child's welfare

Next Steps

I ran into the director of child welfare for my state at a business meeting today. I sucked up big time. I did not mention any shit that’s going on with the case. I thanked the changes that have been made, hard work, more lies.

At 9:33, I emailed the director thanking for the time and leadership and blah.

10:50, got an email back from director.

I will do anything for these kids, even kissing up to Trump himself. God knows I’ve done a lot worse for a lot less.


Genie was born in 1957 in California. Her father determined that she was mentally disabled and therefore not worthy of his attention or care. He isolated her from everybody - locking her alone inside a room until she reached the age of 13. While inside this room, he kept her strapped to a toilet or enclosed in a crib. Due to her isolation, she was incapable of communicating or walking when she was finally rescued by Los Angeles child welfare authorities on 4 November, 1970.

Her father would beat her with a plank wood each time she attempted to communicate with her family and would bark and growl at her like a dog to intimidate her - this instilled a severe fear of dogs which continued after she was freed. He even grew his fingernails; the sole purpose being so he could scratch at Genie is she ever “misbehaved.” After she was freed, she was often used as a case study for psychologists, linguists, and scientists.

Genie was sent into care and while there seemed to be a series of breakthroughs in the beginning, there were also major setbacks - she was exploited and also abused by those who were supposed to be caring for her - she was sent to an extremely religious foster care home in which she retreated and in 1977, she managed to tell a children’s hospital that her foster parents had physically punished her when she had been sick. Following this, her speech never recovered and nobody knows for sure what became of her other than she was sent to an institute for the mentally undeveloped in Southern California in 2008.

  See, this is the kind of Republican/Conservative bullshit that pisses me off!
  First, they think it’s impossible to care about more than one thing at a time. Like no one could possibly care about Americans AND refugees.
  But, the deeper issue – the issue they’re trying like hell to cover up – is that they don’t give a flying frak about our homeless children either! If they did, they wouldn’t be cutting welfare, food stamps, unemployment, and disability! They wouldn’t be fighting so hard against raising the minimum wage! They wouldn’t be cutting education spending – from pre-school to college! They wouldn’t be cutting money for housing! They wouldn’t be killing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)! They wouldn’t be cutting funding for Planned Parenthood! They wouldn’t be cutting funding for veterans! They wouldn’t continually blame the poor for being poor! They wouldn’t be spending 8-14 BILLION dollars on a wall the majority of Americans don’t want, and most experts say won’t work, instead of helping either Americans or refugees!
  These hypocritical chuckleheads cry “America First,” but their actions have made it all too clear they don’t care about Americans either! Well, unless those Americans have the word “millionaire” after their name.
California lawmakers advance bill to decriminalize prostitution for minors - LA Times

This is really interesting, and it’s a necessary first step, but like here:

Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014 signed legislation placing sex trafficking victims without legal guardians under the authority of the dependency system, which centers on caring for abused and neglected children.

SB 1322 drew the support of a large coalition of advocates who said the bill was a step further in that direction, taking young victims entirely out of the juvenile justice system. But law enforcement officials oppose the move, saying the state’s child welfare system is woefully low on resources.

On the Assembly floor, lawmakers agreed the legislation was well-intentioned and promoted the idea that “there is no such thing as a child prostitute,“ as children cannot legally consent to sex.

But while supporters of the bill argued that it would provide a better way to connect young victims with social services, opponents countered that it would prevent law enforcement from helping vulnerable children who often don’t see themselves as victims, run away from unsecured shelters and remain tied to their traffickers through complicated psychological and emotional bonds.

that doesn’t acknowledge the fact that many of them don’t have guardians because they were already IN the dependency system and were either not treated well or were overtly abused.

like until cps and dhs and welfare and all of those things are MUCH better funded and have MUCH better oversight, kids will keep running away.

what they really need to do next is fund way more shelters and create a system of social services that doesn’t force kids to be dependent.

but it’s a really necessary first step that they are no longer going to be made criminals before they even hit their majority.

Abuse PA

Hi, let’s stop ignoring, invalidating, and minimizing the impact emotional abuse can have.

Let’s stop denying that it can happen in “good” homes. People who provide for their child and say they love them, can still emotionally abuse their child.

Someone who is nice to YOU can emotionally abuse another person. Just because that abusive person may be nice to YOU, doesn’t make someone’s abusive experience any lesser. Your positive experience isn’t proof that the abuse “wasn’t that bad” or was “a misunderstanding.”

You know, one concept that was covered in my Child Welfare Social Work class was how abusers are usually the ones people don’t expect at all. They can be charismatic, held in high regard, and in positions of authority. They can be anyone. Someone isn’t exempt from being abusive just because they are small, big, male, female, rich, or poor. This stuff goes for all types of abuse, but I’m specifying the often ignored emotional abuse.

Let’s stop denying that it has no lasting impact, because yes, it can cause Trauma and Stress Related Disorders– it is psychologically damaging “enough.”

Let’s also stop “throwing” the term around. A parent grounding you for being a brat and breaking rules isn’t “abusive.” A parent not letting you get your way all the time isn’t “abusive.” Honestly, certain comments that can be made sometimes aren’t inherently abusive either. Stop shouting “Abuse! Triggered!!” at every little thing you disagree, dislike, or if someone calls you out.
On the other hand, a parent exaggerating a punishment, rule, or wrong-doing, can be abusive.

People with disabilities and disorders can be abused in unique ways that may be ignored and passed up, too.

Restricting a deaf person from their phone and/or communication device, can be abusive.
Withholding medication from someone with mental illness, can be abusive.
Forcing a child who has severe social anxiety into uneeded situations that terrify them, can be abusive.
Continuously triggering someone’s symptoms knowingly because, “It’s not something to get triggered about” or “it’s not a big deal” or because “it’s funny,” can be abusive.

Stop ignoring their symptoms and comparing them to those without a disorder/disability.
When people comment towards someone with a disorder/disability about what they “should” be able to do, it’s saying they need to be more like someone without it.
Stop acting like people without disorders/disabilities set the only acceptable standard of being for everyone.
For instance, if someone with a learning disability is continuously told, “You should be able to do this, you should have higher grades, you should understand by now, you shouldn’t need assistance” comments like this can be considered abuse.

You don’t get to decide what is damaging enough or easy/hard to do for an entirely different person, with entirely different genetics and biological make up, in an entirely different environment, situation, and “world” than yours.

I’ll be fine.“ – For caregivers, it may translate to: I’ll be functional. I’ll be productive. I’ll make sure that life continues on as normal. I’ll be strong and people will see my strength.  I’ll be the rock. I’ll be the touchstone. Because I am the safety net and I cannot have holes; lest someone fall to me in the wrong moment and I fail them.

But just like nets, I may need minor repairs. I may need another pair of eyes to watch and see where I am wearing thin. I don’t need you to fix me. I just need you to help me recognize my own damage.

—  “Someone Else’s Rock” - The book I’ve titled but might never write.

Transracial adoption first became a controversial issue in the early 1970s. A heated public debate occurred about the transmission of Afri­can American cultural identity to Black children adopted into White middle-class families. The central question in these debates was whether or not White parents were capable of teaching their children African American culture and history, and inculcating them with the skills necessary for Blacks to survive in the racially unequal United States. Con­cerns over the transmission of identity have shaped public opinion and social policies regarding racial matching between children and parents since the 1970s. Transracial adoption became a contentious public issue after the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) released a position paper in 1972 stating their opposition to the practice, citing their concerns about racial identity and survival skills as the basis of their objections (NABSW 1972).

The Black social workers’ critique of the ways Black children were treated in the child welfare system was a contestation of state-sanctioned regulations determining which families African American children would become part of, and thus be socialized by. Their protests against transra­cial adoption were largely motivated by a concern for the futures of African American children and a desire to strengthen Black families, and were often politically grounded in Black nationalism. Policy changes re­flecting these concerns gradually occurred at the state, county, and agency levels. While standards varied in different regions, in most areas of the country adoption agencies became committed to the goal of racial matching whenever possible. Many states drew up regulations governing how long agencies could spend searching for same-race placements.

Transracial adoption receded from public debate later in the 1970s, and received very little media attention until the early 1990s when it once again became the subject of fierce public discussion. While argu­ments against this practice continued to focus on racial identity, the political context of the 1990s had changed. Whereas in the earlier debate attention was focused on the importance of racial matching between children and parents, in the current political climate the debate has led to new federal policies promoting “color-blind” adoptions by prohibiting the consideration of race in the adoptive placement of a child. The public discourse concerning this issue goes beyond the specificity of transracial adoptees’ lives. Indeed, this policy dialogue has implications for political struggles over teenage pregnancy, “ille­gitimacy,” and welfare reform.

While the current public dialogue is explicitly concerned with issues of race, the linkage of transracial adoption with welfare reform, tax credits to adoptive parents, and the termination of (birth) parental rights reveals a more implicit agenda focusing on women. In fact, the 1996 law was explicitly designed to combat “illegitimacy” among wel­fare recipients. In a political context dominated by proponents of tra­ditional “family values” as the solution to the supposed “breakdown of the family,” celebrations of adoption as a panacea to the “epidemic of illegitimacy” among “underclass” women and the misfortune of infertility among primarily middle-class heterosexual couples must be viewed critically. This political dialogue sounds disturbingly similar to early-twentieth-century eugenic prescriptions for strengthening the White race by limiting the reproductive capacities of “undesirables”— namely, Black women, immigrant women, “imbeciles,” and “im­moral” women. In the shifting political alliances and commitments of the 1990s and beyond, adoption has become a curious battleground on which the social meanings of race and identity, gender and family, work and poverty, culture and nation are being constructed, contested, and enforced.

—  Sandra Patton, Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America (2000).

Reviewing stacks upon stacks of home studies (profiles on prospective adoptive families) today for some of my kids. I have to go through the 30 something options and whittle it down by desired demographics and then read what’s left & select several to present for consideration by the team. It is hard work, because it’s both emotionally taxing & terribly tedious.

Department of Children and Families

Originally posted by ilskan

Between Harry being locked in a cupboard, Tom Riddle in an Orphanage, and Merope Gaunt being raised in squalor and being prepped for a life of incest, HOW THE FUCK DOES THE MINISTRY NOT HAVE A DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES?!?!? I mean, if they can have every magical child’s name on a list, shouldn’t someone be checking up on them? Come on Minister Granger. If I heard you’d started a house elf protection agency and not a child wizard protection agency, I’m going to be so disappointed in you. For fucks sake. You have a misuse of Muggle artifacts office but you don’t have child welfare.

When it comes to transracial adoption, questions of socialization and race are inseparable. When the myth that race alone relegates children to foster care is debunked, conservative policymakers and advocates claim­ing to abolish racial discrimination in the child welfare system lose the central point of their argument. Additionally, the ostensibly altruistic sal­vation narrative of transracial adoption in which White families alone are deemed capable of “saving” Black children from the fate of urban poverty, crime, drug addiction, and chaos reads distinctly like a 1990s ur­banized version of the “White man’s (or family’s) burden” of “civilizing the natives.” In fact, the insidious nature of this argument is apparent in the conservative political discourse advocating adoption as a “solution” to the “social ill” of “illegitimacy.” Alongside the language regarding the “best interests” of children through the promotion of “color-blind” adoptions, is the discourse of children as a risk, threat, and unsocialized menace to civil society. In this perspective children and teens in the inner city threaten to become a generation of criminal “super-predators.“
—  Sandra Patton, Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America (2000).

As some of you know, after I graduated with my PhD, I had trouble finding a job and was in serious financial trouble as I had no income, so I took the first job I was offered.  That job happens to be as a social caseworker for Child Welfare, meaning I investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect and determine what measures are necessary to keep the child(ren) safe.  As you might imagine, this is pretty distressing and exhausting.  

Fortunately, I have a small turgleburger who snuggles my forehead after I’ve had a long and stressful week.  <3