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Posts Tagged ‘foster parent’

       Here is a story i could sink my teeth into since i am the parent of several special needs children.  A young boy, by the name of Adam Race, has been banned from the church that he has attended since 1996.  He has been banned because he is autistic, and is very large.   He has several behavioral challenges that the church is suggesting endangers other attendees.

        Adam’s priest by the name of Daniel Walz has filed a restraining order against the 13 year old’s parents; which the mother has violated.  Understand that Adam is only 13; however, he is six feet tall and weighs somewhere around 225 pounds.  The sheer size of the young man is definately something to consider. 

       The priest alledges that Adam has struck another child during services and that in his zeal to leave the building, has at times almost knocked over elderly parishioners.  Adam has also run out of the building and, started a couple of vehicles to hear the “calming roar of the engines”.  This is another danger concern.   Adam sometimes has a problem holding his urine; and, if he needs to be restrained during difficult behaviors, he fights it.  The mother and father, do at times, have to restrain him.  This can all be quite disruptive; and that, plus the concerns for safety, has led the priest to file the restraining order.  The priest felt they had no other choice.

        It seems that before that filing, the priest and a church trustee attempted to discuss their concerns with Adam’s parents.  They offered the family other options and accomodations to deal with the behavioral issues.  The family refused.  It hasn’t been revealed what those other accomodations were.  The family has defied the restraining order and continued to attend church with their son.  By the way, this is a family of seven.

       I have special needs children as i said before.  I have also been a foster parent to many special needs children who were behaviorally challenged.  I know the stress of that.  I know the need of sitting in church to receive peace and a strengthening of my faith.  I also, am well aware that most of the time…it is much more stressful trying to achieve that goal of peace and strength in a very public setting with others who have no idea of the daily struggles living and providing for special needs young people requires.

        You see, you need special training to deal with some of the behaviors and special requirements.  So you can’t just happily send a special needs child off to a sunday school classroom with people who are unprepared or untrained in those skills. 

        My husband and I have been teachers in several church settings.  We know what it is like to be the teachers or instructors in charge .  We have had to teach and sometimes handle special needs children or teens in that environment as well. 

          One time, we did have a young man who was also very large for his age and autistic.  It was a child that did not attend regularily, this program was a vaction bible school event.  The platform was a raised one.  All of the children were encouraged to stand in front of the platform during praise and worship.  Then, when that was done, they were encouraged to sit down in the rows of pews.  The young man in question, at one point, ran to the front while the puppets were performing.  My brother- in- law, who was a weight lifter, was operating a large puppet that included having his arm encased in a fur lined sleeve.

       The young man ran up on stage and grabbed my brother-in-laws arm and pulled it down over the front of the puppet stage and almost broke my brother-in-laws arm.  It took several people to disengage him.  It was something we were un-prepared for.  The parents had dropped him off during the services and left.  This was unusual…because the other days of that week, they had stayed with him and helped to keep him under control when he would get overly excited.  Communication is key in these situations.  Educate the workers or volunteers to the special skill sets that they will need to work with special needs youths successfully!

        Most of the time, having special needs children in church is workable.  You discuss with the family members or care givers what works for each child as an individual.   Maybe you can even get the parents to help volunteer in the children’s program to help out. You do your best so that the caregiver can get a couple of hours of peace and “down time” from the strains of 24/7 caregiving, if possible.   Raising awareness about those who live with special needs children and providing support is the goal of this website:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  (more…)

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        Here is a news item that will make your head spin.  Think you are a good parent? What if you made a simple, honest mistake?   Do you understand that a simple misunderstanding could cause you to loose the custody of your child to a government agency…even for just a few days?  Child Protective Services is such of a powerful agency that even common sense can be overridden, at times, when the zeal to “protect” child from abuse or neglect.

       In theory, CPS is in the business of keeping kids safe from abuse and neglect.  In it’s worst form….they cause irreparable damage.  I read an article today referring to a case of a father who went to a Tiger’s ballgame at the CoAmerica ballfield in Detroit.  He had his 7 year old son with him.

       The father bought them some Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  For those of you who don’t know…it has alcohol in it.  The father did not know this.  The father works out of the country alot.  A security guard spotted the boy holding his bottle and confiscated it…and then, had the boy taken to an ER to be checked out.  From there it only gets worse.  CPS was called and the child was taken to foster care; this, all because of a lack of knowledge that the lemonade had liquor in it. 

       The child was checked out at the ER…and there was no measurable amount of liquor in his system.  Still the child was placed in foster care.  There was an aunt who is a social worker and foster parent, who lived in new england; she drove all night to get to Michigan to take custody of the boy.  When she got here…they told her she had to have a hotel room which she promptly went to get.

       By the time she got back to CPS they had placed the child into a foster home which they would not disclose to the family.   A CPS worker, and a police officer said that placing the child into foster care was not necessary in their opinion; but, the supervisors insisted. The police officer at the hospital after interviewing the parties involved believed it was an honest mistake.  I am all for balancing safety and well being for children…but, it must be balanced with common sense.

        Eventually, after the department forced the father to leave his own home for a week…the child was returned to his mother after two days of foster care. 

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       The fostering system in America is not perfect.  It has so many problems and loopholes that at times if you are in the system, as a social worker, health care professional, court personel, foster parent, biological parent or a foster (child) the system appears to resemble swiss cheese!

        Still, the need for foster homes is always there.  Foster homes do great and mighty work when done correctly and for the right reasons.  Most of the time, we only hear the negative stories on the news.  It is horrible.   

         Success stories in foster care are rarely heard on the news. (more…)

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