Utah wants to help more kids at home and reduce foster care placements

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  • ChristiansGrandma american fork utah, utah
    July 12, 2012 10:06 p.m.

    @ Nan BW...I resent what you said..."Sadly there is a cycle where unprepared parents produce children who grow up unprepared and again more children are in homes where parenting is meager". I am a mother of 9 children. One of them went down a wrong path and made very wrong choices for her life and 8 of which are smart, intelligent,and responsible people. One is getting ready to go off to College to be a Pediatrician, another to become a Chef, another working his way up with Homedepot, And my younger ones still in school get A's and B's. So not all families have a "cycle' as you put it. And I wasnt asking for any money to have my grandson, so they didnt have to pour anything my way. The problem is that if they give children to their blood relatives they (the State,DCFS) dont get their kickbacks. If people really did the research they would see all the problems.

  • Kempster Spokane, WA
    July 12, 2012 9:48 p.m.

    I have bio parents take their children to McDonald's and Starbucks, when asked how is this possible without any income, they said; I use my food stamp card; the driver backed it up. This is the same parent, with kids in my home for 2 years and did nothing to better herself. They take advantage of all the services as some put it, but the ones like going back to school so they could be independent, feel better about themselves, and be a better role model for their children. As for being a foster parent too long and burned out NOT SO, someone has to do it for the kid's. But I am sad to see these little ones come to my home abused, physically, emotionally, and mentally by their own parents, and then after a year or more being emotionally and mentally abused by the system that is in place to protect them. They are ripped out of the only safe, stable place they have every known and put back into chaos, I say it again it needs to be fixed. 2 or more years is to long. The bond is too tight.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 12, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    Chinookdoctor, pouring money into the system won't help children have better home situations. Sadly there is a cycle where unprepared parents produce children who grow up unprepared and again more children are in homes where parenting is meager. Only when each parent or potential parents takes responsibility himself/herself will the picture change. Of course it helps to have resources available, but ultimately change rests with each individual. I worked in the DCFS system, briefly, and decided I would be more helpful to children as a teacher, but in neither position can I or anyone else help parents who lack determination to change.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    July 12, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    @ Kempster:
    Your really spreading falsehoods. EBT cards cannot be used at McDonalds or Starbucks in the state of Utah. Sounds to me like you've been a foster parent too long and are burned out.

  • Kempster Spokane, WA
    July 12, 2012 4:34 p.m.

    There are very few people that know much about the DSHS system. One thing I have learned is, children have no rights! The money they are given from our hard earned tax dollars go to the parents, for transport to drive their children to a visit, which is then supervised by staff, and driven back to the foster home. If the parents live too far away, we pay for them to fly round trip, and put them up in a hotel with a food voucher, so they can have their court ordered visit. Then the parents have therapists (one for drugs and alcohol abuse, one for family training, one for mental health)etc., gas vouchers or bus pass, cell phones, EBT card (which can be used at McDonald's and Starbucks),housing, and utilities. This can go on for 2 or 3 years or longer. Talk about rewarding bad behavior. Yes, reunification is the goal. How long should this go on? 12 months should be enough. They need to remember the children, they need to feel like someone is listening to them. Children need to come first!!
    This system needs to be fixed!
    I know I am a foster parent.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    July 12, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    "Platt has reported the reduction of "congregate care" in group homes...
    Trust me, as one who used to work in the dismal "group home" industry, I applaud the agencies efforts to reduce the foster children in group homes. If you ever saw or read the movie or book "Holes", you have a good idea of the sad reality of group homes. The state financed group homes (privately operated for profit) house both juvenile offenders in the criminal system and foster children who have never committed any crimes whatsoever. My heart used to ache for these young teenage foster kids caught in a system where they are treated as criminals, but they have committed no crimes, except having negligent parents who were caught up in the DCFS system. Their cries to me of "it's NOT FAIR" were heartbreaking. Many of these group homes are sad places (not all), right out of the horror of "The Holes" book saga. These pre-teen & teen foster kids deserved much better!

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 12, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    Before he passed away, my father was an advocate of children in his professional work as a psychologist. He understood that there were situations where home life was 'toxic', but for the most part, recognized that what parents needed was training and not to simply have their children pulled from the home.

    There was a time when the typical family raised their children and in the process passed along the skills their children would need to raise their own children. Sadly, much of that is now a thing of the past. With both parents often needing to work outside of the home, children do not have that on-the-job training from their own parents -- and another vicious cycle is born.

    I am thrilled to see a program that has as its primary goal the maintenance of the family unit through education and training. It won't always work, but let's at least give it a try. I am convinced that our society depends on it.

  • ChristiansGrandma american fork utah, utah
    July 12, 2012 1:09 p.m.

    All I know is that I have learned to NEVER trust a DCFS caseworker ever again. They deceived me and now because I trusted them I am fighting to be able to raise my Grandson. I truly hope that change comes from my case. I pray that these Judges see the wrongs that were made in the lower courts and make it right! Just as a side note....its not just the caseworkers. Its also the GAL"s, AAG's, and the Judges. They all work together to create what has happened in our State. Its that "Good Old Boy" you scratch my back and i'll scratch yours syndrome. And children suffer because of it!

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    July 12, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    Typical government pre-occupation with the wrong goals - keeping families together - when some of those families are toxic to children. We have a friend who is raising a grandchild whose mother has been an addict for at least 7 years. The mother has to go to court for two separate felonies of assaulting a police officer on two separate occasions - and the court is giddy to re-unite the mother and child. The mother is lazy, erratic, admitted herself to the psych unit multiple times, had a long psych hospital stay - hardly any of it matters to the court.
    Reunification at all costs is the court motto.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    Saratoga Springs, UT

    true, Most employees with DCFS are right out of college, and many are unable to sympathize with a parent that is having a hard time, many are naively judgmental.
    DCFS is a stepping stone to move into other DHS positions.
    DCFS workers are overworked: most work from 5:am sometime to 10 pm at night, most of the work hours are unreported,there are too few of them, and too many cases. As much as some of them love it; they just cannot keep working like the job requires.
    Unfortunately to many time it is not what the parents do; but which caseworker is assigned that determines success.
    DCFS and the state of Utah knows this; the legislator have refused to put the funding into child welfare that is needed, unless they are sued, it is time for them to be sued again.
    They also discourage potential workers by telling them they have worthless degrees.
    if the state of utah cannot properly fund child welfare; then they need to stay out of other peoples business, poor funding has caused more problems then has helped.
    too many kids stay in foster, when they should be at home

  • Eddie R Bountiful, UT
    July 12, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    I know that Utah is doing more than ever before to try to place children with family rather than in foster care. Is it enough? I hope they do even more to try to find appropriate family members. I also understand with liability and accountability issues why they may be hesitant at times when a family member's history is less than pristine.

    chinookdoctor - 4 years ago Obama spent $800+ million on the general election alone - more than had EVER been spent before on an election and around $300 million MORE than his opponent.

    In this election cycle, by March Obama had already spent $230+ million (more than double what Romney had spent to that point in time - interesting since Obama isn't in a Primary race.) Obama also had twice the money of Romney in his election war chest at that time.

    I guess what I'm saying is, I'm not sure why you are politicizing this and making a statement that appears anti-Romney. Both sides of the isle would do well to spend more money on ventures more worthy than putting themselves into power. And apparently Obama would be a better example for you to use.

  • happymomto9 Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    i would be nice to if the social workers were more experienced parents. they often have their own pre-conceived ideas about parenting with no actual experience. there is also a lot of transference of issues that goes on.
    very few parents want to be bad parents, many just may not know how to be better. the solution is not to destroy families. i think stronger families should aid those still learning.
    stop judging so harshly; start loving and helping!

  • chinookdoctor PASADENA, CA
    July 12, 2012 5:22 a.m.

    I agree with you Grandma! I think the foster system is trying to do too much with too little and unfortunately good family members who would be willing to love and care for scared children whose parents are having trouble are usually left out of the loop. I wish we cared more about children in this country, but instead we have people like Romney fundraising 100 million dollars to put himself in office, I'd rather see that money go to strengthening families, providing jobs and serving our children.

  • ChristiansGrandma american fork utah, utah
    July 11, 2012 10:28 p.m.

    They also need to allow other family members (that are qualified) to take care of the children that cannot stay with a parent. But by taking a child and placing them with strangers does more harm to them as well. This is what I hope to change when I go before the Supreme Court of Utah with my case as a Grandmother. I am a Grandmother that wont give up!