There is an article about a 12 year old foster boy that has spent nine years living in foster care trapped in the system with no hope for a forever home. After nine years in foster care he was placed into an adoptive placement with members of his birth family. Sadly the adoptive placement fell apart and the boy was returned to foster care.
This case brings up a lot of issues of how things could have been different in this case and how to keep other foster children from living years in foster care. While the answers may not be easy for the parties involved but there are some options and responsibilities for some people to assume.
Foster children are being left in care by the system while the biological parents are given a large chunk of the foster child’s childhood to work their plan (time and time again). Come on people, do we really need to continue giving biological parents extended time after time when they are not making a true attempt to do what is needed to get their children back. When does the extended time start to come at the benefit of the foster child? Foster children are being left in care for years while the biological parents do their thing and then one day we start asking why is this child losing the chance of finding a forever adoptive family with each passing year.
How do the biological parents fit into this problem? In most cases when the children are first placed into foster care, they are asked about possible family members that would be willing to care for the children instead of placing them into foster homes. I have not sat through one case plan meeting where the biological parents gave names of family members so they could be approached to care for the children already living in foster care. I find this surprising.
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