Please take a few moments to watch the above video. It was created by the national watchdog organization Children's Rights and is a powerful portrayal of the painful struggles endured by many in the foster system.
Children's Rights is an organization that supports reunification and kinship care when possible, while simultaneously acknowledging that permanency through adoption is usually preferable to extended foster care when reunification or kinship placement are not viable options:
When children must be removed from their families because of abuse or neglect, the most desirable outcome usually is for their families to be safely reunified if their problems can be resolved. If reunification fails, child welfare systems must be prepared to move quickly to find them permanent alternative homes — usually through adoption. — childrensrights.orgThe video is poignant to me for personal reasons because I recognize my daughter in the words of the participants, especially when they speak of being over-medicated. When Ashley joined our family by way of the foster system at age 8 she was like them, struggling to keep her eyes open as a result of all the medication she had been prescribed. One of the drugs she was taking had some potentially serious side effects and had to be approved by a judge in order for her to take it. The judged approved it; neither her first mother nor I would ever have done so! In foster care she was in limbo, with no mama-bear advocate on her side. Happily, we were able to wean her off all of the medications fairly quickly once she was placed with us, with nothing but positive effects as a result of their discontinuation.
This post was originally published at Lost Daughters.