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Foster Children & Families: Listen to This Foster Child – Get Out ASAP

26 Feb

20161201-img_61811_slide-8536a7cce35dc0ac3fe1ddd8d52b60147a7e0c9d-s1100-c15The Foster Care System, including the failed one in Arlington County, continues to be exploited and milked by foster parents, medical professionals, and county employees, at the expense of Arlington families and children.   We have kept tabs on the Arlington County Department of Human Services and the County Attorney’s that represent them, hoping it would improve and that they would truly put the children and their families of Arlington first.   But, to our disappointment and those of taxpayers who pick up the bill for their waste, nothing much has changed — in fact it has even gotten worse.    They treat families and the foster children like criminals (they even have jailed their families and the foster children), and seem to prefer breaking up families, rather than keeping them together.   More federal dollars for breaking up families!  Sad!

If you are in foster care, listen to this child speak about their experiences.

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/508608745/509179603

Get out as soon as you can!   If they try to bribe you with benefits to stay in…ask yourself how have they treated me and my family.   If they treated you like a prisoner or abused you, and treated your family like criminals while you were in foster care, then don’t think it will change after you turn 18 — it will only get worse.   You are the evidence for their abuse and exploitation, and they don’t want to lose control of you to protect themselves.   They are not doing it for you but for themselves!

Families, if you live in Arlington Virginia with children, we recommend you get out of Arlington as soon as you can.    The system in Arlington and the folks running it don’t seem to care to change their ways, but continue to treat children as prisoners and families as criminals.   Until the Arlington Department of Human Services and the Arlington County Attorney’s office cleans house, its not going to get better.

Happy Holidays to All the Arlington County Foster Children Who Arlington CPS Refuses to Allow Them to Speak or Be With Their Families

19 Dec

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to foster children who were ripped from their families by Arlington CPS for bogus and immaterial reasons.   You and your families will be vindicated in the coming year.   So don’t give up hope and don’t allow them to adopt you out.   Know that your families think about you every day, they keep fighting  for you, and that good will eventually prevail over the evil.

To those foster children who have been cut off by agencies, like the Arlington County CPS, do not give up hope, demand your rights to have your own attorney, and don’t surrender to offers of the mirage of a false panacea of adoption* because your family loves you and will keep working hard to get you back with them.   Bless you.  Amen.

*: In the opinion of Arlington Resident News, if you are considering being adopted, demand that the state give you your own independent lawyer of your own choosing to represent you and make sure you don’t do something you will later regret.   You should demand that you be allowed consult with any member of your own family to help you in making the decision.   If you are old enough (typically at least 16 or older), you have the right to refuse to be adopted.  At a minimum, be sure to make it a condition (in writing) that any adoption be “open” so that you have full rights to speak with and talk to anyone in your family that you wish to both before and after the adoption.    By being adopted  you could be giving up important rights you might have, including control over your own future!  Be sure to make an informed decision by talking to as many people and lawyers as you can before agreeing to any adoption.   

Join Other Mothers for the March on Washington DC to Protect Children October 1-2, 2015

11 Sep

Thursday October 1, 2015, Mothers of Lost Children are joining National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) for a lobby day.

1. Space is limited.

To take part, everyone needs to register in advance at https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/Be5GSKVaw2ct

8:00 am to 10:00 am Lobby Day sign in and training at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC
Registration required

10:30 am to 11:30 am – Take a Stand Event NE corner of US Capitol Building~#9 First and Constitution Ave NE

1:00 pm to 4:30 pm – Lobbying with NCADV
Registration AND training required

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Reception at Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Registration required

NCADV’s focus this year is to encourage Congress to protect victims through better gun control and employment laws.

Mothers of Lost Children can wear our white t-shirts over business suits.

We will follow the NCADV talking points, and then add our request at the end to have the Congress member cosponsor the Resolution.which was developed by attorney/professor Joan Meier.

2. Friday October 2 we will meet at the White House for our demonstration, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave at Lafayette Park at 11:00 am. We will have a Silent Vigil and then a Speak Out until noon. After that we will march around the White House with our banners. http://www.mothersoflostchildren.org

Many of us stay at the Hosteling International-Washington, 1009 11th Street, NW. It is by far the least expensive place to stay in Washington DC 202-737-2333.

3. Please consider making an appointment in advance with your own Congress members to talk about the Resolution. You can find them at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

You can meet with your representatives on Wednesday September 30 if you get in early.
A second possibility is after NCADV sends you the scheduled lobbying appointments for October 1, you can schedule around those times.
A third possibility is to meet after the October 2 White House demonstration.

Lobbying is very different from telling your story. You can bring a one-page summary of your story, and prepare a one minute “elevator speech” version. Staff members and Congress members can’t fix your individual situation, although they are definitely moved by your story. They can, however, become a cosponsor of the Resolution!

Some talking points:

  • Are you  58,000 children are taken from safe mothers and given to abusers every year by divorce courts? http://www.leadershipcouncil.org
  • Your child is suffering greatly because of what the family court and/or cps did to your child.
  • Ask the Congreessman to join Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as a co-sponsor of this Resolution. (you will be given a copy to hand out when it is finalized)

More info:

Advocates for Child Empowerment and Safety (ACES). www.acesforkids.org

Baltimore DHS Director: “Stop the Insanity;” “Kids ought to be in families.”

4 Sep

Over the years, this blog has sought to get Arlington County to rethink its approach to protecting children.   Instead of removing children from their families as a primary tool, this blog has argued that its primary tool should be to keep families together and, using other tools, solve the particular threat to the child.

In this TED talk, Molly McGrath Tierney, the Director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, explains what is wrong with the current child welfare system and how she has worked over the past six years to change it in Baltimore.  She has led a massive reform effort to dramatically improve the impact of services to vulnerable citizens of Baltimore. Molly’s work is considered a national model for modern social services.

In this TEDx talk she advocates what this blog has been advocating.   Here are her key observations:

  1. “Kids who grew up in foster care…. You know what they want? They want to go home

  2. Now, there are over 50 child welfare agencies in the country, and the funds to underwrite them are in the billions.  There is not one among them that’s reputed to be working well.

  3. Awful things happen to children in foster care. Short term, their outcomes for important things like health and education are abysmal, and long term it just gets worse. Kids that grow up in foster care [are] overwhelmingly destined for the penitentiary, the morgue, or the child welfare system when their own kids come into foster care.

  4. the agency she runs now was once considered among the worst in the country;  during her tenure it reduced the number of children in foster care by 58%, reduced the number of kids living in orphanages by 89%, increased adoptions 59%, and increased the number of kids that left foster care for families by 47%.

  5. She did it by articulating a mission and repeated it like a broken record,  “Kids ought to be in families.”

  6. The reason child welfare isn’t working is because there are children in foster care.

  7. “Why would we do such a thing?”

    “first, it feels good to save kids. We get a great injection of adrenaline when we rush in, and our brain responds to that stimuli. Just like we do anything else that feels good, we want more of it. And when we figure out how to keep returning to that good feeling, we start thinking that, in and of itself, is success. We’re mistaking something that feels good to us for something that is actually helping other people, because if it feels so good, we must be doing the right thing.”

    Second, child welfare is an industry, and industries are self-protecting ecosystems. Think about it. The only time the federal government pays me is when I take somebody’s kid. And as soon as that kid’s in foster care, they instantly become a commodity, and the industry starts to wrap around – doctors, lawyers, judges, social workers, advocates, whole organizations. The industry is committed to this intervention, this taking other people’s children, ‘cause that’s what it needs to survive. And it’s on auto pilot, and it’s going to do whatever it has to do to stay alive.  And this industry, to stay alive, needs other people’s children. And this industry, to stay alive, needs other people’s children.”

  8. Child welfare is mostly driven by DHS workers, guardian ad litems, and family court judges soothing their own egos and wanting to feel good about themselves, rather than doing what is best for the family and child.

Read the complete comments of Molly McGrath Tierney.

Related: Listen to the Kids