop it.  The last people they adopted them to are in prison for child abuse and intentional torture upon my grandchildren.  They didn't listen to us when we saw the abuse then.  And I doubt very seriously they will admit to any wrong doing or allow us to adopt now.  Simply because to do so would admit they screwed up the last time buy blowing us off.  And that would lay them open to a lawsuit.

 

 
May 26, 2009, 10:28 pm CDT

05/25 Caught in the System

Quote From: chsmith23

I am a Child Protective Services Investigator.  The story of Jessica is horrible.  However in my job you see these things everyday! There are so many things about our "system" that annoys me.  But I do want to make a correction.  You are not kicked out of foster care at age 18.  You have the option to stay in and get assistance until 21.  IF you want to go to college, the state pays it.  IF you want to get an apartment and job, the state helps get this.  HOwever the child decides what to do at 18.  Alot of them decide to go out on their own.  If they decide to do that they have 1 year to decide to get back in foster care.  I just thought that needed to be addressed because so far in the show it has not.  IF a child leave at 18 that is their decision!

To in some Case's a person is forced to be in Foster Care until age 21 (This only happens if the person has A serious Mental Illness like Depression )
IF I had any say I would of  left foster Care at age 18 ....But I was one of the few that were made a Crown ward of the Court ,,,So I had no  Choice but to stay in care until age 21

Then at the age they are sent on their way with no resources or options ,,,and are not told about start up money they are eligible for , and other  money they should have been receiving  .......like  Survivors  Benefits ,  and  Criminal Compensation if they were abused  ,,,,Nice of C.A.S  not to tell the Children about this money , ( in most cases .C.A.S keeps this money for themselves )

And don't for get to mention that  the foster Child is not told weather or not they are eligible for CPP at age 18

If eligible for CPP they would be receiving $800. per month starting at age 18  ( most foster Children don't find out about this money until its to late to receive it ) in total most foster Children are Screwed out of  $70,000 That they are eligible for

Money that Could go a long way into Helping these people  get a  good start in life  ,,,,





Lets talk about  The education That C.A.S is willing to pay for :

Fact is   95% of all foster Children end up being put in Special Ed in public school and Basic Level in High school ( and C.A.S tries to convince The foster Child to go into Special ed  Despite the person IQ level ) ,,,,,Because they are unable to Keep up with everyone else Due to all the stress they are under .

Everyone knows you can not Go to Collage with a Basic Level Grade 12  ,,, with a Basic Level Grade  12  the only job you will get is  Bull SHlT job that dose  not  go anywhere  ( Jobs like Shoveling SHlT or working at Mcds)
If Dr.Phil ever had me on his show I would share a Life's  storey that Would shock the world ,,,,,



"KEEP IT LIVE"

Satan Handy












 
May 26, 2009, 10:31 pm CDT

Sad

How do all these kids end up without parents? Where are the parents? Kids aren't being taught enough about sex and condoms and real life. If parents aren't ever going to know how to talk about it, schools have to and have free condoms. Parents don't know more about doing it, they know how to do it smarter but they don't want to give their kids ideas, so they just avoid the whole thing. Next thing you know your kid is having a kid with some other kid and they are going to be a family. Till the baby comes. Come on people! Then your like "oh, i'll do this really nice thing and give my baby up for adoption. WHY ? Why Did you have a damn baby in the first place? You are doing all that nasty bedroom stuff, with whoever, you get pregnant, all the sudden you are miss goody two shoes, can't have an abortion. It's bull sh;;. The world doesn't need any extra people just for the hell of it. People who need to adopt need to stop being so picky too, wanting little babies instead of perfectly good other kids. It's really selfish and precocious.
 
May 27, 2009, 7:55 am CDT

05/25 Caught in the System

Quote From: mpropps

Dr. Phil,
My husband and I are foster parents. I can say that we have been blessed to have been able to care for over 21 children from the foster care system in our home over the last couple of years. We have been frustrated for so long about the issues you brought into the light on your show Monday.

We expected, prepared for it and welcomed the challenges that each child brought us. They were a victim of horrible situations in which they had no control... What we were not prepared for was the injustice from the "system" or the ones who were supposed to be protecting the children right along with us, the social workers.
As a result, we have not nor will we be accepting any more placements from the foster care system any time soon.

I know there are a lot of really great social workers out there, I know a few, but there are some workers who I would like to refer to as the ones who have the "God Complex". And heaven forbid you as a foster parent ever speak out against or question the judgment of one of these social workers because the consequences are catastrophic emotionally for both you the foster family and most importantly, the foster children.

As a foster parent, we are required to stay quiet... for fear that if we speak out against a social worker or a biological parent, we will (AND WE HAVE) had children taken from our home.
We are the ones who are supposed to love these children, treat them as our own, counsel them when they are sad and hurting, help them learn the life lessons they have never been taught, and yet... not be able to have any say when it comes to how they are treated from the system. 

It sickens me to remember all the children who we cared for who were bounced from 3-4-5-6 foster homes within their first couple of months in the system. Or, the 6 siblings we were caring for who wanted to stay with us, and I would have adopted in a second if the chance had been available who were moved from our home and split up into 3 different homes because the "African American Specialist Social Worker" (as her card read) thought that although they were perfectly happy, loved, and all living together in one home (which is rare by the way) they should be and I quote, "in their own type of neighborhood, with their own type of people".  The oldest child called for weeks and weeks crying and begging us to come and bring her home to us... after trying to follow the chain of command w/ Sacramento CPS, our cries went nowhere.

You were right to say that the system is broken, and we feel helpless as we watch some of the children we love with all our hearts suffer the consequences.
The truth is,  there are foster parents who do foster care for all of the wrong reasons. The don't care about the child, never raise a concern on their behalf and collect a paycheck each month. We were not one of those families. But like so many other great foster parents, because we actually cared, once we spoke out - we were burned by the system, just like the children.

How many times can you fall in love with a child, care about that child, and watch them move from your home to the next, then the next, again, and again... before your heart can't take it anymore either?


Again, thank you for airing the show. My heart goes out to all the children who have suffered, I wish things had been different.


We are GOOD FOSTER PARENTS also!

 

People always assume we are only doing it because of the financial aspect of it.  What a joke! The checks these children receive aren't enough for them to be supported by.  We make sure they have after school activities, summer camps, nice clothes and shoes, they all receive bikes, video games and anything else they need including plenty of love and listening and acceptance into the whole family, including aunts, uncles and grandparents.

 

My husband and I both work full time and then some to make sure OUR kids have anything they need or want (the same we did with our biological kids) !

 

We do have a broken system, parents are given back children that they have abused, neglected, prostituted and starved in some cases.  The kids are broken and terrified to go back to this same existence they lived before.  In some cases parents aren't given back the kids and have to go through all sorts of legal issues and courts when the removal wasn't warranted in the first place.

 

We as foster parents aren't the evil person in this circle,  we only provide a home for the kids until they can go home or to something more permanent.  We have social workers also, we are cursed, hated by the kids and parents, the parents resent us and manipulate their kids because they can't care for them at this time. ( I PERSONALLY WOULD FEEL BETTER HAVING SOMEONE CARE FOR MY CHILD IN A HOME RATHER THAN HAVING THEM LIVE IN AN INSTITUTION LIKE SETTING UNTIL ALL THE ISSUES CAN BE IRONED OUT. )  We stay up at nights with the kids through bad dreams, and listen to their fears of sometimes going home to a place they have been abused.  We hold them while they cry and we take them to counseling and sporting events and vacations.  SOME FOSTER PARENTS ARE BAD BUT NOT ALL JUST LIKE ALL PARENTS AREN'T ALL BAD. 

 

Foster parents have no control over things like when and if they will be returned home or if they will be removed out of our home.  We aren't their guardians only their babysitters. the state you reside in is the guardians, we have to get permission to take them to the hospital, get hair cuts ect.

 

We love our kids that come to us no matter what enviroment they came from or what the challenge is. So please don't label us all  horrible as you wouldn't label all parents as horrible.

 

The court system has the ultimate say in when and if the kids get to go home and where they will stay if they don't.  Some of these kids do need to be removed from a bad home and do need us foster parents to help heal them. 

 
May 28, 2009, 10:55 pm CDT

We Need a Voice too

I saw your episode on the foster care system.  I am a theraputic foster home and deal with the types of kids you represented on your show.  I feel like as a foster parent I fall under a certain scrutiny and shows like what you did does not do justice to the foster parents or the excellent case worker I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with..  I feel like you need to research lots of facts.  For the record I have 12 children.  Two of my own, two adopted and 2 more I will adopt in the next 3 months and 7 foster children and 2 college kids that have graduated from high school and the system who still remain in my home and go to college.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it a moment.  Second of all did you know in the state of texas if a child remains in care until a day after there 18 birthday they automatically qualify for free college educatiion upon completing high school or a GED.  Second of all they automaticall qualify for FASA.   This is averageing right now at about 5,000 a year.  They also qualify for a after care program called ETV.  This also averages about another 5,000 a year.  All they must do is take one class and work full time or go to school full time and keep a 2.0 average.  So as far as being abondaned by the system I say hogwash and get your facts straight.   Yes just like in any system there is flaws and it isdifferent from state to state.  What can I say everything is bigger in Texas.  As far as foster parents why dont you look into what the average pay is for a basic level child.   Then get back with me on how foster parents can do this strickly for the money.  I ask you this question what money.  I welcome you to do some research.  Someone needs to march on capitol hill for foster parents.  I pay a babysitter for four hours what I make in whole day for one child.  So you know what I say.  Kiss my gritts.  My grads also for the record sake if I have not made myself clear enough recieve another 3,000 dollars in benifits from another program that helps with miscellanouse if 10,000 a year plus paid tuition and books is not enough.  I am sick and tired of getting  this garbage about foster parents and money.  I am sick of people not getting there facts straight.  There are kids that fall through the cracks but for the most part it is a myth that a child is abandoned after care.  These kids are tossed around alot but lots of times its due to a lack of tolerence for their behavior at the time.  I wish you would study some theraputic behaviors.  Lots of times you get children who want to be home no matter if its under a bridge.  They desire the love of their abusers and it takes lots of time and lots of hard work to earn their love.  Some are sexually abused which brings lots of other behaviors thats not safe for other children living in the home.  We are not just talking about the average kid here.   We are talking about children who have been traumatized and come in our homes with lots of baggage.  So their are some you can help and some you cant.  Sometimes as heartbreaking as it may be you have to cut the cord on some.   They are not a good mix for the other children or maybe their behaviors are dangerouse.  We as foster parents also live with a great level of liability.  Often times when the kid have behaviors we are scrutinized by all parties and constantly looked at to see if we are doing our jobs.  We literally have to sleep with one eye open.. Our rears are constantly on the line.  We also live in glass houses.  There is nothing private about our lives when we open our homes to these children.  We along with case workers are known to have some of the most stressed jobs out their.  I could go on forever.  I am going to college and one day I am going to make a difference for foster parents everywhere.   We need a voice.  So why don you give us one.  Why dont you try to walk a mile in our shoes. 

 

 
May 29, 2009, 4:38 pm CDT

05/25 Caught in the System

Quote From: wi_mom_1981

I am a foster mom in WI.  My husband and I are proud foster parents of a brave, sweet & wonderful boy.  He has been with us for over 2 years and has grown incredibly and profoundly when considering where he came from.  He was a child that was abused and neglected on a daily basis.  It took over 10 months and 20 calls into CPS before he was removed from his home.  This is because of all the evidence that needs to be taken before a child can be removed.  If someone is removed from their biological family's home, trust me, there is definite cause.  Furthermore, when (if) the parent(s) do the right thing and can provide the child with a safe & loving environment, the child(ren) will be returned to their home.  I understand how important biological families are and no child should be without theirs, if they are safe and well cared for.  However, when that can not happen, what better alternative is there then a safe & loving home where a foster child is not defined by their genetics but rather their own individuality and loved and cared for because they are innocent children.  Most foster families are wonderful people with big hearts who open their homes up and give children the stable, safe & loving environment they lacked in their biological family's home.

I am a fan of your show, but I feel the foster care system and foster parents were not shown accurately.  In a previous post, a case worker corrected you regarding the fact that the foster kids can choose to have assistance until 21 and college paid for them if they choose to go.  I want to point this out again, just in case it was missed the first time. 

I understand that there are areas that could be improved, just like any other area that the government runs.  However, I feel your show was one sided and considering that May is National Foster Care Month, I think it would have been more uplifting to look at the positive homes, stories & changes that occur because of foster care.

Wow, things are different in PA. All akid needs to do Is sexual abuse and they're out of the house. Okay, understandable at least at first. But I love how a case can be "founded" when there's no evidence, just a letter to a Guidance councellor.

 You see, I have friend whose daughter has done this.  The daughter has wanted to go live w/ an Aunt and Uncle for quite some time, they allow her to do whatever she wants.  she's also angry at her parents because they found out she was messing around w/ 23 yr. old guy (she was13) in the Aunt and Uncle's house. The parents pressed charges and had him sent to jail. She also was looking to stay in the special (very easy work at your own pace ciriculuum) school for troubled kids she manged to get herself placed in.    

     Well, the staff there felt she was ready to go back to her normal school and she made comments as to how she knew she could pull something to keep her in.  Next thing we all know, Children and Youth call and say they've removed her. Guess where they sent her, the Aunt and Uncle's.  her parents had to throw a hissy fit to get her moved somewhere  else.

 

 In her letter (the only piece of physical "evidence" ) there's a whole pargraph addressed directly to a specific guidance councellor who wanted to send her back. In essence it says " Mr. X  (name of school) is like a family to me and once you're in a family you don't ever leave it," balh blah blah. that should be the first clue, the letter is faked. She goes on to say the abuse started when she was 8,9, or 10......ummm okay. she also claims that the abuse declined in nature.  There's just so many holes in her story and room for doubt, it's stupid.  BTW, she has 10 and 13 year old brothers who have never been questioned as to whether they ever remember their dad secluding himself w/ their sister, the dad who worked 2nd and 3rd shift and alot of O.T. so was rarely around.

  But somehow, in the Kangaroo court they call Juvenile court, the charges were founded. BUT they want to work on reunification of the family. 'cept the parents don't want her back, they feel she's dangerous, and could be a danger to their sons, and w/ good reason since, the daughter set some girl's hair on fire on the bus. 

   I would just like to see the system work , really work for once. Her dad may go to jail because of all this, and she's still trying to get to go live w/ the Aunt and Uncle and even has a weekly visit unsupervised in their home and the (then) 23 year old who DID molest her, he's out  of jail and lives next door to the Aunt and Uncle.

 
May 29, 2009, 4:50 pm CDT

05/25 Caught in the System

Quote From: weathergirl719

what gets me is the foster parents on this forum are commending theirselves.  They do not deserve commendation and they dont get it...you and children like you lived in this hell!!! You are permanantly scarred from it. I hate the system for what it has done to my family and others like me and only wish I knew how to stop it from happening to anyone else...people here in
VA are afraid to try to do anything. I was until I got my child back...I am still a little bit scarred to speak out. I would complain. I wrote governor Kaine and he forwarded my letter back to CPS state level and they sent it down the line and believe it or not my therapist was told that I needed to stop writing the letters and tell people to stop writing the letters on my behalf  because they were sabotaging my case. I wrote the judge and explianed to him all of my concerns and what CPS was doing and at the next hearing he basically told CPS to wrap it up...fortunately the next hearing my child was physically returned to me, but unfortunately I am still being harrassed. I have to call every Wednesday. I have to get letters for every doctor visit he has, I have to have copies of his prescriptions made for CPS. I have to force him to go to school daily sick or not. Therapy for myself and I have to allow them to come in my home 10 hours a week to work with my child. They fingerprinted me and my boyfriend and did background checks. I had to have a co-signer to make sure my own brother would not evict me from one of his houses. My vehicles are inspected by CPS at random. My home is inspected at random by CPS. During these inspections I have to turn on  lights, and water to prove I have all my utilities. Its nothing more than harrassment. People say I am lucky to have my child back. He should have never been taken. I jumped the hoops and got evidence that all of their accusations were all false...yet I should be thankful. I dont think so. And they wonder why so many people end up hating the system.

amen sista, I've seen this type of thing, too many times!
 
June 1, 2009, 9:47 am CDT

Important Subject

I have to commend Dr. Phil for doing this show. Foster care is a topic that talk shows or shows like 20/20 never do, or if they do maybe once a year and yet in 2009 the system is getting worse not better! I was lucky enough to have been adopted when I was 2 months old and I sometimes think what could have been if my birth mother would have chose to keep a child she could not handle or if I endend up in the system. I will always support a woman's right to choose for all the reasons on this show! There are already so many unwanted children in the system the last thing we need is more unwanted pregnancies and unwanted kids! What is the answer for this failed system?
 
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