Pot Holes vs. Foster Children

April 26, 2017

Apparently, our South Carolina legislature cares more for the state of our roads than they do for the state of South Carolina’s foster children. Don’t get me wrong, I drive all over the state of South Carolina and I dodge pot holes, broken pavement and orange cones like everyone else and it is a matter that requires attention. But honestly, what is occurring in the lives of foster children in this state in my mind is FAR and AWAY more important.

There are 2 bills, H. 3442 and H. 3465, that were passed almost unanimously (one idiot voted against the bills) in the House and have been sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee since February 8, 2017. So what’s the big deal… Well, while the Senate pours over a host of other matters and are dominated by pot holes and DOT reform, foster children who have already been harmed once, are being re-harmed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and our court system.

How are they being re-harmed you ask? By our state blatantly ignoring the attachments foster children have formed with their foster parents, alternate caregivers, or relative caregivers and without thought, being ripped from the only family and safety they have ever known and placed somewhere else. Let me give you an example: baby boy removed at birth and placed with a foster family who loves and cares for him for 19 months only to be snatched from the only parents, and siblings he has ever known and placed with a sperm donor who has a one-hour supervised visits for a few months before being placed with him permanently. Oh, yeah, the sperm donor… undocumented and no driver’s license. Another example, young foster child, removed after living with a foster family for the past 12 months. DSS had completed two home studies on a relative in which they wanted to place the child and on two occasions, the relative failed the home study because they tested positive for drugs. Attempted the third time to get a clean home study, they passed a drug test and moved the child despite testimony from an attachment expert about the harm the child would suffer after forming secure attachments with the caregiver.

How would you feel, if someone came to your home and attempted to take your 12-month-old, 19-month-old, four-year-old and place them somewhere else? Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when children need to and should be returned to biological parents. That is NOT what I am talking about here. I am talking about making placement decisions for children, that defies common sense, lacks appropriate casework, is unwarranted, and causes direct and irreparable emotional and psychological harm to children who are already vulnerable. Placement decisions that give ZERO consideration for a child’s secure attachments.

Seriously, our state actively engages in re-harming foster children and our senators, rather than moving proposed legislation forward today that would help our children, instead, postpone ALL subcommittee hearings to hash out a gas tax and DOT reform. SMH… (for those over 50… that means, “shake my head”) Pot Holes vs Foster Child… Pot Holes win.

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