Foster Care?

Foster Care?

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I have not worked with a lot of families with children in foster care, but with enough to realize it is not always the best situation…..and considering that Bay County has the highest percentage of kids in foster placement in the state of Florida, I think it behooves us to be alert to the risks. I’ve had one young woman whose 2 year old in placement out of state was permanently disabled after nearly dying from traumatic head injury due to abuse in a foster home where too many children were being allowed to live. In another situation, we detected physical abuse of a toddler and had to report it, even though it was in a family placement setting. Two aged-out foster youth who’ve been at Titus 2 had been adopted and then un-adopted during their long years (10+) in the foster system in other states and wound up here in Florida as young adults trying to start their lives afresh. One young former foster system lady, after a close brush with a prostitution ring, told me that many aged out foster kids gravitate toward prostitution because they have been sexually exploited and abused so much that their sexuality means very little to them beyond a way to get what they want…they find the lure of the money more necessary than caring for their sexual integrity and health. Better support for struggling families, keeping kids with their biological families when possible, keeping them local where they can be better followed and observed, providing quality environments for children who must be removed from abusive or neglectful parents……much can be done. It must be done.

Cathy

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