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how long is long enough - foster care

I read a post earlier about the time parents are given to "work their plan". There was a post about after 4 months foster parents could file for termination of parent rights and I guess bypass CPS. There are parents who lose their children and work very hard to get them back. I recognize that. But, parents who obviously aren't interested in parenting their children in my opinion are "babied" way too long. Does it seem that way to you? I realize things like successful rehab, etc. take longer to achieve but something as simple as clean your nasty house, kill the roaches, get the trash out of your yard, is so quickly fixable that anyone who doesn't fix that immediately in my opinion is not interested in their children's well being and shouldn't be babied for a year or MORE while the children suffer the mental consequences. Am I the only one who thinks like this? Aren't the children the most important thing here?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:54 AM on Jan. 1, 2009 in Adoption

Answers (15)
  • I think it should be decided on a case by case basis. As a psych major whose studied abnormal psych and other behaviors in people the problem is that say someone is bipolar & delusional & refuses to take meds for a long time. They would probably be best to have rights terminated bc they have shown consistently not to care for themselves let alone a child.
    Age of the child also has to come into play. A young child (baby/toddler) would adjust better with less self esteem issues or long term affects if rights are terminated vs a child 8 yrs or older. The point of CPS is family reunification which is also why it takes so long. The state has to try everything or face possible lawsuits. I had a friend whose rights were terminated bc she was never contacted by the cps worker & her ex had the kids. She sued the state & won.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:05 AM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • gemgem ~ are you trying to convince me your friend couldn't call a cps worker herself and her kids were taken away? I don't buy it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • I agree that the entire process takes way too long to be in the best interests of the children. Where I live it's 18 months - once a child has been in care a continous 18 months there is automatic grounds to file tpr. (I don't know about anywhere else, but here there is no such 4 month rule although maybe there should be.) If you can't get your act together for your children in over a year they certainly aren't the most important things in your life. And if they aren't the most important things in your life perhaps you should lose them. I would do any ANY thing to keep my kids.

    Answer by MommyAddie at 12:43 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • I know someone who had her kids in foster care. She was basically homeless. It took her over 2 yrs & the threat of them being adopted out for her to finally get her self on track. Personaly, I think they gave her too many chances. All she needed to do was have a place to live (with a room & beds for the boys) & a job. That's it! It took her more then 2 yrs to do that. She wasnt even on drugs or anything. Some people wont do what they should unless they are forced to. I cant even imagine coming to a point in life where boyfriends, drugs, etc were more important then my children. Sad. I think a year is enought time to figure out priorities. Hell, it should really only take about 1 min. to decide that getting your kids back is THE most important thing in life.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:17 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • I agree with you the process takes too long. Some cases the parental rights are not terminated even after one year. I know of one case that is down right sickening, and sad. This child still suffers waiting for a herion addict mom to straighten her life out. He has been promised for years she will come and take him. He waits for a mom who shows up when she feels like it. It is the saddest thing. He has suffered emotionally, physically and was abused in foster care. A family member has stepped in, but problems are still there. Extensive counseling still does not seem to help. You can look and see the numerous children who are aged out in foster care, which is just sad. Children should always come first, but sadly that is not the case.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 3:00 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • The process can seem to take too long. In our daughter's case, her birthmother NEVER saw her, never made visitation, couldn't stay out of jail long enough to even look at a case plan let alone work one. But we still had to wait the entire year before they got TPR and then another 3 months before we could get our court date. Our daughter was 15 months old (we'd had her since she was 2 days old) before we were able to adopt.

    I agree that it should be a case by case basis based on the child's best interest and sometimes birth families are not the solution.

    Answer by mommytoadam at 3:18 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • It works the other way too. Cps took my kids because of an accusation against their dad. I left him, got the restraining order they requested, took the classes, lost my home because of the situation but kept a safe place for the kids at all times and basically bent over and took it in the rear to keep the state appeased. It STILL took 2 years to get full custody back.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:31 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • I would just like to put in a word for the children who through no cause of their own are hurt by removal (temporary or permanent) from their family of origins. Yes, even in justifiable cases of removal there still is the additional hurt of not being able to grow up in your family of origin - as most of American society takes for granted. It is the right thing to do to try to keep families together (when possible) and when its not possible to move towards a permanent plan for the child. Knowing where this line is is not an exact science and most professionals in the field ache just as much as you all do with knowing whether or not the right choices are being made.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 6:45 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • From the mouth of a foster care survivor. Yes that is what I feel I am. I grew up in the system. I went through 32 foster homes and 7 group homes and 2 jail placements (through no fault of my own all the homes were full and they had no where else to send me) between the ages of 11 and 18. I feel there is a lot to be improved upon with both the foster care, CPS, and judicial systems as well as the parenting of children involved in these cases. I was removed from my home finally at the age of 11 but it took them 11 years to do so.

    Answer by momof6inSC at 11:52 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I suffer from PTSD because of the abuse I endured both at the hands of my divorced parents but also in the FCS. The difference was is this, I actually had family that they could have placed me with, my grandparents, which by the way had a wonderful caring home to offer and all the money in the world to keep me. But they got tired of fighting and endless battle to get me. So really I grew up resenting the system, and I surely still do. I gave my first child up for adoption. I was 14 when I had him. I love him dearly and am proud of my decision, however I was not going to sit back and watch him grow up with me in that system. He has a wonderful life now and thank God for small favors he did not need to be placed in a Temp foster home while the adoption was being finalized like they said he would have to be.

    Answer by momof6inSC at 11:52 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

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