What Should Never Be

One might think this only happens in third world countries, children without a stable home being taken in for the free labor they can provide but it happens here in the US too and often through the foster care system.

Read an account this morning about a woman who wants to foster a teen in order to have a live-in babysitter for her younger biological children.   She also expects help with the housework, other chores, as well as help for her business that is baking and selling cookies.  Probably looks at it as another avenue of revenue (foster care stipends) as well.

She expects so much gratitude that the foster care teen now has a roof over their head that they will not require payment for all of the work she expects for free from the unfortunate teen.  And after the teen turns 18 and ages out of the foster care system ?  She’ll simply sign up for another one.

The woman was dumb enough to put her sister down for a reference.  Here’s why that part –

The reference sister is 8 years younger than this cold calculating woman described above.  For two years, the younger sister lived with her older sister and her husband and the two kids, a boy and a girl, who she does describe as typical siblings, mostly no trouble at all but squabble sometimes as siblings always do.

Living with her older sister permanently damaged their relationship.  She felt that her older sister only saw her as free labor, money (forced to hand over half her pay from a small, part time job) and babysitting.  She describes feeling taken advantage of and says those years were HELL.  And even so, she does still babysit for her sister sometimes but does control the amount of time she is willing to give now that she has moved out.

So, I know that children in third world countries are often exploited as domestic labor and I can even understand some expectations in a foster home of at least not contributing to extra household work for the family by keeping picked up after one’s self.  I have read about situations so bad, that the foster parents actually put a lock on the refrigerator and pantry shelves, severely controlling the amount of food a foster child is able to consumed.

Maybe the system is not always broken and there are genuinely caring people doing this for the right reasons but it does seem from all the stories I come across that there are a lot of opportunistic and exploitative people taking in youth with nowhere decent or safe to go and sometimes the unsafe and awful conditions are actually in that foster home.

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