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Our Guest Blogger is Jeanette Schnell. She has been a licensed foster parent in California for 16 years. She specializes in teen girls and teen moms. She started REALITYDENIED.COM in response to abuse she and her family have suffered while providing foster care for hard to place teens.
On Monday, January 12, we were awarded Guardianship of our 12-year-old foster daughter who has lived with us since May 8, 2007. The Social Worker on her case has micromanaged the case for the last 9 months and even sought to remove the child from us because we have no Native American Indian heritage. The young woman has the blood from four different tribes, that include Navaho, Cherokee, Comanche, but not enough of any one tribe to join and become registered to that Nation. Her great grandmother is full-blooded Navaho. During her placement with us, she has had weekly visits supervised initially by a social worker intern and then by a community volunteer from Bill Wilson Center. During her placement, we have held monthly Child, Family Team (CFT) meetings that are supposed to be attended by an EMQ therapist, CASA Advocate, Bill Wilson case volunteer, the social worker, the foster child, and me. The Social Worker has attended 60% of the CFT’s, which has postponed progress on items that required her presence. In addition to attempting to have the young woman removed from my home, the SW has tried to replace the therapist and case volunteer from Bill Wilson. Her objections to various participants included individuals being too emotionally involved with the young woman.
Today's Guest Blogger is Jeanette Schnell. She has been a licensed foster parent in California for 16 years. She specializes in teen girls and teen moms. She started MWAS Productions and REALITYDENIED.COM in response to abuse she and her family have suffered while providing foster care for hard to place teens.
Well…. Last night as soon as we settled into our “afterglow,” I started to cry. Literally, cry and swallow my sobs while my husband, Scott lay there and ignored me. In my head I was railing about how much I missed this 18-year-old @%&* and “our sweet pea” and how unfair it all is. Allow me to digress, J, the 18-year-old, lived with us for 4 years, and we went through 4 years of foster parent hell with her. The first year she ran away 13 times, and each time I went to look for her at her boyfriends. She would hide in his closet or under his bed while his parents were gone. This 14-year-old would kiss us goodnight and then climb out her window and not be seen for 2 weeks at a time! The last time she ran away, I found her at Juvenile Hall, and found out she was pregnant. She came back “home” and we proceeded to prepare and support her and our family for the birth. Over the next 3 years, we continued to love and support her even through the happiest and unhappiest of circumstances, you know, regular foster parenting stuff; cutting school, more running away and leaving the baby with us, boys snuck into the house, theft, lying, etc. At this time last year, I though we were doing great. August is the anniversary of when our life with J and sweet pea began to unravel and we never even fully realized it. Is it a love like this that makes foster parents masochists?
Today's Guest Blogger is Jeanette Snell. She has been a licensed foster parent in California for 16 years. She specializes in teen girls and teen moms.
This is not a topic that comes up very often in conversation, in the media or generally anywhere but I am here to tell you that it exists. It seems that all the attention and focus goes to children and teens in foster care that have been abused by foster parents, adoptive parents and biological family. I understand the need to bring attention to that, however, there are many foster parents who are abused daily and remain silent. On the menu of abuse options there is the abuse from the kids in your care and the abuse from the system that places the children in your home and the agencies that are designed to support them and you. Over the last 14 years that we have fostered and adopted, we have been lied to by social workers, gossiped about by the agencies that we work within, had Social Services attempt to take our foster care license away, been denied pursuing Legal Guardianship for no substantiated reason, been denied monies and resources for children who were entitled to them and most recently, having our foster home put on a placement hold. From the kids in our care, we have had our property damaged, been hit, had our house broken into, my wedding ring, a video camera and assorted cash stolen and death threats on My Space. Between the two abusers, I much prefer to be assaulted by the kids. That I understand and have been trained to deal with.