Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.
e-mail: batushkad@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

PROBLEMS WITHIN THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM

I am very pleased to have been invited to attend a meeting with representatives of the foster care/ child protective agencies in the State of Florida to discuss the dismal failure of this system. The majority of children in this setting are not being placed with relatives but in highly restrictive placements. In addition, a vast number of these children are being given psychiatric drugs that carry risk of suicidality, mania, and/or permanent neurological damage. The system is not understanding the experience of these children but solely looking at a glimpse of their behavior after being ripped from their natural families and then assigning a diagnosis and drugs. There is an obvious financial incentive to take this unfortunate line of action with these children. It is my hope that vast reform and change can be implemented in this system for the well being of young people.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.
www.DrDanEdmunds.com

2 comments:

Conley Dorkevich said...

I would be inclined to assume that this is the case for most foster care and child protective agencies around the nation, not just that of Florida.

Serving in behavioral health myself, I've come across my own glimpse of such an infectious trend. While working in a public school setting, I discovered that a child I'd been working with was experiencing a lot of frustration and feelings of vengeance due to his familial relationships, divorce of parents, and inconsistencies found between teachers and special education leaders. The child is quite frankly set up for failure.

When asked to help with this child on numerous occassions, I would relate issues pertaining to the child's "experience" as you call it, and advocate for a consistent team plan to which the teachers, parents, learning support personel all not only agree upon but also consistently adhere to.

A month later I find myself in the same place, only as the enemy. The teachers claim to not have time for the learning support plans, the parents frequently change their minds and change the plans themselves, the learning support system has such a negative opinion of the child that they don't care to consider the child's experience.

Whats happening in Florida appears to be true elsewhere. People are seeking to control and manipulate these children, not advocate them or treat them as individuals so that they can grow into true individuals. And to challenge that system... to merely suggest that parents, teachers, and other staff alike put aside their personal qualms to form just 1 consistent plan that takes into consideration the child at hand, has turned me into the enemy. They don't want to work together, they don't want to solve the problem with the child, they just want someone else to help them control the child in their own way.

If the mere suggestion that the problem is not entirely the child's alone has brought me so much animosity, I can only begin to imagine how difficult it must be to face bigger agencies than 1 public school.

Kudos to you for your selfless, humanitarian efforts.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Edmunds:
Thank you for your hard work for the welfare of kids! You are the best