Institutions can provide housing for parent-less children. But they can’t provide a home with a family. Katarina Kabick has been in the foster system and learned its lessons. Here’s her Perspective.
The system has no arteries
The system has no veins
And then we wonder why
The system causes pain
I remember years at a time where I was never referred to by name; just “resident”, “client,” or “you”. I don’t think they even knew my name. For most of my life, where I slept was just “a placement” tied to a case plan and usually a wait-list. Maybe that’s why I have a hard time finding home. These are just a couple of insights about what happens when institutions raise foster children. Group homes, treatment facilities, detention centers, and shelters are no place for children, no replacement for the families we were promised.
In 2015, the state of California passed “Continuum of Care Reform” with the goal of moving most children out of “congregate care.” I wonder what happens to the kids who came of age before these sweeping reforms, like me. I wonder if the new model of congregate care has room for the love children deserve. But I think I mostly wonder why we still justify institutions for children who likely need love from family the most.
I am still waiting on the study that shows the disparity in hugs. Where I grew up, love was against the rules. I learned relationships in the context of liability, boundaries, and toxic turnover. Then I was punished for following the only example I knew.