1. I volunteer with the Department of Children & Families in their Foster Care Review Unit here in Lowell. It has been incredibly rewarding to see children and parents in need get the love and support they desperately need. At DCF, because of many legal issues concerning the rights of children and their parents, it is best that a state agency handle these issues while charity can support many of the families needs, whether it being supporting biological parents with services, fostering, or donating items that many children may need.
2. In Foster Care Review, a meeting takes place every six months to address the needs of the child and the permanent goal for the family. The majority of the cases I see are not physical/sexual abuse, rather substance abuse or mental health issues in which parents are incapable of doing the day to day functions of caring for their children. (I will discuss this in a later posting) There will be determinations made based on who is and isn't fulfilling their responsibilities to the child, and well as progress to the goals.
3. Working with DCF, it is about the children and not the adults. For instance, the goal of adoption isn't about an infertile or gay couple rights to have a child. The state is not an adoption agency, there are NO FEES to adopt children with DCF. When money is exchanged with the expectation for a child, then the lines begin to become undefined that you are 'buying a child'.
4. This is an strange contradictions/paradox we fail to grasp, for instance one may say a mother and father should be together for the sake of the children. Current scientific social data and evolution can trace back that sexual monogamy between a male and female and the combining of domestic/economic resources benefit their children. Marriage was really about being open to the needs and obligations of children, but yet the foundation of that idea can only exist if there is love between a husband and wife first. If the husband and wife do not willingly love one another and give to one another completely, then they can not fully come together for the full benefit of the children.
5. Children are human beings too, so we should treat them like that as a matter of law. We prepare for parenthood out of a child's needs, not from our personal goals. Sure there are legal responsibilities and the obligation to clothed, fed, and educated, but we all know children want to be loved by their mother and father without any conflict between them. Can't legislate the emotional aspect of family, the laws can only deal with objective it is up to our culture to fill in that gap. Our culture dictates our laws and with the change of culture can be found against the needs of children, we have seen the changes in our marriage laws that define family as a matter of personal fulfillment.
6. Children and their social workers are trying to meet their needs. Children have only lost their biological family in the sense their parents can not parent (drugs addiction/incarceration), that doesn't mean they lose the right to have a relationship with their parents/siblings/relatives. Even when papers make them legally apart of another family, nature is there and present. WHEN IT COMES ADOPTION THE CHILD CHOOSES YOU, AND YOU ONLY GET CHOSEN IF YOU CAN MEET THE CHILD'S NEEDS. YOU MEET THEM ON THEIR CONDITIONS, NOT YOURS. THE FLIP SIDE IS THE HORRIFIC FERTILITY INDUSTRY, THAT PROFITS ON DESIGNER MADE CHILDREN THAT CAN BE DISPOSED OF BY CONTRACT IF DEFECTED.
7. We talk about rights as if there are no obligation or duty held to any one else. Rights were always balanced with obligation, but when it comes to family we no longer hold anyone accountable or responsible for their domestic behavior. To infer we have social obligations to children to be raised and loved by their mother and father and legally support that ideal is now seen as legal assault on one's personal individual liberties.
DCF is my little place of sanity, where law meets reality.