ElectionsVote

When you teach in California’s public high schools like I do, you learn to sight the foster child who is at greatest risk.  It is the child who looks most like he or she doesn’t want to be where he or she is.  And when you have worked in California’s Child Welfare Services as I have, you learn how to conclude why the police are always coming into your agency every week, if not sometimes every day.  It is because they are looking for runaway foster children who don’t want to be where they are.

In the face of this dismal reality, I am not asking for the impossible for me just to take a flight out of an impossible situation. I used the word “help” in the title of this article for a good reason.  Again, “Let’s let the foster child HELP choose the foster parent.”

Because without the word “help,” the sentence turns into “Let’s let the foster child choose the foster parent.”  That idea right off the bat leads to hysterics, just the thought of little foster children having total power over choosing the adult who would raise them, even if that adult is Dr. Frankenstein.

But I am actually here reacting to an even worse horror that is in play all over the country right now.  Because I our current foster care system, children are totally helpless in the choice of a foster care adult who would raise them as parents.

I have to believe that the foster children of today are instead treated more like the very young wives of the dark ages that were forced to marry older chosen men whether they liked them or not.  But we have evolved in our civilization to see the weaknesses of the dark ages.  But we are not so easily accepting the problems of foster children being forced into homes that are not of their own choosing.

But please remember that my key word ion my title above is “help.” At the present time whatever helps the foster child gets is completely out of his or her control. I have to think that when you are at the core of any situation, total helplessness can never be an advantage for you.

But consider instead the added empowerment of a foster child if he or she were to trade in his or her isolation for becoming a true member of a professional team.  The foster child’s new professional credential would immediately arise upon teaming up with his case worker as professional family brokers.  It then becomes a central job of the case worker to listen the foster child’s preferences and needs toward moving into a partnership with a new foster care parent.

Like all proposals that have taken their turn to address the current foster care environment, the change I am proposing here would surely be fortunate if it would even improve the situation of even ten percent of foster care cases.  Most foster children would probably still not probably not be able to propose an acceptable foster care parents for them, and even if they did come up with what looked like a good match the case worker may not be able to draw the ideal foster parent into the picture.

But let us instead just look at the potential of just making our foster care system even only perhaps ten percent more livable than what it is today.

Chris Sharp- Commentary

Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . Sharp's latest book is an Amazon Kindle collection of his published short stories, Every Kind of Angel . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon