To the Editor,
This letter is meant to educate, inform and implore those who are caught up and lost in the Department or Social Services foster care system and those who are in a position to initiate change.
This letter is not intended to aid or defend those guilty of violence, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or those who chronically neglect their children. When social workers tell you that it is in your best interest to answer their questions openly and honestly, they don’t tell you that everything you say is open to their interpretation based on their level of education and personal biases. They don’t tell you the answers could lead to endless meetings, continued court hearings and very often needless prolonged separation from your children. Even when they are ordered by the court to do something, they do it at their own pace.
Many social workers let their personal opinions, caseloads, and personal issues affect their job performance and how they manage cases. Personal information is discussed inappropriately in social settings, over lunch, at work in hallways and with other family member or friends during home visits. In some cases there are HIPPA violations.
Many parents feel hopeless and live in fear of losing their children or prolonging separations if they complain. The endless chain of supervisors is overwhelming. It’s the only system that demands people incriminate themselves and changes the rules as often as it suites them with no fear of reprimand.
While all this drama is unfolding, children hang in the balance. The lack of compassion and professionalism is shocking. Most people don’t know how broken the system is until they are trapped in it. It seems as if everyone from the top down is caught in their own agenda and forgotten the goal is to empower, strengthen and reunite families rather than to belittle and emotionally blackmail them.
If you find your family in this situation be your own best advocate and seek sound legal counsel. If you are in a position to investigate the system, please do for the sake of children who are needlessly separated from their families and are left to deal with effects than can and do leave permanent emotional scars. Most importantly, pray daily for these families and their children. God be with you.