People talk about the foster care system being “broken.” Some use this as a reason to not get involved or to walk away after having been involved.
There are times that it can be frustrating. We foster through the state, and, in general, we have had a good experience, especially within our circuit where we work with people we have built relationships with. Once, though, we took a placement from a different county/circuit and we beat our heads against the wall trying to get one of the kids the help they needed.
Frustrating as it was, I don’t like to use the word “broken” when it comes to the foster system. Instead, let’s call it imperfect. There are things that need improved, but there are also many good things. That’s life when you have people, who genuinely care about children, their families, and our families, having to work under the guidance of politicians in state capitols.
Even though the system is imperfect and frustrating at times, we choose to work within it for one main reason: There will always be children in need of a safe and loving home.
The system is imperfect and the world is imperfect. If the latter were not the case, there would be no need for the “system” to exist. Yet, people make bad choices. Life throws curve balls and we don’t always know how to react. People get caught in cycles of neglect and abuse and struggle to break free. And many times children are involved, hurting and confused.
If we stepped away because the system is imperfect, certain things are frustrating, or some decisions leave us scratching our heads, then that would mean one less home for children to find safety and love until they can return to parents (etc.) who have learned to provide safety and love afresh and in healthier ways.
One thought on “Why we choose to work in an imperfect system”
I remember being told during our training that we would likely burn out and get frustrated, and that it would be because of the system and not the kids. The kids would always be there and would always need love, but the system would just get exhausting. But it’s so worth it for the kids.