It was announced today that the court in Texas that has authority over the 416 children that were removed under suspicion of abuse from their parents who are part of the polyamous sect of Latter Day Saints has deemed it necessary to move 27 of those children.
The 27 chosen children are actually teenaged boys. They are being moved over 7 hours away from the area to a ranch for troubled boys and girls. What???? How does this even make sense. They will be over 7 hours away from their families, from the court, from Child Protective Services that will have jurisdiction over them. How in the world is does this make sense? Services will have to be coordinated between counties hours away from each other…this is costly and adds extra complications for the kids involved.
Why wouldn’t they keep them close; so that those who are in the foster care system can maintain contact with appropriate family members? How will they have regular contact with the lawyers, investigators, social workers, educators, counselors, and so on? This will put even more of a financial strain on the system.
I have worked in the foster care system as a foster parent..i know what seperation from family can do to those kids; even when they are allowed visitation with family. in this case, i wonder if they will even allow visitation…and if they do…how long will it before family relationships are deemed safe or unsafe for the kids?
Even if the worst is found to be true and mothers and fathers have allowed/condoned/or abused these kids…there are other family members, i am sure, who would be willing to do a family placement to maintain some kind of healthy bonding for the kids. The system has to be alert to inflicting more emotional damage to these kids while trying to protect them from other abuses they may have suffered; otherwise, they are guilty of damaging the children also.
There must be Aunts, Uncles, Adult Sisters or Brothers, or Grandparents who want to protect these children and maintain contact so that the children are not further damaged. It doesn’t compute. I think we dont have all of the facts…but, because this investigation is so large and they cant investigate it all quickly…this is one way to seperate and divide until they understand the complexities of the cases…who is a family member to whom…and who abused who.
At the same time, I wonder how much more damaged, some of these kids will be…when all is said and done. At this point, no one knows who has been abused and who hasn’t but they are all being treated the same. They need to be healthy, safe, shown appropriate love and affection and feel secure. Those things are in short supply when you are thrust into a whole new world from what you are used to.
Feelings of trust, bonding, and abandonment are all at risk in these kinds of situations. Trauma is a given…the trick is to do the least amount of damage possible. It is a horrible situation all of the way around. The poor kids who are innocent in all of this…poor parents who Could be innocent in the area of abuse/neglect…those are the ones I feel sorry for. They are all being traumatized. The ones who are guilty…i don’t have too much sympathy for.
The children are feeling scared,abandoned,lonely,sad,confused, traumatized, exposed, unsafe and uncertain of what comes next like all foster children. Of course, those who were abused were also feeling those same emotions during the time they endured the alledged abuse.
I would wish for a speedy resolution of the investigation; but, i know better…and that is why i say…there is more damage to come…just from the length of the time away from the things that the children know as safety and security!
*This is an update to the blog post i did on the 12th of April.