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Old 02-14-2017, 12:48 AM
 
65 posts, read 72,970 times
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I'm just naturally a cautious person. Perhaps the "danger" of foster children is overblown, but I've heard (several times) about foster children killing the family pets. In your experience, how often does this kind of thing happen? Should I be concerned about this? I'd like to look into fostering but when you read these kinds of stories, well, you just go *gulp*! Your personal stories would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:41 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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It's possible. Foster kids are, as a generalization, in the foster care system because they came out of a severely dysfunctional family. The kids might very well have had a bad beginning and were not well raised.

Children are not taken away from rational, well behaved families. I suppose there might be the occasional well raised child who had both parents die in a car accident and no family to take them in, but that is going to be the exception.

A friend who works as a child advocate for the court system has told me that the children are not the dangerous part of doing fostering. The dangerous part is that those kids have parents and the courts will sometimes give the parents visitation rights. Even if the parents do not get visitation, the kid will often call the parent to tell them where they are. That means you have contact with a person whose behavior is so bad that they had their children taken away from them.

Those dysfunctional parents will sometimes encourage the children to commit crimes or to file false allegations, hoping to cash in on a lawsuit.

Foster kids really need a stable home with parents who will be good role models. I admire people who foster. But you must know what you are getting into and be prepared to deal with it. You aren't signing up to be a perfect little family with a loving and grateful child.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:57 AM
 
Location: East TX
2,090 posts, read 2,013,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyPanda View Post
I'm just naturally a cautious person. Perhaps the "danger" of foster children is overblown, but I've heard (several times) about foster children killing the family pets. In your experience, how often does this kind of thing happen? Should I be concerned about this? I'd like to look into fostering but when you read these kinds of stories, well, you just go *gulp*! Your personal stories would be appreciated. Thank you.
We fostered for approximately five years, we had a couple dozen kids come through our home for various lengths of time. It ranged from one night to two and a half years. We adopted two of the children we took in as newborns. There was never a time when we felt we were in danger or that our family (we also have several of our own "homegrown" kids) was in peril.


One of the common misconceptions about foster care is that it consists of the tragic stories you see on the 10 pm news with emaciated kids locked in a basement for years. The reality is that a majority of the cases we saw were kids that needed a safe place to go while parents worked through some type of problems or dependencies. We had kids whose parents had mental health issues and when the insurance was cancelled after a job loss, they couldn't afford meds and were too proud to go ask for help. We had kids who had parents with drug dependencies, and needed to get into rehab. We had kids whose parents simply couldn't afford to feed and buy diapers.


Another option is to limit the age group you are willing to take in. If you are not comfortable with the older kids and want to start with "simpler", then offer to take in younger kids. You always have the right to refuse a placement. My personal preference was always the end of diapers to the beginning of puberty. DW preferred the infants. We seldom took in teens, as our children were younger and it didn't work for us in most cases.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
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Most foster parents we have known have had several children in their care who posed physical dangers.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:11 AM
 
65 posts, read 72,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
It's possible. Foster kids are, as a generalization, in the foster care system because they came out of a severely dysfunctional family. The kids might very well have had a bad beginning and were not well raised.

Children are not taken away from rational, well behaved families. I suppose there might be the occasional well raised child who had both parents die in a car accident and no family to take them in, but that is going to be the exception.

A friend who works as a child advocate for the court system has told me that the children are not the dangerous part of doing fostering. The dangerous part is that those kids have parents and the courts will sometimes give the parents visitation rights. Even if the parents do not get visitation, the kid will often call the parent to tell them where they are. That means you have contact with a person whose behavior is so bad that they had their children taken away from them.

Those dysfunctional parents will sometimes encourage the children to commit crimes or to file false allegations, hoping to cash in on a lawsuit.

Foster kids really need a stable home with parents who will be good role models. I admire people who foster. But you must know what you are getting into and be prepared to deal with it. You aren't signing up to be a perfect little family with a loving and grateful child.
Thanks for your input. I expect foster children to have "issues" but I do wonder about the probability of getting attacked or my pets hurt by these kids. I feel like I have a lot to offer, but maybe fostering isn't for me. Dealing with crazy parents is another thing I didn't think about. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:13 AM
 
65 posts, read 72,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rynldsbr View Post
We fostered for approximately five years, we had a couple dozen kids come through our home for various lengths of time. It ranged from one night to two and a half years. We adopted two of the children we took in as newborns. There was never a time when we felt we were in danger or that our family (we also have several of our own "homegrown" kids) was in peril.


One of the common misconceptions about foster care is that it consists of the tragic stories you see on the 10 pm news with emaciated kids locked in a basement for years. The reality is that a majority of the cases we saw were kids that needed a safe place to go while parents worked through some type of problems or dependencies. We had kids whose parents had mental health issues and when the insurance was cancelled after a job loss, they couldn't afford meds and were too proud to go ask for help. We had kids who had parents with drug dependencies, and needed to get into rehab. We had kids whose parents simply couldn't afford to feed and buy diapers.


Another option is to limit the age group you are willing to take in. If you are not comfortable with the older kids and want to start with "simpler", then offer to take in younger kids. You always have the right to refuse a placement. My personal preference was always the end of diapers to the beginning of puberty. DW preferred the infants. We seldom took in teens, as our children were younger and it didn't work for us in most cases.
Thank you for your story, I appreciate it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:32 PM
 
420 posts, read 293,475 times
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I have worked in the foster care industry for four years now and with hundreds of kids. Only about five or so had pet cruelty. I agree with limiting the age you take and the level of care you take. Most of the kids are not physical dangers to your family. You can specify younger kids and kids that are basic level of care (no issues known.) I would at least give it a try. What do you have to lose?
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:18 PM
 
65 posts, read 72,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becki in Tx. View Post
I have worked in the foster care industry for four years now and with hundreds of kids. Only about five or so had pet cruelty. I agree with limiting the age you take and the level of care you take. Most of the kids are not physical dangers to your family. You can specify younger kids and kids that are basic level of care (no issues known.) I would at least give it a try. What do you have to lose?
Thanks for your input Becki.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:41 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 2,789,135 times
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Resided in a foster home. Us kids were more abused then the pets... So there is that reality. Some foster parents really should be arrested for their "handling" of us .

Would love to actually sit and meet a foster parent that wanted the task for positive change in the kids...And not just a supplement to their income.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:31 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,869 posts, read 939,707 times
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Of the approximately 35 children that my parents fostered over the years, only one was a true problem and danger. He liked to start fires. That involved a lot of vigilance on my parents' part.


A few of the others had problems with lying and a couple instances of shoplifting, but those problems were taken care of with a program of love/firm consequences/redirection. Usually the lying had come about in previous situations where you either lied about something or you got beaten badly and you had to shoplift to get the basic necessities a pre-teen/teen needs. Some of the kids had come from extremely bad family situations and/or previous foster homes that were also bad situations.
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