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Readers Respond: I Wish My Foster Care Social Worker Knew...

Responses: 16


While we want to be honest and respectful in how we speak to our foster care social workers, sometimes we may feel that it is best to just keep quiet. Maybe we stay quiet because we're afraid that we won't be understood, or that we can't say what we want to say without emotion. But today is a different day, today we can take a moment and share what's in our heart.

Whether you are a foster parent, a foster child, a birth parent, or perhaps even another worker - what do you wish you could tell your foster care social worker? How would you finish this sentence, "I Wish My Foster Care Social Worker Knew..."

Finish the Sentence

Social Work Student

I fully understand the frustration you foster parents feel at the seeming lack of honesty and open communication with your case workers. This is a travesty. However, some of the comments I read here make me sad, because the blame seems to all be heaped on the case worker, when in fact, the laws and the social service system are to blame. Conservative lawmakers still believe that reunification is best, and they are the ones who determine how much funding is available for foster parents. These are just as frustrating and disheartening to case workers as well, but for now they are the limits within which we must work. And for you kids in the system and not getting the support you need, shame on those workers for neglecting you. And shame on the foster parents for doing the same.
—Guest Eric

A Broken System

To this point, I have had positive experiences with social workers. I believe they appear flawed by the overcrowded broken social care system. The majority of them would initiate the best interest of the children, but how can they provide the best management with all the constraints placed upon them. Their duty is to be a liaison between each party; we must remember they do not have the last word. A listening ear for the love and concerns we have for the children, a gentle nudge to not give up, and supplying all the necessary emotional/medical needs for these children in a timely manner is of the utmost vital importance.
—Guest Evelyn Dickson

they aren't all alike

Like everything else, there are good and bad workers out there. It's a sad fact. I've met amazing foster parents, lawyers and workers but I've also had to deal with foster parents and other people that weren't fit to care for a dog. It's a system that can crumble when one person doesn't do their job and the kids are the ones that suffer. It will never improve until the root of the problem is addressed and the cycle is broken.
—Guest guest

Seeing the overall picture

I wish my foster care social worker could keep her eyes on the overall picture instead of reacting to the crisis of the week (aka the c.o.w). It feeds into the child's anxiety and negative thinking patterns, in effect disrupting progress and stability.
—Guest Tara

how to get organized

These social workers are so unorganized it pisses me off. They need to get their act together or find another profession. They put kids that are medical kids in homes that don't know how to take care of them and then they cover it up by saying kid is traditional while clearly the kid is a medical child. They are just covering their a** because they claim they can't find another placement.
—Guest new foster parent

needed treatment

I wish the county social worker would just really do her job and let me do mine. I'm tired of her thinking he doesn't need to go to counseling or be checked to really see if he could benefit from medication to help with his issues. At times I feel that these kids are just a number. I treat my foster kids like they are my own and no different then my own. But it kills me that they try to get off cheap to give them a life that they have never or would never probably ever have. They just don't get it. In today's world it cost more than a $1000.00 to raise a teenage boy. m
—Guest m

Involuntary Kids Voluntary Parents 2

do what they do without a salary, bonuses, or advancements. We are not entitled to representation in court (unless a judge is empathetic), basic health information, or full disclosure from the social worker. Our input is not even weighted heavily. We are essentially an invisible force who through our committed care and personal finance create the next Mayor of the Nation’s Capitol- Former Mayor Anthony Williams, Co-founder and CEO of Apple Computer- Steve Jobs, World renowned Motivational Speaker- Les Brown, Basketball Great – Alonzo Mourning, Children’s Rights Advocates and businesswoman – Regina Louise, Successful Writer and Director – Allison Anders, -Cher, -Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on. I wish my Foster Care Social Worker Knew those things perhaps it would make me more a partner then a captured resource; more a parent then foster care facility; more visible.
—Guest Newby

Involuntary Kids Voluntary Parents

I am a foster parent and not a way station. I will invite a child into my home, my personal space and offer and invitation to a life where someone actually cares. The limited funds provided by the state is supplemental and will not cover medication, new or a variety of clothes and shoes, a warm cloth for a fever, one person dedicated to one child. In the US the low end cost to raise a child is $900 per month and the average cost is $107,820 per year. In this journey, (foster parent and child) I expect to use my own money (not counting the taxes I already pay) to fund the greater good of developing a child. I believe young adult/children of foster care should be educated to the realities of their situation. Understand the Social Worker is the employee of the state and the foster parent is a caring volunteer (with a non-livable stipend). As a Foster parent I have chose to assist in developing our future; one child at a time. Somehow the social order doesn’t get that foster parents
—Guest Newby

My boyfriend's Foster Care Social Worker

I wish my boyfriend's Foster Care Social Worker was actually trying to get him back into his mom's house. She has been clean for over a year, passed everything they asked, and she doesn't even have unsupervised visits. I want him back into his mom's house because he is on lock down for nothing! His brother has been on lock down for 2 years. I think they've learned their lessons. Plus me and my boyfriend have a baby on the way. It's going to be really hard to take care of a baby when the father can't even leave his house.
—Guest Curious


I'm in foster care now and my social workers are never supportive. They claim to have love for me, I'm in my 3rd home. My first home was lady who was a cat hoarder, my second home never had food, and my home now take my money. I have no clothes, but my foster mother constantly goes shopping for her daughters I am blamed for lying and stealing though her children are the ones who are steeling. Every time I tell my workers they tell me it's all in my head. I want to change workers or agencies. I have nobody and no one will help me. I feel like I doing everything alone.
—Guest kitty


many of us love the kids as our own and are not there for the money so try to keep us separate.
—Guest dale

Legal Issues

Our first foster child moved in 2 days before school started. We had no school records, no medical or dental records, and never did get any. Later, was told I couldn't have access to those unless birth parent signed a permission form. Please, give us the information we need as soon as you can get it. Turns out my foster child had undiagnosed learning disability, but it took a year to evaluate and find out. If I had been allowed to see previous school records and test scores, I could have helped more. Knowledge is power.
—Guest m

that the money given is mis-used.

I'm 15, pregnant and in foster care. I'm always at my boyfriends house because my foster parents are seemingly incapable of purchasing healthy food and things that I need. I need iron pills, and I didn't get them because they were deemed "too expensive" even though the ministry would've reimbursed her. I was wearing one bra, the only bra I owned, that was 2 letter sizes too small for a year and when I asked for a new one she gave me 20$. You can't find a DDD bra for that price. Her husband was missing money from his wallet so she automatically came and yelled at me for stealing it because I happened to be standing at the counter making a lunch for school, then she went as far as to take money from me to compensate for his missing money. Although they claim I'm "part if the family" they go on family vacations and have left me at home for the past 4 years, and they treat me so unfairly.
—Guest Preggo

...how they hurt.

The case workers should have told us something. Gave us a family and to find out two of the children play with themselves and when we tell case worker they say, "tell me something I don't already know." They knew it and didn't tell us and I have a child of my own. The one child misbehaves so bad that it's messing up my own family. When asked to have child removed they say they have no where to place them. They found me and my family. I feel that if a child has been removed four times from bio parents they should not be able to get them back any more. Give the kids a chance to be kids with out hurting them.
—Guest kids

how they hurt children.

I was a child in foster care in Massachusetts. They constantly shift kids around, half the time without the proper paperwork or medication for the children. They refuse to adopt out unless it's last resort and no matter the circumstances (abusive parent in my case) their primary goal is to re-unite the original birth family. Both my parent and I stated we didn't want each other, but they still insisted on trying to re-unite us instead of finding a stable home.
—Guest Cissa

the importance of honesty.

In my 20 years, I have had 20 children placed in my home. The major information that I needed was not always available, which made it a challenge to help my children. I wish Social workers had been totally honest and up front about the children they had placed in my care. For 20 years, I have had to re-educate myself with the many issues that have arisen. Total honesty would have made our relationships more successful.

Finish the Sentence

I Wish My Foster Care Social Worker Knew...

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