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Why do people continue to foster even after they've acknowledged the neg. effects...

I don't understand. It works out for some families with small children I'm told....

But we've been there done that and quickly realized it's not healthy to take in troubled children while our own are so young. When I have a family tell us how negatively their own children have been effected, then they continue to take in more foster children I can't help but wonder why. I don't understand? I know we all want to help. But don't we first and foremost have a responsibility to protect our children?


Asked by thelowlander at 2:00 AM on Nov. 12, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 17 (3,349 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • There isn't anything wrong with waiting until your kids are older, especially if it's not working for your family. There also isn't anything wrong with fostering when the kids are younger (I know some people that have done long term foster care and it worked out wonderfully for them and their kids, and for the kids they fostered).

    Each family and each foster child is unique, and they are all going to have their own unique experiences. What works (or doesn't work) for one family could be just the opposite for another. You shouldn't feel bad if you stop because it wasn't working out for you, and you shouldn't be treated like you're neglecting your kids if it is working for you and you keep doing it. Both families are doing what's right for their family to do, and that's the important thing. kwim?

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 2:38 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Not all families that foster have young children, and not everyone who does and who does have young children have a negative experience. Also, maybe some of the people who are doing it are adults who were children who went through foster care and had a good experience they want to "pay back" or a bad experience they don't want others to have.

    There are lots of reasons that people foster kids, and I agree it's not a perfect situation. But, on the other hand, neither is leaving a child in an abusive home, or placing them in an orphanage style environment. (I'm currently living in Japan, and, surprisingly, they have orphanages here, and it's a very sad situation. Also, some good friends adopted a little boy from an orphanage in Russia, and you should hear some of the things he's so matter of fact about from that time...)

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 2:10 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • If everyone thought like that, those kids would have nowhere........

    Just because they have problems, doesn't mean that the experience as a whole is negative. These kids need families and friends.
    I know many families who foster, and pretty much all the kids love it.
    Children need help. Choosing not to help.... that's just a thought i can't get my head around.

    Answer by Piskie at 3:30 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • piskie - I agree that the kids who have problems need help and love, and that the experience isn't always a negative. But that doesn't mean that we are all in a position to help at every point in our lives.

    If the family in question has children of their own that aren't able to cope with having children with these needs in their home, then that family should re-assess whether this is a good idea for them - at this time. (I'm not talking about "but I don't want to share my toys or my room" sort of problems - I'm talking about the children are being emotionally or physically neglected or abused because of their parents' choice to foster.)

    It's sort of like this - if I have food, then I need to (and have a moral obligation to) share it with those who don't. But if all I have is barely enough to feed my own children / for my family to subsist on, then I need to feed them before I feed other people.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 4:17 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • My dh and I have discussed this and plan on take in foster kids when ours are older. In the meantime we are looking into the big brother- big sister programs for the near future.

    Answer by buzymamaof3 at 10:03 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Yes but some people feel that helping other children who need it most is important too.

    Answer by jessicarae787 at 2:09 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I know. There's alot of very unfortunate things going on. But is the time appropriate while a family has children still in pre school to elementary school age? We've had some very traumatic experiences here that have pretty much traumatized our kids in a way. And we realized how much attention 1 child requires in comparison to other children. It really wan't accpetable to do to our children.

    So many hours devoted to helping, raging, teaching, driving, calming after visits, dealing with severe behaviors after visits. Our children were left to the wayside. And when we tried to spend family time ALL together with them, it was Never good enough. They always found a way good or bad to get all the attention back on them. They would make us pay in any way possible. This is with all ages we had...... 1yr old to 15 yr old. I just feel for the family's kids.

    Comment by thelowlander (original poster) at 2:17 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Every time I run into an adult who's famiy fostered, I ask what they thought of that growing up. Every time so far, they've answered..."Well, it was great for THEM" so..... Makes me contemplate waiting until our kiddos are much older

    Comment by thelowlander (original poster) at 2:19 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I do. I do my best not to judge right away when I see families I don't know with littles...and they're taking in foster kids. Each child is different.

    My main question is what about the families we know personally? They have told us that it's so hard, the kids hate it, they're wiping poo off the walls for the millionth time, and their marriage is failing..... Why do they keep taking them? Their kids are clearly "all done". Why do they tell us this, then call in excitement with their new placement? Then call us with the horrific stories?

    Comment by thelowlander (original poster) at 2:45 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I'm assuming they can't help themselves, maybe they just want to help, or need to fill a void, maybe they feel obligated

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 2:50 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

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