From a generally anti-foster care perspective, a question was asked –
Why did the government move away from orphanages/group homes to children living with foster carers ? Bottom line is that it is about money. It is cheaper for the government to give foster carers a stipend than provide for the full needs of children in a modern orphanage or group home.
My mom spent a few months as an infant at Porter-Leath, an orphanage in Memphis TN. Her original mother took my mom there only for temporary care while she tried to get on her feet and estranged from her husband, the father of my mom, who was most likely tied up one state over fighting a SuperFlood on the Mississippi in 1937. He was in Arkansas working for the WPA and that was where most of his own roots and family were. That is how Georgia Tann got involved and my mom ended up adopted.
My family visited Porter-Leath in 2017. It is now an amazingly peaceful place and much changed but still provides some sheltering for runaways who need a safe place to go.
The discussion was not about orphanages of the past though. It was about facilities that are geared towards children’s best interests. A revamped system. An environment where the kid never has to become someone else to fit in with a family he isn’t related to. One that is very consistent and stable. That is vital for kids.
And no competition with a foster carer’s biological kids, or being made to feel like a burden or an inconvenience compared to the carer’s biological children. Modern orphanages are really structured. Everyone there is on the same playing field. It totally eliminates the foster vs biological conflicts. The experience of former foster youth is that biological kids are horrible towards foster kids. Full of disdain and resentment for these strangers being in their homes.
I was intrigued by the mention of modern orphanages, I found a link to an Atlantic article highlighting Palmer Home for Children in Mississippi that is fairly current.
This always feels personal to me because my sons have ALWAYS been educated at home. Mostly we have tried to fly under the radar so that we can continue to do what we believe is best for our own family. It came to pass that my daughter became frustrated with the school options for my granddaughter in Florida and chose to avail herself of their virtual school offer. She has since acknowledged that she understands the appeal of control and flexibility that homeschooling offers. I would be the first to acknowledge that it is not for everyone. If the parents have to go to work outside their home (we have a home-based business), then it is going to be a real challenge to implement.
One of the more disturbing aspects of educating my children at home has been when a case of child abuse becomes linked to the fact that the parents hid behind homeschooling in order to hide their abuse. This often brings calls from those who’s attachment is to public schooling for more oversight and regulation of those of us who have made a personal choice. I am fortunate that the state of Missouri has good supports for homeschooling choice due to a large population of conservative Christians. I am grateful to them though we are not homeschooling for the same reasons they do.
So today, I read yet again an allegation that everyone dislikes homeschooling because it is a front for abuse as the Coronavirus has forced schools to close and children to stay at home.
Can it really be true that abusers have to wait for an official sanction of homeschooling to cover their abuse of their children ? Or that many people homeschool simply so that they can abuse their children ?
More than once, I have encountered arguments for the advantages of school as required for the socialization of children. It is not the blind leading the blind (children of a single age group influencing their peers to bad behavior) for my sons. They have been socialized to the entire spectrum of humanity – from babies to the elderly. We have often been complimented about how well behaved they are in places where some parents’ children are running around like wild heathens.
In this time of Coronavirus, maybe it isn’t so much about socializing as it is that parents are stressed from being home all day cooped up with their children. We have always valued every single minute of time that we spend with our sons.
One could ask whether schools in the US just “holding cells” for the dependents of people who have to work or so that they can have their days off free to do as they please, until their children are released to come home from school ?
As long as society is so “intertwined” with our government that people become upset that those who chose to do so can school their own children or judge those that do as doing so to hide abuse or that well intentioned people must protect other people’s children from being schooled at home, nothing will ever change for the better in a society of free people.