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BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings

24 Aug 01 - 11:07 AM (#534464)
Subject: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: catspaw49

When Rod was born, he was the 4th child and within the first year of his life and older sister disappeared. The parents said she had gone to live with other relatives and the authorities made just one call verifying this.........but she has never been seen since.

The family moved back to Ohio, again to Michigan, and again back to Ohio. Three more children were born and the police in both states responded to reports of domestic violence. Nothing could be done because no one was willing to file charges, especially Mom.

Mom and Dad were both heavy drinkers, below average intelligence, dirt poor, and from similar families themselves. Dad had a series of jobs but never had one for more than a few months at a time. When he was sober he was fun for the kids. They went to the lake and on picnics, but when he was drunk he was a terror. Mom just stayed drunk and took the beatings and watched as her kids took them too. Rod took his share. They all did. In Michigan another child went missing, never to be seen again and yet still nothing happened. Relatives "stood by their own." In this case a child was produced but no one now or then could be sure it was the missing one.

It's now 1992 and Rod is 12 years old. All of his life has been a long series of violent events and attempted interventions by Child Welfare and the police. I won't go into the laws that protect parents even when they're abusive, but until someone is willing to stand up and file charges, virtually nothing can happen if the parents know how the system works......and these parents knew the system well. There are now 8 living kids ranging from 17 to a 1 year old infant. On several occasions Mom called Children's Services, but always backed out at the last moment. She made it to a shelter one night with all the kids, but left within an hour and returned home. That night she took one of her worst beatings.

About a month later the three year old was sick and cried all night. The family lived in a trailer on the outskirts of a small town in what can best be described as a garbage dump. Late at night Mom boiled a tub of water at Dad's request and the three year old was put in this..........I can't tell this story...........

For three days the little guy cried and screamed and on the third day he died. Mom buried him under the trailer but Dad decided to do something different. He built a fire and burned the body.....and the other kids roasted hot dogs.......they didn't know.

At this point, Children's Services had a file on this family over two inches thick. Interventions had been attempted and everything within the law had been done, but the system has legal holes and the casework supervisor was constantly trying new tacks, but to no avail. The caseworker was beside herself and had lightened her caseload in an attempt to do more for and about this family. The parents had done everything legally mandated and had attended all the requisite classes and clinics. The system was providing many things to give the kids food, clothing, and a roof........everything but the protection they really needed. Why not? No easy answer but again, within the law, they could do no more.

So here's Rod at 12 and he has become as violent as his Dad and indeed looked up to him with envy. The caseworker and supervisor responded to a complaint of a child screaming and this time found that the missing child could not be accounted for and Bob (Casework Supervisor) was not about to let this happen again. Bob spent two days fighting with the attorney and the Sheriff's department until he got a warrant to inspect the home and talk to all the kids. The story finally came together and thanks to Bob, the parents went to jail and the kids came into Foster Care. I won't run on about the rest of the kids. We had one of them for five years until he turned 18 and though he has had many serious problems, at 20, he is now at least holding his own and doing pretty well. Rod spent a lot of time with us too as he went through a series of homes. We were like the base he could always return too, but even Rod knew that his presence was harmful to his brother so he never pushed staying. I have a long list of Rod tales with us, but again, this is already too long.

Rod spent a lot of time in treatment centers for alcholism (he started drinking at 6) and violent behavior. After his Dad had been sent to prison for 25 to life, Rod often expressed the desire to "be right there with him." We used to go to the prison together and after years of sobriety and in a prison environment, Dad was a reasonable man believe it or not. The messages he gave to his kids were the best that any foster parent could hope for.........but Rod never got them and actually began to believe that his Dad had somehow "sold out."

Rod spent his final months in foster care with us and left on his birthday with a handshake and a thank you........and then commenced to go get good and drunk and high, a condition he pretty much remained in when he could. He was arrested on numerous occasions for violent acts and robbery, but at least no one died. There had been one of those perverted but true jokes running among the agency and foster folks that we had a pool on when Rod would either be found dead or kill someone. I know that's cruel, but the truth of it was plain, sadly enough.....and we all knew it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2001........ Rod was drinking with two other people he knew from the shelter in which he was staying. They were sitting on the side of a barge by a river and for some reason Rod went into the water and never came up. They found the body last night. At 22, he lived longer than anyone expected and the only plus here is that no one else died. Was there ever a chance for him? Possibly. Are the laws a problem? Certainly, although some changes have taken place within the past five years.

There's no moral here. There is little sense to be made of any of it. Trying to "break the cycle" is never easy and rarely successful even under the best of conditions. If you think that more should have been done, you're right. But when? Again, the earlier the better, but if you believe that domestic violence is a subject we should pussyfoot around, a situation best handled with tact and diplomacy, then tonight, in your thoughts and prayers, you need to remember two missing children, probably dead, a toddler screaming from burns for three days until he died with never any attempt a treatment, and remember his brothers and sister too.

Now, for Rod, it's finally over ........


24 Aug 01 - 11:18 AM (#534467)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Amos

Ah, sweet mother of God!!! It breaks my brain to think about, Spaw.

Awful, heart-breaking, grim, pictures of straight Hell.

I hear you.

Jeeezus Christ......

24 Aug 01 - 11:21 AM (#534469)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: JenEllen

Thank you, darlin'Pat.

24 Aug 01 - 11:42 AM (#534477)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: mooman

And the horror of it is also that a similar story is probably repeating itself in a million places all over the world at this moment.

Thanks for sharing Spaw...


24 Aug 01 - 12:11 PM (#534486)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings

You're right mooman, and these stories seem so far removed sometimes like when you see them on the news and as a society, we have become immune to feelings for stories like these until they hit home with us or someone close (or even cyberclose) to us. It's a sad thing really. Maybe the saddest of all is to think that the ones who died early, may have just been the luckiest....

Really puts things in perspective, PAH

24 Aug 01 - 12:20 PM (#534489)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Hollowfox

That's hard, Pat. Thanks for doing all you do for foster children, and thanks for reminding us about things that need to be remedied in this world. Don't give up; even if you didn't make everything better for him and his brother, they had a better life for spending time with you and your family. Mary

24 Aug 01 - 12:31 PM (#534500)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: iamjohnne

I guess it would be easy to shrug my shoulders and wipe the tears and say this was another sad story of our times. I want to say he fell through the cracks, but he didnt. If he was in foster care at all he didnt fall through the cracks. Any time a mother stands by and allows her children to be abused, physically or verbally she should be held accountable. Anyone who agrees with that has never lived the story themselves. Until we as a society can learn to treat each ourselves and each other with love and respect there will be stories like this one. Spaw my heart goes out to you. Thank you for bringing up such an important however painful message.....

Johnne "goin where the weather suits my clothes"

24 Aug 01 - 12:59 PM (#534513)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Midchuck

And yet - in spite of this story and a million like it - if anyone should suggest that people who have children and treat them like this should be compulsorily sterilized, every good liberal in the country - including almost all of the Mudcat - would go berserk, and run in circles, flapping their arms and screaming "Nazi! Nazi! Individual Freedom! Every Sperm Is Sacred!" and demanding the immediate arrest and indefinite incarceration of the suggestor merely for thinking of such a thing.


24 Aug 01 - 01:50 PM (#534558)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: catspaw49

First, thanks for the comments. Also let me be clear that at the moment we are not doing any fostering. After ten years and almost 30 kids, the last three years being teen males, we are on a hiatus. Whether we return or not is still unknown, but we are still involved with the Children's Services in other ways. Between my prior health issues and the age of our kids now, it was a decision we made. Anyone in fostering needs to be aware of their family and the impact on it. Michael is at a very impressionable age and for now, we have found other ways to be of some service. I may also start teaching some Foster/Adoption classes too.

MIDCHUCK......When Hillary pulled out the old African saying, "It takes a Village to raise a child," my first thought was, "it'd be a lot easier if so many in the village weren't assholes." I may be a card carrying ACLU member, but I agree with you to some extent. Rights of Children has become a big issue in the Child Care field and I believe they have liberty interests under the 14th Amendment, but that's not the law yet. Our numbers are growing and laws are being enacted.

The other end of your statement about sterilization is not without merit to me either. Cynicism may come with age and experience. I am also an Adoptive parent and outside of very expensive private adoptions, adoptive parents are subject to long interrogations, background and criminal record checks, and must attend classes on both parenting and the issues of children who are the adoptees. It's still a crapshoot as to how good a parent you find, but it's something.

Again, if you suggest the same treatment be given to those wishing to be biological parents, the howling and screaming would be loud, angry, and incessant. The final question is always the same......Who decides? Well, there have been times that I'd be more than happy to "play god" on this, but it ain't likely to happen. Two people with functional and mating equipment can be parents and it matters not a whit as to their ability of personality.

Interestingly enough, when this case above was at it's zenith, our agency was also under attack from a "watchdog" group who wanted accountings for every decision. These were mainly disgruntled families who had children removed and placed in care at one time or another. Relatives too were involved and we were also in need of a new levy at the same time and that was a nightmarish period to say the least. Children's Services was being attacked from the one side that said, "You do too much, you're too aggressive," and from the other by those saying. "You didn't do enough! Where were you?"

BTW, the Casework Supervisor, a really good man, became the scapegoat for this tragedy and after about a year of this howling, volutarily resigned. Bob is a fine guy and he took all of it very hard. He now works for another agency, but as a financial administrator.....What a waste.

Thanks again for your comments.......and like I said, no moral here, just "rambling."


24 Aug 01 - 01:50 PM (#534560)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: McGrath of Harlow

The first response is the same as Amos. Grief and pity, and gratitude for people like spaw who try to pick up the pieces.

Then there's the reaction of trying to guess how things could been changed, so that this kind of thing can't happen. And my reaction there, as someone who was a social worker for 20 years, would be to wonder why they screwed up so badly in picking up that things were going wrong. I'd be thinking in terms of lack of skills, and lack of resources, and I'd be wondering whether tax-cutting and so forth has a part to play.

As for "solutions" like compulsory sterilisation for people who aren't very clever, that's been tried, and its been a cruel disaster, and it's no kind of answer to the things that went wrong here. (And yes, I'd fight that kind of thing to the last breath in my body.)

But whatever changes might make things better, we're always going to need people like spaw, and they are going to get their hearts broken.

24 Aug 01 - 02:20 PM (#534582)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: GUEST,kimmers

I guess I'm probably not a "good" liberal then, 'cause there sure are people that I would love to see surgically sterilized.

I am perpetually bothered by the fact that while there are many documented sad stories such as this, the right wing persists in believing that child abuse is rare or nonexistent and the Children's Services are a bunch of parent-hating Nazis looking to rip loving children out of God-fearing homes because of one bruise...

24 Aug 01 - 02:30 PM (#534592)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: catspaw49

Hi Kimmers...been awhile since I've seen you but I'm glad to see you around. You pretty well summed up the whole thing, my feelings as well.


24 Aug 01 - 03:15 PM (#534631)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Wesley S

I may be wrong but is it possible that we'll be closer to a solution of these problems when the the topic is mentioned and politics doesn't rear it's ugly head ?? As a new father I can't imagine any topic that would cut across party lines and affiliations more than this one. This whole story is too sad for words. The only thing more difficult to imagine is that everyone can't get on the same page to get something done.

24 Aug 01 - 04:04 PM (#534672)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Amos

It is curious, is it not, that we have high bars one must leap over to take charge of a home that could not or would not keep it. There are more forms than the IRS has involved sometimes, and judgements about your "suitability" to be responsible for raising a child are strict and stressful.

The adoption agents never touch your right to go screw and start another chain of life, of course, even if the verdict is you are wholly unfot mentally, emotionally, financially to raise a child born by others. And some of them others would never pass the criteria, meaning they would never get the legal right to adopt their own child, because in many cases they would be deemed incompetent and a risk.

So we believe somewhere that we CAN calculate fitness well enough to seriously increase the probability of at least the minimum standard of well-being for the child. We just aren't willing to do it for biological reproducers, and for good reason.

If anything about individual life is actually sacred, in human adults, the freedom to reproduce must be included, in spite of the tragic abuses, because for beings running a show in meat, as ours is, reproducing is the only long-term way to win. Tis doesn't bother enlightened people very much, but it gets a helluva lot more important, if less rational, the more an individual thinks he might not make a very good showing of things this lifetime and might be snuffed or die nameless and without money. The point is it is very much a part of life, and of the pursuit of happiness.

But ONCE ITS DONE, the justice of societal process should be quick and the education of the child's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, however they get listed out, should be part of checking out of a maternity ward/

"Before you take Alphonse home with you, Mrs. Dummenpathetic, we need to ask you a few questions about the materials we gave you this morning. If you don't pass this simple quiz, Alphonse will stay with us while you go through a brief counseling course. We'll take real good care of him so you can concentrate on learniong this information so you can be sure you are confortable with being a mother....". A rapid fire checkout on principles of decency for childraisers. No pass, no baby, no matter how fine you think your DNA is.

Part of the problem is that even the wildest drugged out baby-stomper is capable of taking a shower, cleaning up, and presenting himsef as a fine, hardworking loving parent, even if he is dressed in his only clean jeans and you can see a snake-and-naked-lady tatoo just under the sleeve of his tee shirt. The worst slimeballs are often the best and putting on the shine for any brush with organizations where you need a little polish to relate and get through procedures. Smile an nod and don't crack the deck of Luckies til you get outside. By the time you get back to the low-rent mobile home, its back to the normal hate, anger, authoritarian command, and whip 'em if they can't take a joke. Lizard-apes dressed up in men's clothing. How do you know what the real signs are?

It is also a tough issue from another angle -- social justice on behalf of children has to take its evidence from those who are not mature, and are a little short in vocabulary. I have known too instances of terrifying legal entanglementsbeing imposed on parents who were not abusing their child but who were accused of it, in one case it was a completely false tasle dreamed up by a neighbor child, reminiscent of the Puritan drama "The Crucible". In another case it was a really dumb sibling. The one who had been falsely accused by the neighbor's child did several years of hard time for something he did not do, and was sane enough to come out with many lessons learned, and a really dramatic improvement in his artistic talents, since he focused on them, but I do not think his life will be the better for having had to learn how to deal with prison life.

And yet I am glad even in these cases that someone stepped in. The hardest thing about Spaw's story is that the social case workers could not intercede. So I guess both sides of the sword need sharpening -- more sensitive triggers for intervention, AND more accurate methods of ensuring just measures only. Because it ruins people to have their family broken up by mistake as much as it ruins them when they are breaking up familymembers' faces and minds through crazed abuse...

24 Aug 01 - 04:47 PM (#534699)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Bill D

....if you want to adopt a dog from the local shelter, you have to sign things and prove you are competent. But unrestricted breeding by brutal, incompetent, hateful, ignorant louts is a 'god-given right'.......and multiple millions are spent each year mopping up after them and burdening all-too-few foster homes with their mistakes.

Why do images of Don Quixote and King Canute come to mind?

(gee, I seem to have indicated the direction of my thinking, haven't I?)

others have said it above...better that I could have.

Pat, I am deeply sorry that this one hit so close....I hope the past & present success stories help to ease the sadness

24 Aug 01 - 06:47 PM (#534801)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Sorcha

What Bill D said.........tragedy happens everywhere including right here in my little town of 5,000. We have a family here--the mother is severly mentally challenged (and physically ugly to boot). The father is also "challenged" but not as severely. He is just plain spooky. He checks out things from the library like "Human Genetics and the Plan for the Future"; carries them all over town and sits in the parks "reading". I have no idea if he really can read or not..........

They have 3 children that I know of; a little girl that the state of California took away from them because of sexual molestation by Charlie, a son about 16 who dropped out of school and dissapeared, and another little girl about 6 who has been in foster care here.

Last week the little girl was returned to her parents.......I know what will happen, so does Mr. Sorcha, but we are powerless to prevent it.

I'm so sorry Pat; it never stops hurting, does it?

24 Aug 01 - 09:33 PM (#534888)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: McGrath of Harlow

When the ideology that spoke about "human degeneracy" was all the rage. Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of good people who would have made excellent parents were sterilised, because they were simple, or they looked wrong in the eyes of some medical bureaucrat on the make. And because they were poor and powerless. People with learning difficulties, Gypsies, people of mixed race.

It happened in all the "forward looking countries". It happened especially in America. And it was the good progressive liberal-minded people who were most in favour of it. For example Bernard Shaw and H.G.Wells in Britain, the equivalents in other countries. It's a horrible and shameful chapter in history, and it's been brushed under the carpet, and most people never even get to hear about it.

And when the Nazis came along, there were plenty of respectable people in democratic countries who saw this as one policy that they had got right - a sort of eugenic equivalent of the programme for building autobahns. The Nazis didn't invent it, they adopted it, largely as a way of getting some good public relations.

There aren't simple technical fixes for the nightmare situations that spaw talked about. You can't just identify who is going to be suitable parents in some simple infallible way. There have tragically been many cases where carefully vetted foster parents and adoptive parents have gone on to abuse the children placed in their care.

People who are "severely mentally challenged can make wonderful parents. So can people who are "physically ugly". And beautiful people with college degrees and high professional standing have done horrible things to their children, including murder.

And there are a lot of people who don't manage, but who could do a great job if they had the kind of help and support which they don't get. So many of the natural and traditional support and guidance systems have been swept away in a fragmented society.

And of course there are some people who are not capable of looking after children under any circumstances, and there have to be better ways of identifying when that is happening, and moving fast to protect the children.

And in those paragraphs I'm talking about people with college degrees well as people with learning difficulties.

24 Aug 01 - 10:50 PM (#534920)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: catspaw49

Kevin, that was a good post and I would agree in the main with what you say....been there, done that. There is no way of knowing about parents and all of that........sure, I agree........and if i could change anything at all it would be the speed with which the system works......You have good points on everything...................


anyone who has been involved in this stuff (and it's happening right now as I type) knows that it happens to all ends of society and that the issues cut across many boundaries..........But sometimes.....Well sometimes...........Sometimes I really want to play god, grab my machete and let the mass sterilizations begin! Fuck 'em all!!!!! I WILL DECIDE--and if you're an asshole in mu opinion, kiss your nuts goodbye!!! Yeah, I know I'm weak and I always overcome the urge because I know what it means and what the history of such actions has resulted in...........but still.............and I submit that if you have never had that feeling, even for a moment, as you have witnessed the scenes you must have seen, then "you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din."

And I'm sure you probably are.....seriously! Like I said, I'm kinda' weak at times and the thoughts do come, sadly enough.


24 Aug 01 - 10:59 PM (#534922)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: Ebbie

Spaw, in some cases it seems that the only solace must be that you did make a difference. And that is important.


24 Aug 01 - 11:19 PM (#534938)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: katlaughing

OH, Spawdarlin', I am so sorry for this loss and the pain it must cause. It is such a sad thing, as are all such cases. I know from my researching the domestic violence laws in Wyoming that there is still so much to do and that no one is really protected, yet. In Wyoming a man can get charge with a more severe penalty for cattle-rustling than for "roughing up his woman or kid." And the same is true for women who are abusers.

We just had a family, of a 6 yr. old little girl, win a judgement against her mother who killed her and stuffed her in a garbage bag and kept her body in the garage for nine months before anyone at DFS noticed the little girl was missing. The mother fooled the school, family and the authrorities by saying she was with other family. Nobody ever checked. It wasn't really their fault, they were and still are swamped with too many and too few people to handle things and not enough foster homes, etc. for the children who need to be removed.

Children are still too often seen as property, by the law, and parents will take advantage of that.

Spaw, I know you may not want to and I know you've done before, but what you have written needs to be read across the nation. I would urge you to submit it to some publications. If you want me to help you out with it, I'd be happy to using the addys etc. that I have.

Because of you, Rod will never be forgotten. Because of you and Karen, I am sure he had a special place deep in his heart, where the scared little boy felt safe and remembered what it was to feel safe away from home.

Thank you, my dear one, for sharing this with us. May your so precious heart be filled with peace and love and not too much pain from this sad, sad passing.

love you,


25 Aug 01 - 12:08 AM (#534959)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: catspaw49

Ya' know katmyluv, for once I am gonna' disagree with you. It hurts very little because we knew it was coming. Both Karen and I had a similar reaction, "Well at least he didn't kill anyone." Sounds cruel huh? I guess it is, but Rod was destined for this, although I wasn't expecting a drowning........More like being killed while robbing a convenience store.

When we were new foster parents, I heard a caseworker describe a girl I knew as "one of our throwaway kids." I was irate and really went off. AS years passed I began to see........I still don't like the term, but there comes a point where things can no longer be done and we are all just pissin' in the wind. We still keep trying but a few can use up the available resouces quickly and some others that we can help possibly are left out in the cold.........and then through lack of attention continue to get worse and become the next batch of "throwaway kids."

The head of the Agency is a good friend and Jim and I have had many a late night and long drive together. Although he believes in the benefits of foster care, he also argues rightly that as soon as a child is removed from the home, major damage is done. Certainly it's needed and the Agency is responding faster these days and more aggressively under his leadership. Infants and toddler reports are given highest priority and at the moment the percentage of under 3's in care is greater than it has ever been. Parents are more tightly monitored to adhere tightly to a strict case plan........these families and these kids can possibly be helped and Jim uses his resources first here. Sounds cynical and fatalistic, but I believe he's on the right track.

Funny thing about kids in these terrible situations with abusive parents..........They still love and trust Mom and Dad....or at least one of them. Rod and his brothers all had good feelings toward their Dad and hated their Mom. As Rod said at a hearing reviewing her case, "She never protected any of us. She boiled the water." It comes from how are families are viewed and kids know it's a mother's job to protect her kids...........

When we did parental visits with our younger kids, they all believed whatever the parent said. "Mom's gonna' buy me_______ and we're going to have a party next week," and so on. Mom never came through, but the kids provided the excuses for her. A Dad that never visited his two girls even once in the two years we had them was always provided an excuse by the girls......"Dad probably just had to work or something." They desperately wanted to believe the love was their....he was their Dad.

No publication elsewhere my dear kat........Rod simply fulfilled the expectation and I look back at all the time, effort, love, and money that was expended and all to no avail.............The cause was lost from the gitgo, but we had to try, we had to believe. If we are ever to break the cycle, we must react sooner, faster, and with greater action............Hindsight is all seeing, but I know that for Rod, it all came far too late.

Want another goody? One of our girls, now 19 and unmarried, just had her 9 month old infant removed and placed in foster care.....neglect and abuse (lack of care). She knows better but she also came from an almost identical situation. Maybe this time, with this child, the cycle gets broken. I hope so.



25 Aug 01 - 12:08 AM (#534960)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: kimmers

Or if nothing else, at least make it easier for those who are struggling (mentally, financially, physically) to obtain effective birth control and sterilization when appropriate. I know a young woman who has had one unintended child already (whom she exposed to drugs and alcohol in the womb before she knew she was pregnant) who is doing her damnedest to raise the poor little mite. He's high-strung, defiant, and maddening... a child that would try anyone's patience. He's too young for me to say for sure but I will not be surprised if he has developmental delay and ADHD.

She loves him dearly but does not want another. Ever. Her maternal instincts have been burned out by raising this boy. And she is scared that it will happen again, that she will do something foolish... get drunk at a party, and voila! Repeat of the story.

So she went to a physician asking for a tubal ligation. His answer? "We can't do it until you're at least 26 or have had another kid."

Now, what the HELL is the logic in this? A guy can go in and have a vasectomy, no questions asked, but this poor woman who knows her weaknesses and knows her risks can't have sterilization. Grrrr. It all hearkens back to those Greeks who named the uterus the hysteros, because that irresponsible organ was of course the reason women became hysterical. We weak women might change our minds, but a MAN would never do that.

25 Aug 01 - 01:03 AM (#534977)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: katlaughing

Agreed, Kimmers! I was told the same thing, AFTER I"d already had THREE kids.

Spaw, I understand. I feel the same way about my brother these days, he's basically a throwaway because that is what he has chosen. For the first time in 30 some years he went drinking and let his drunk friend drive his car and wrecked it. Stuff I thought we were through with years ago. For about the fourth time, he walked away from what should have been a fatal accident. His head hit the windshield hard enough to shatter it and leave a hunk of his hair in it. We all said about the same thing you and Karen did, at least no one else was hurt or killed. We've all given up because nothing we do is ever enough. It seems it is just a matter of time before he succeeds in doing himself in. And he had all the advantages the kids you speak of didn't, including a loving home and extremely good educatione, etc.

I hope they keep the baby away from the girl you mentioned and the cycle does get broken this time.


25 Aug 01 - 07:26 AM (#535039)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: McGrath of Harlow

The thing is, and spaw illustrates it, there's a big gap between "this is what I feel like doing" and "this is what I think ought to be done".

It's when that gap gets eroded that awful policies get smuggled in, and awful things get done.

When cruel and wicked things are done to people we are close to, it's the natural and probably the healthy things for us to feel the impulse to strike out. But that's a long way from incorporating that impulse into a legal framework of institutionalised violence.

Just one thing - kat said Nobody ever checked. It wasn't really their fault, they were and still are swamped with too many and too few people to handle things and not enough foster homes. And that says to me that some fault lies with the decent people who vote to cut the services, and deprive them of the resources and the people they need. And then they blame the people, social workers and such, who fall down in doing an impossible task (and who all too often give up on doing even what they could do because they've lost their way in the system, and are just day labouring ("hireling shepherds").

25 Aug 01 - 08:05 AM (#535042)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: iamjohnne

We can all come up with our own solutions and we can all come up with the questions of why did this happen or how could this happen. I still say what I said in my first post in this thread. We must teach ourselves to learn to love and respect ourselves, enough so that a woman in such a situation can love and respect herself enough to leave. Or a man can love and respect another person and treat her/him differently. It is all a matter that women and children are not property, not chattel. When I treat myself with respect other people treat me with respect. when I give myself love, other people can see that I am worth loving. I dont know if I am making any sense to anyone. I know what I am trying to say, I'm just not sure it is coming out right.

Johnne "goin where the weather suits my clothes"

25 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM (#535134)
Subject: RE: BS: Child of the System.....Ramblings
From: MAG

This stuff has come up here on Mudcat before, and those of us in public service in one form or another see it all the time and feel like we are the proverbial straw against the wind. All we can hope is that enough of us each put our one little straw against the wind, that all of our drops in the bucket fill it up, that all of our single candles will swell to a blaze that finally gets through somehow that if child abuse were taken seriously and the money spent for all the Bobs and Karens and Spaws to do their jobs thoroughly, in 20 years you wouldsee such a difference.

I once uncovered a youth volunteer's not being fed at home by his druggie Mom because of the way he scarfed treats at book group. I know 20 women in this town raped by their fathers. A coworker's daughter has a foster girl dying of cystic fibrosis who was traded all her life by her druggie Mom.

Where do some kids get the resilience to survive? If it's one good moment with one person someplace, somewhere, that is enough reason to treat the hardest case kindly.

One of our best childre's authors, Gary Paulsen, says one such moment, in a library where he had gone to get out of the rain, turned him around.

Another, Chris Crutcher, a social worker and private councilor here in Washington State, writes compelling and blistering accounts of the snowballing traumas in kids' lives.

I get so furious when the police here openly talk about certain kids as throwaways.

enough; gotta get to work afterour lovely party at Mousethief's last night.