When a child is taken into the foster care system they have already experienced trauma and now they’re subject to be removed from the only family they know–more trauma.
If parents are struggling to care for their children it’s likely there’s neglect, illegal activity, verbal abuse or physical abuse. Children are not removed from their home because their parents made one mistake. It’s repeated situations that put the child in harm’s way.
Neglectful parents may not have their children bath daily, cut their finger nails, take them to the doctor when they’re sick, provide them with the food and nourishment they need, maintain a clean house, keep animals from defecating in the home, spray for bugs, remove any mold and the list goes on.
Some parents are often too occupied with some other issue such as phycological problems, relationship challenges, repeating the cycle of their own abusive childhood, drugs, alcoholism, arrests, criminal activity and so on. While these may not be the fault of the adults, they’re definitely not the fault nor responsibility of the child.
Child protective services works closely with families to provide many opportunities for success and staying together. Visits, evaluation appointments, opportunities to talk with licenses professionals, connections to resources such as food and housing, and many other ways to stabilize the family and keep them unified.
At the point in which a child is removed it’s likely he or she has experienced much trauma from parents or family members. Imagine watching your parents in a fist fight, or one hitting another, screaming at each other, using drugs or police showing up again and again to resolve domestic disputes. Many struggling families experience several of these situations.
Trauma is very simply defined as a physical injury and/or a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. We often hear of war Veterans having seen and experienced very traumatic things while serving our County. Children of abusive and neglectful parents have the same feelings and emotions. The principle difference is they’re kids and often don’t know how to ask for help, who to trust, what is considered reasonable behavior by their parents and so on.
Children in foster care need extra special care. We understand how they are a little different than a typical child from a loving family. While foster families provide love, care, and support, when a child arrives at a foster home he or she has already been through many stressful and traumatic situations. Abuse, neglect, drug use and many other adult problems are considered trauma for kids. In Colorado, 14% of kids in care were abused and 86% were subject to parental substance abuse, child substance abuse, child disability, child behavior problems, parent death, parent incarceration, caretaker inability to cope, relinquishment or inadequate housing.*
Kids at Heart is dedicated to providing respite for foster families. Through our signature program Fundango, we offer up to 8-hours per month of respite for parents. While they’re enjoying some much needed down time, we provide their kids (all kids in the household) with a fun, educational and active experience. Art, STEM, dinner, running, jumping, playing and seeing their other friends are all included. We only charge parents a small fee. All other funding coming from donors and local government grants. If you would consider us as your charity, you can contribute here.