Speak Out - Foster Care

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A recent letter writer lamented the problems with children wallowing in foster care while parents are given too many chances to change. This is certainly true in many cases.

However, I believe the bigger problem with foster care is that too many children are needlessly taken from their homes in the first place.

Since the early 1980's the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has doubled! The reasons for this are purely financial. Federal and state governments pay counties from about $30,000 per year for each child in foster care. This amount can go up to $150,000 per year for special needs children. There is just too much incentive to bring children into the system, and no incentive to spend even a little of this money on keeping the family in tact. And now they have adoption incentives as well.

And too often children are removed from loving-if imperfect homes- only to be placed in foster homes which are worse. Statistics show that children in foster care are 6 times more likely to be abused than other children.

Yes, there are many loving foster homes, and there are many abused children who need to be there. But there is another side to this story. I urge you to read Memoirs of a Baby Stealer: Lessons I've Learned as a Foster Mother by Mary Callahan if you want to know more about this emerging problem.

By the way, I am not involved with foster care in any way. I adopted my children from overseas in order to avoid having to deal with this totally messed up system.

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