Story by Sarah Quinlan
Court today. I had to keep my hand on something because it was shaking. They all spoke like it was a legal procedure and nothing more. No compassion. “Does anyone want the child? Are you sure? Nobody? Ok, we will be back in a few weeks and finish paperwork.”
Meanwhile said “child” is a boy I care very much about. A boy sitting next to me hearing every word. A boy who is trying to wipe away the hot tear rolling down his cheek. We ask them to act like respectful members of society. But we drop them off at strangers homes with everything they own in trash bags and then have them sit through court hearing that would shake any adult. They have to hear nobody wants them or the few people that might are not fit. Then we drop them off at school to handle these emotions. And shake our heads when they are expelled again. We tell them to stay out of trouble and label them as bad kids for outbursts of anger and frustration.
Why are our juvenile jails full? Because our custody court rooms are empty.
After 30 days I had to have C removed from my home. There is so much more to the story but the point is this; Teens in foster care need us. I am unable to be a foster mom to teens but I am finding ways to be involved with C and others. I encourage you to find a mentor ship program and be the person that stands by teens as they endure the hardship of foster care.
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