My neighbor does foster care and I am not sure if this is normal or something I should be reporting. (Disclaimer – from a post, this is not my own experience but I do think this is important.)
Yesterday, I heard a kid crying outside. After about 5-10 minutes, I went out onto my deck to see where it was coming from and it was my neighbor’s backyard. At this point the kid was sobbing, I hadn’t heard or seen any type of intervention from any adult, so I yelled over the fence asking the kid if they were okay. At that point, I did hear an adult, maybe also on their deck but I couldn’t see. The kid continued to cry for their mom and at no point did I see anybody attempt to comfort them. More kids came out to play and I stayed on my deck. This child cried for probably 20 minutes.
Now today, I can hear a kid crying in their backyard. After about 5 minutes, I look out my patio door and see again – there is no adult attempting comfort. I’m not sure if it is the same kid as yesterday, but at this point I’m trying to decide if I should call the county to do a check or the police for a welfare check. I started recording should this continue so there is documentation and the child is in the backyard sobbing that he wants to go inside. no adults come out, no comfort is made. the only thing that changes is more children are then in the backyard, playing but not with him.
I have no other context to go off of here. I know kids get upset. My kids get upset, but I feel like I always try and distract, comfort, or intervene in some way – but foster care comes with trauma – so I don’t want to cause these kids any more trauma, if I am overreacting.
From a foster parent – it is against our agency’s policy to prevent children from entering the house. Even if the county clears them of “abuse,” I would try to report it to their licensing worker, as well. Continue to document.
Discussing this with my husband as I have been concerned when my children were younger, about do-gooders misunderstanding context and presenting a threat to my own family. He said, the woman should contact the foster care agency supervisor and say that she doesn’t want to call police into the situation but that it distresses her as a next door neighbor not to be comforting this child. Would it be appropriate for her to do that and how should she approach it ? I don’t know if that is a realistic proposition but I am considering a desire not to inflict more trauma. I can certainly understand a child recently removed from their mother would be generally in a distressed emotional state.