Caring About Our Kids
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on August 27, 2013
“A number of factors has exacerbated the foster bed shortage. For one, the county lacks an accurate, real-time database of foster home vacancies. The system, updated just once a month, lists the licensed capacity of a home but not the number of beds a foster parent now is willing to fill.”
This LA Times article, detailing the lack of foster homes available in LA County, hurts me deeply, as I ponder the implications. In particular, technology today has made tracking systems ubiquitous. We can track birds, flowers, stocks, and weather, but knowing the number of available foster beds, seems beyond our capacity. This, to me, seems like evidence of LA County’s priorities, of which our children, are not included. The system is large, but keeps failing. Yes, we do not hear about the successes, so perhaps I am being too harsh. Yet, taken together with my previous post, https://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/shame-foster-kids-given-psychiatric-drugs-at-higher-rates/, the data mounts to suggest that LA County prioritizes other County services, at the expense of the welfare of our children. Perhaps political dollars do not float towards foster care, since these children, even when they grow up, do not present a major voting force. Advocacy is needed, as so many of these children will have mental health needs which will overwhelm the healthcare system. The more we can do to mitigate the trauma these children have already experienced, the more we can help to have a stronger society. Instead, we layer trauma over trauma for these children, leading to over-medication, and a life path which is dark and destructive. Children who require foster care deserve better. They are victims of being brought into a world which betrays them. Then, our County warehouses them, furthering their feeling of abandonment, making an understandable feeling of deep hopelessness. How can such an affluent city let these children down? I am ashamed.