Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Social Dilemma

Years ago, you may recall, we became foster parents.

We thought we could help and thought we could provide what those two wild, wee girls needed. 

In actuality, it was hard, frustrating, maddening work that taught us more about ourselves than anything else. Perhaps we failed to change their lives or maybe they simply changed ours. It's truly hard to say. All I know is that I fell in love with two tiny tyrants in spite of the fact that I wanted to run my car into a brick wall for most of those eleven months. 

It's all honesty all the time around here ya' know.

But today's blog is not about the wee girls and those crazy months of mind numbing madness. Nope, it's about social workers and my ongoing anxiety/distrust of them. 

I have friends way down south who have been fighting a horrible battle. Horrible. It's been nearly one year since it began and we are waiting now for the judge in the case to make the decision of a lifetime. He's got a lot to consider. After all, this case has been riddled with lies, tampering with evidence, manipulation, law breaking, and pure evil. 

It was hell to watch and I wasn't even immersed in the case on a daily basis.

Our own experience with social workers proved to us that they are not always the most honest of people. We watched ours lie to the judge, lie to the birth mother, and lie to us. Sometimes, I wanted to ask her if she actually ate with that mouth or if her mother knew she was such a liar!

Seriously, someone needed to be taken to the wood shed.

That case down south has shown me, once again, that social workers will say and do anything necessary to get their job done. Regardless of what's best for the child.

I am leery of  those who work in social service and always have been. I was a homeschooler, remember? The scariest thing a homeschooling mommy can think of is someone from "social services" showing up at your door and demanding to see your children to investigate a report of "abuse". 

Annie runs screaming from the door and quickly hides children

Annie's adult children pry her fingers off of their flesh, remind her that they are adults and that homeschooling is LEGAL in Oregon....laughing while they do it!

My dilemma than, is this; I work in a gym filled with women of all professions. School teachers, therapists, secretaries, nurses, clerks, workers and those who are employed as their support. 

I can feel myself grow cold inside when I ask the question, "What do you do for a living?" and the woman sitting in front of me says, "I'm a social worker."

I wonder, do my eyes narrow as I look at them?

Nah, they don't.

But I feel it inside. The suspicion. The dread. The distrust.

And I wonder, will I ever get over it?

It's been nearly three years since those wee girls went back to live with their mother. We've heard reports that she's had a hard time of it, but she's holding it together and we are happy for her. 

See, here's the real deal; the girl's mother wasn't abusive, not in our eyes. She was stupid. She made some stupid choices. I really don't think she deserved to lose her kids. I think what she really needed was help and the right tools to show her how to succeed. 

The system is flawed, plain and simple, but how do we fix it?

How do we protect children from abusers, while helping parents who are simply dumb?

The world may never know.

1 comment:

T. Paine said...

I am horrified at the presumption of guilt of abuse by parents without supporting evidence often times. How do some of these social workers justify removing children from a home without probable cause?

Their doing that ends up causing a lot of emotional harm to the children that can absolutely be characterized as abusive. So ironically the state which is supposed to protect our citizens and children actually becomes the perpetrator of this emotional (and sometimes of physical abuse via temporary foster homes) in some cases.

That is inexcusable and those social workers guilty of this should be legally punished. One wonders if such punishments towards egregious social workers has ever been meted out anywhere in the country?