Siblings Bill of Rights Act

Change may come slowly but it does come. In New Jersey there is now a Siblings Bill of Rights Act. This includes –

  • Have access to phone calls and virtual visits between face-to-face visits with their sibling;
  • Be placed in the closest proximity possible to other siblings who are not in out-of-home placement or if placement together is not possible, when it is in the best interests of the child;
  • Have the recommendations and wishes of the child and of each sibling who participates in the permanency planning decision documented in the DCF case record and provided to the court;
  • Know, or be made aware by DCF, of expectations for continued contact with the child’s siblings after an adoption or transfer of custody, subject to the approval of the adoptive parents or caregiver;
  • Be promptly informed about changes in sibling placements or permanency planning goals;
  • Be actively involved in the lives of the child’s siblings, e.g., birthdays, holidays, and other milestones;
  • Not be denied sibling visits as a result of behavioral consequences when residing in a resource family home or congregate care setting; and
  • Be provided updated contact information for all siblings at least annually, including a current telephone number, address, and email address, unless not in the best interests of one or more siblings. 

Recently signed by Governor Phil Murphy, the law recognizes that children placed outside their home have several rights related to maintaining sibling relationships, including the right to remain actively involved in the lives of their siblings and to have their voice heard in the permanency planning process for their siblings. “In what could very well be the most difficult time of their young lives, it is our hope that this bill will allow siblings in the child welfare system to maintain some measure of stability and continuity,” Murphy said.

“One of this Administration’s goals has been to make sure the children and families in this state’s welfare systems are treated with compassion and empathy,” said Murphy. “I was deeply moved, as I’m sure my counterparts in the Legislature were, by the compelling recommendations of the Youth Council who shared their lived experiences of their time during the child welfare process.” The Council consisted of 24 members ages 14-23 who are or were previously involved with one of DCF’s programs such as Child Protection & Permanency or the Children’s System of Care. Youth Council members stressed that sibling relationships were crucial for maintaining stability and ensuring future success. 

DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer said the new law “represents the power of shared leadership and the importance of having individuals with lived experiences in a meaningful role at the table.”

“Ensuring children can maintain relationships with their siblings, arguably the people who best understand what they are going through, we can provide them with more stability and the possibility of invaluable, life-long family connections.” Assemblywomen Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester), Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), and Lisa Swain (D-Begen) said in a joint statement.

“New Jersey has taken a stance on sibling rights — that they matter, they exist, and this is now the law,” Jack Auzinger, a member of the DCF Youth Council, said. 

~ story courtesy of Steve Lenox of Tap Into Patterson News – LINK

What It’s Like To Age Out

Today’s story (not my story) –

I’m in Kansas. From age 2 to 18 I was in and out of the foster system. I aged out 4/27/2022, 11 days after my 18th birthday. The state aged me out and left me with nothing. I stayed living with my kinship placement for awhile. The night before graduation she kicked me out and the day of graduation texted me telling me she expected me to come home and get ready for graduation. She kicked me out again, after I told her I was taking a semester off before starting college. I spent the hottest part of summer homeless and couch surfing. I came back to her house 9/21/2022 and it’s been rocky. She continuously threatens to kick me out, which would be fine but I have nowhere to go. I have a Div of Child and Family Services worker at the moment, who is somewhat helping me out but she is hard to get ahold of. I am currently working as a server and about to become a manager as well as starting college this month. I don’t have many options right now and don’t really know what to do.

One adoptee offered this advice (which I agree with) – Don’t go back to that house. And honestly if u make more as a server don’t take the management position unless it’s more money. I’ve only taken lead server roles where I made more hourly and got to keep my tips also. Look on LINK>Roomster – it’s an app for roommates. That way you can at least get a room of your own. While you work on yourself. And it turns out that the management position is $2 more than what she is making now. And if she get tips while being a manager, she gets to keep them.

Since she indicated transportation issues, one person suggested that in some states, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation will provide Driver’s Education classes for people who need to be able to drive themselves to and from job searches/work. She wrote back – I passed the driver’s education class, but had to be medically cleared. By the time I was finally medically cleared I had to retake to test and haven’t been able to.

Re: the housing issues, after someone suggested Catholic Charities (and talking to an advisor at the college about what might be available to share), she adds – “I did have rapid rehousing with Catholic Charities but when I worked at Amazon, I lost it because I made too much.”

And I didn’t realize Reddit could be helpful – there was this – Reddit is more anonymous and you can post on your local sub (probably r/”city name” as well as r/assistance, r/almost homeless, r/ex_foster and r/fosterit.) Your college might also have some resource suggestions, google “college name” + “counseling department.” Assuming you’re in the US, call 211 as well.

I rented rooms in apartments and houses from age 19-28 with roommates I found off of Craigslist, despite it’s bad rap. Many rooms do not require a credit score (I moved countries once, and credit scores don’t transfer.)

Also look up YMCA Host Homes to see if that’s a thing in your city, it’s a small program but could be an option.

All this, just to give you an idea of what these young people are up against. There is much more and I am hopeful that somehow my group which is so resourceful will be able to help this young woman somehow.

The Foster Care Problem

Today again, for the umpteenth time, I learned of 2 children being removed for neglect when that neglect was fixable! It’s criminal these kids are removed.

Being part of the Foster Care System in a non-kinship capacity makes you part of the problem:

If being a foster parent is such a good thing, if they are doing right by these kids, then why do we have these statistics?

Half of foster youth will never graduate high school

One in five will enter the homeless population

One in four will be involved with the criminal justice system

The False Belief: Neglected, abused children are pulled from their home and placed in welcoming environments that are stable and safe

The Reality: More than 1/3 of youth in foster care have documented abuse in foster homes. The act of removal adds additional layers of trauma

So you, who are wanting to become a foster parent, are thinking you are one of the good ones right ? You would not abuse a child – so fostering is the right thing to do because you’re a good guy.

Awesome, but to fight for these kids, you often have to really fight and you are at the mercy of the state. You really have no leverage. You are a glorified babysitter in many cases.

That means your fighting for these kids could be one mis-step away from crap with the caseworker that will cause you to lose that child to a home that WILL abuse them considering how high the likelihood of abuse in foster care is.

So before someone else says it – let’s talk about “what’s the alternative, just let children be abused by their parents ?”

The False Belief: Children removed from their homes are removed “for a good reason”; otherwise they would not be removed

The Reality: “Neglect” is cited in 76% of the cases but what is considered neglect runs the gamut: lack of proper supervision, food insecurity, housing/utility issues, medical challenges, safety issues, assumed neglect due to poverty level, assumed neglect due to the race of the family.

What would solve the “Neglect” issues cited above ? These are ALL solvable issues and addressing them would reduce the number of removals by 76% !!

Why do so many NOT see how the money, time and energy, that goes to Foster Parents and/or the Foster Care system, could be put to programs for family preservation. Doing so would vastly reduce the number of removals and keep children with their families.

What is it going to take for John Q Public to get this and advocate for change ? What is it going to take for foster caregivers to do better and put their time and efforts behind helping families keep their kids out of foster care.

Foster Care Respite

It is a contentious subject but the legalities of the foster care system make this necessary. There are situations that require an authorized place to leave foster children in your care in the care of someone else. Some of these are when you are going to be required to go out of state on short notice. Normally, to even take foster care children out of state requires preapproval from official sources. So in the case of a death in the family or the sudden hospitalization with serious implications of an important family member, that may not be possible.

This need for respite care can be misunderstood and even abused in some situations but for the most part the rules and regulations of the system do prevent that (of course, unfortunate exceptions occur within any system). In a foster care family that has biological children of their own, a plan to leave all the children with a family friend or relative, isn’t a possibility for the foster child. The reason for this is that a foster child can only stay with adults who are licensed to take care of children in foster care. This is where respite care can be very helpful. A child can stay in respite care while their regular foster parents are away and then return to their regular foster family when the foster parents return home.

Examples from current foster carers –  

We have used respite a couple of times. 2 of those times were for adult only vacations, the respite home we used however; was friends of ours that our foster had met before. Our family members that kept our other son couldn’t keep our foster son because they are not licensed. We also have used respite when overnight stays were needed for medical care. I have been a foster carer for almost 3 years and I personally do not know anyone nor have I ever been asked to do respite for children we do not know. We have a pretty good support group that will help each other out and we are not strangers to our kids. I can’t imagine leaving any of my kids with a stranger ever.

I provided respite for a foster friend that was visiting a family that reunited and moved out of state. I have also used it when out of state travel was denied for a little child. It can be reassuring that if you have to be out of town – the child is with someone trauma trained and already set up for foster care. Our state pays $17 per day. In my experience, most people do it for free because they just want to be helpful.

We have been respite provider for other foster carers, Twice they were people who had never met us but they had family emergencies come up and we were recommended by our caseworker. There are a few foster carers near us that we have done respite for, but those kids had been around us and knew us prior to respite care. That made it more like a family friend situation. We have had family members watch the kids in our home but have never left them with strangers.

We never use it as a break. If these were our biological children, we would let them spend the weekend with friends or family. We’re not comfortable doing that with our foster kids, but we made sure to really vet the respite provider ahead of time, and it’s only for a weekend. The couple of times we have is when one of us was out of town and the other at a scout function with our older foster kids. We went through a process to make sure it was a fully trained and licensed respite home and the caseworker had to approve it as well. Both times we used the same place so our younger kids were comfortable. They love it, it’s like a mini vacation for them.

We had to get approvals and back ground check even for any regular babysitter, pre-approval and background check for anyone that invited the kids for a birthday party sleepover, and pre-approval to bring them with us on vacations, if we went out of state overnight. We live in Rhode Island, so is a bit unusual in that it is literally only 30 minute drive in any direction and one leaves the state.

Even so, there is something that is known as Dept of Child and Family Services – “Normalcy and Reasonable and Prudent Parent Policy.” That means that you can allow anyone to watch the foster children in your care as long as you deem them appropriate. They just won’t get paid. And that’s unfortunately the route many foster parents take because they can’t find respite through a licensed family. I had a foster parent reach out to me and ask me to watch a baby for the weekend. I only knew her through a friend of a friend. I could’ve been unsafe for all the person knew and yet they were willing to give me a child for a weekend. I declined and said I didn’t feel comfortable caring for a foster child I had no relationship with. All I could think of was “This is someone’s child. Their whole heart. And this foster parent was willing to leave her with a stranger. So not okay.”

Owned By The State

Samantha Morton

An article in The Guardian caught my attention – LINK>”I was owned by the state” Samantha Morton on foster care.

Question ? What advice would you give to a foster mum ?

First of all, love. Whether you are fostering for a week as a short-term foster carer or you’re a long-term foster parent, try to show love. What hurt me when I was younger was being separated as the foster child. So I wasn’t included in family photographs or family dos, or they went on family holidays and left me behind. Try to get support to make the child feel part of the family as much as possible, which isn’t always easy financially if you’ve got your own kids and only getting a little bit from the council for your foster child.

Also don’t tell everyone all the time: “Oh, this is my foster child.” I really liked it when we’d have a little fib that I was, say, a cousin’s cousin or something like that. So I felt that I belonged.

Question ? What do you think the treatment of children – especially in care or those who are vulnerable – tells us about our society ?

Somebody posted an image on Twitter the other day of how many politicians were in parliament for a debate on the Care Act. There was nobody there. I think that it comes from the top. So if our politicians are not taking it seriously – the welfare of our children, the care system, how broken the care system is – then how is society expected to take it seriously? We need our politicians to take notes, to listen to doctors and social workers and teachers, and look at how broken this country is. The most vulnerable people in society are children and young people, and because they don’t get a vote, they are just disregarded. Politicians have to show compassion and care, and a commitment to real change, before other people kind of go: yeah, we believe that too.

Question ? Have you met a politician (in the current government or otherwise) who said they understood the value of art but then voted to shaft the vulnerable ?

No. The last time I had anything to do with government was after I made my film LINK>The Unloved (2009), about a character who goes into care, and Ed Balls invited me to talk to him and then asked me to be a children’s tsar. I took that role very, very seriously and had lots of discussions about how best I could help with my knowledge and experience. He really took it seriously. And I was incredibly proud of what the Labour government did then in regards to a huge initiative to recruit more social workers and provide better funding. I think since the coalition got in, they have done nothing but decimate children’s services. Anything that makes life better for children, they have actively sought to destroy.

The government has failed us miserably in regards to young people and culture and healthcare and national security. We need a general election now. We need to fight. It makes me very weepy. I cannot get my head around the lack of integrity. It’s just so bad at the moment and it’s going to get a lot worse. It will get better when a different government gets in but they’re going to inherit an absolute mess. Carnage.

Question ? Is it strange to have so many people know your story ? How do you protect your privacy while also allowing yourself to be, at times, very vulnerable ?

I made a choice to share my story because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to make a change. I believe certain things happened to me so that I could make a difference. I was somehow given the toolkit to survive, to not become a victim, to be a survivor. I do have privacy, though. I don’t really talk about my family and children and husband. I feel incredibly private. But I feel my childhood is certainly up for public scrutiny and conversation because I was a child of the state. I was a ward of court. I was owned by the state and the state treated me a certain way, and I’m a product of that.  The legal system is built to protect people with a lot of money.

Autism and Foster Care

Children with autism are more likely to end up in the foster care system. Long- and short-term outcomes for children in foster care are not good: Children who spend any amount of time in foster homes are less likely than their peers to graduate from high school and more likely to end up homeless, in the criminal justice system or in long-term residential care. Foster care may be an even less desirable place for children with autism, given their special needs. Although foster parents may receive some specialized training, it is generally not nearly enough to help them adequately care for these children.

7.3 percent of Medicaid-enrolled children with autism were in foster care in a 2008 study. This is well above twice the proportion of all Medicaid-enrolled children in foster care. The prevalence of children with autism in foster care started out at 7.5 percent in 2001. It climbed to 10.5 percent in 2005 and then declined to 9.1 percent in 2007. Children with autism were 2.4 times more likely to enter foster care than a typical child.

Raising a child with autism is stressful for families, as the condition is unusually difficult to manage effectively. Some parents may simply not have the skills and resources to do so. This may result in neglect or abuse — and placement in foster care. Alternatively, families may voluntarily place children with autism in foster care because they can’t handle the children’s behavioral problems. Third, parents may relinquish custody so that their children can obtain Medicaid-funded or residential care that they otherwise cannot afford.

I will always be for family preservation. To lower the chances that a child with autism will land in foster care, clinicians working with these families should talk openly about the stresses of raising a child on the spectrum. They should ask how that stress is manifesting in the family, and assist the family members in getting the support they need. All US states should offer home visits from professionals or short-term breaks for parents of children with autism. (Only a handful currently do.) Home visits and respite services have been shown to lower the chances of psychiatric hospitalization among children with autism, and also may reduce the risk of foster care placement.

Foster care arrangements can cost between $30,000 and $50,000 in taxpayer funds per child per year. That money could be more wisely spent supporting the needs of these families. Society has an ethical obligation to help families care for their children with autism. We can and must do better to help these most vulnerable children and their families.

Thanks to David Mandell and his essay in  LINK> Spectrum News for today’s blog. I started with an interest in how neurodivergent issues relate to foster care and a google search ended up with that essay.

Christmas Gift Inequalities

Unless someone is a foster parent who also has biological children of their own, they may not be familiar with this problem. Today’s issue – How do you handle the uneven balance of gifts? My fosters will actually end up with a ton of gifts as their biological family and the agency, even my own family and myself will all be buying for them. I was thinking I wouldn’t buy my fosters as many presents as my biological children because the agency will be filling their wish lists? But what if the agency doesn’t come through? Or what if my foster teens notice I only bought them say 2 presents, while my biologicals got 5? What has worked for your family? What has been your experiences?

One respondent suggested this – Let them have more – they already have less. I let them open agency gifts and such at the parent visitation (if applicable) or as they arrive with the worker. Then the gifts from me are opened at Xmas with all of us together that morning.

Someone else said –  I understand her concern. Fostering impacts everyone in the family, especially the biological kids and uneven amounts of gifts could cause hurt feelings.

Another suggested – I’d guess it evens out with your biological children’s extended family vs foster children’s biological family ? As in, you get everyone equal presents for Christmas morning and the rest fills itself in ?

Maybe this explanation adds a bit more clarity – It is about understanding the reality of adoption and foster care. One thing that is reality is that biological children and foster care children are often treated differently, usually to the detriment of the children in foster care. This question assumes that a biological child is equal to a foster care child, therefore the number or type of gifts should be ‘equal’. There is no equality in foster care.

Another suggestion went like this – Let the agency know that you don’t need any presents from them because you’ll be doing your job fulfilling the wish lists for the children. Just to note – your biological kids haven’t experienced the trauma of being removed from their family and having to spend Christmas without them, so if we want to play tit for tat… you could always send your kids to another family to spend Christmas, so that they understand their situation better.

Also, just to note that yesterday I learned a new detail about my mom’s paternal family. His first wife died while pregnant at the beginning of a new year. The two girls (my mom’s older half-sisters) were put into foster care for a short time. I had not known that detail before but my heart aches, considering the trauma of having lost their mother, to then be separated from their father and older brothers. They were very poor and I can believe there was ample concern about his ability under those circumstances to care for young girls. Thankfully, he did find other ways to care for ALL of his children after their mother’s death by involving extended family.

This from experience – The kids in foster care in my home got more gifts than my biological son. The foster care kids didn’t get to be with their families for the holidays, a few extra gifts does not hold a candle to that loss. If it had come up with my biological son, it would have been an opportunity to talk about compassion and gratitude.

I really liked this answer from an adoptee – Everything is complicated when there are younger biological and foster care kids in the same house. Maybe try not putting so much importance on gifts and doing something together as people instead. I’d love to remember a happy Christmas seeing lights and drinking cocoa, instead of tenseness around a tree centered on who can get what.

A former foster care youth provided her direct experience – We would get a box of smellys (toiletries), a selection box of candy and some socks or something equally small in value. There is no need to be concerned about extravagant gifts from the state.

A former social worker, foster parent shared this – Communication is key. My social workers keep me posted about what has been donated, so I know what to buy or not to buy. You could ask that items not be wrapped, so you can see for yourself and make sure everyone feels equally excited and there’s no hurt feelings the day of. When the social workers ask for the wishlist, I’m also intentional about putting more affordable wishes on the list, while I purchase the “big” items or clothing that is specific to the foster child’s style in order to make sure they get things they really want. We were gifted some really amazing presents from a church for our foster son last year, so there’s the chance they could get doubles – if you don’t know what’s going to be donated until closer to Christmas day. The earlier you receive the donations the better you can plan accordingly to ensure that all foster children receive equal gifts along with your biological children. For example, children may receive different donations from the people that took on their wishlist that are more expensive than a child whose list was bought by a family with less resources. Our extended family is consistent at buying both our biological and foster children equal gifts but not all extended families do. I always give my relatives specific items that aren’t repeated on other wishlists, when they ask for what the kids would like.

Project Zero

Awareness of this effort is new to me today but it IS still National Adoption Awareness Month and it’s original purpose was to find homes for kids in foster care, instead of letting them age out of the system. This effort comes from Arkansas, a state I have lived in, have genetic roots to and neighbors my home state of Missouri.

From their website LINK> Who We Are

Project Zero began as the Pulaski County Adoption Coalition, over 15 years ago, to further the cause of adoption in our county and state. The coalition was made up of adoption professionals, ministry and organizational leaders, DCFS staff, attorneys, adoptive parents, foster parents, and others who were passionate about adoption. In 2009, our coalition obtained it’s 501c3 non-profit status and pushed forward with new ideas and opportunities.

As time went on we realized that, although many of our events were productive, there was more work that needed to be done in the effort to link waiting children and adoptive families. Project Zero was born in the fall of 2011 as a result of that need for change. Project Zero became the ramped-up, overhauled, and statewide version of the coalition with a renewed goal to deliberately and purposefully pursue out-of-the-box ways to find forever families for kids in foster care who are waiting.

I should add that my mom’s half-sister Javene, who lived and died in Arkansas, adopted two children as well. It just seems that adoption really does run in my family (both of my parents were adoptees and both of my sisters gave up babies to adoption). Even so, I do struggle with the way adoption has been and do believe in a need to reform the practice.

Project Zero has a LINK> YouTube channel. Here’s one for National Adoption Month – a music video titled Hold My Hand. The kids speak and it IS heartbreaking.

In A System Haunted

DeJarnette Sanitarium

It doesn’t take long if spending time among adoptees to learn about the strong link between foster care and adoption. Foster care is often the first step in that direction as children are removed from their parents and placed with strangers. The official goal is reunification of the family when it is deemed safe for the children to be returned to their parents. That does happen in many cases after an emotionally damaging experience for all concerned. Other times the parent’s rights are terminated and in the case of infants and young children, often these are adopted by the foster parents or some other hopeful adoptive parent. And in too many cases, these young children “age out” in the system and are thrown out into the world as young adults with few supports, though that situation has improved somewhat in recent years.

Yesterday, I learned about the link between the building pictured above and foster care. Dr Joseph DeJarnette was a proponent of racial segregation and eugenics, specifically the compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill. He was known to idolize Nazi Germany and took the facility under his management from a resort-like treatment center to an apocalyptic prison nightmare. His determined efforts resulted in the passage of the “Eugenical Sterilization Act of 1924” (a.k.a Racial Integrity Act). This new act reinforced racial segregation by preventing interracial marriages and classifying “white” as being pure 100% Caucasian. Men and women who were admitted to his hospital were involuntarily sterilized to prevent the conception of mixed race human beings. DeJarnette also forcibly sterilized single mothers, alcoholics, those with mental conditions and epilepsy, the poor, and the incarcerated. Dr DeJarnette not only performed countless sterilizations but also medical procedures on his patients like electroshock therapy and lobotomies.

He died in 1957. DeJarnette became a state institution with a focus on children’s behavioral health issues. It is at that point in the history of this place that my interest today became awareness. If you believe emotional energy leaves traces of residual energy in a place, then in that sense DeJarnette is believed haunted. A young woman writing an op-ed for LINK> The Huffington Post brought that awareness to me.

At the age of 14, the author was relatively new to the foster care system and waiting for a bed to open up at a long-term facility. The author walked those halls, recognizes the once-grand arches that frame the doorways, the bedrooms with graffitied walls. She says, “Dr. Joe’s evil spirit is said to walk the halls. Some say they’ve heard children’s voices in the darkness or moans and other noises from the former patients reported to have perished due to medical experiments. I doubt the teens who once lived there were aware of Dr DeJarnette by name. I wasn’t. However, the building’s ties to eugenics were among the first things new kids learned about the center.”

She goes on to note that she asked – “Why did they do it?” And the answer she got was – “They think your kids are gonna end up like you. If we don’t have babies, they’ll be less of us and more of them.” She says – “I wasn’t totally sure what more of them meant but I understood less of us. Less of me.” She also shares that she lived in DeJarnette during the winter with the holidays were approaching. It was her first Christmas in the system. Her expectations were perpetually low back then. She fixated on the phrase anything you want when asked to provide a Christmas wish list with one condition – as long as it’s less than 10 dollars. She remembers asking for a Def Leppard tape even though she no longer had her boom box. Receiving the tape symbolized hope and the belief that someday, she would have a tape player again.

We don’t often consider what it is like for a teen living in foster care. That they don’t have typical teenage memories like going to the homecoming dance, having their first date, a sweet 16 party or getting a driver’s license. What she did get was a strong sense of her ability to survive. She made it through the system and didn’t become a statistic. She says that she is thriving today. She says of that residual energy – “when you consider the collective traumas and experiences of all those who spent time in that cavernous, state-run institution, there was plenty of haunting going on. It wasn’t ghosts, though. It was us.”

Inside DeJarnette Today

Foster Care Nightmares

Last month, a foster mother’s foster son #1 moved across the country to be with his aunt. This is the way foster care is supposed to work. She also has a foster daughter who is age 6 and has two brothers in another foster home. The foster home once had all 3 kids but kicked the girl out after a few days. She had been told that the girl’s brothers couldn’t come and be with their sister until the other foster son #1 reunified, even though the woman is approved to house 4 children.

Once he reunified, she started pushing super hard to get the girl’s brothers brought there, so that the siblings could be back together, something the county seems against, despite court orders.

They had an overnight visit with the girl’s brothers on 9.24.22. At the same time that was going on, she got a call from foster son #1’s aunt, saying she wants to send him back to them after only having him for one month. Understandably, the foster mother is at a loss to understand the whole situation. Of course, she had told the aunt he would always have a home there and that the aunt doesn’t have to make that decision so quickly. Yet, the mother worried about his safety, if the aunt was that desperate to have him moved.

Her perspective is that she does have obligations to ALL 4 children. She wonders if the Dept of Child and Family Services will cooperate with all of these needs. She doesn’t want foster son #1 to have to move to yet another foster family and she is still committed to reunifying the other 3 siblings under one roof. She doesn’t want to have to choose which kids get more trauma heaped onto their lives ? She says – It’s so effed up how people discard children like they’re nothing.

Story Updated – The aunt called and demanded that foster son #1 be removed from her home immediately. So, the social worker flew out to get him. The foster mother doesn’t know what happened or even if the aunt is interested in maintaining any kind of relationship with him now that he’s back with her. Of course, this is heartbreaking all around. The foster mother is working with an attorney and he seems to agree with her that the brothers should be placed with their sister. But the social worker is definitely against it. so, this is still an unfolding story.