DWITS #17 – Chapter 14, The High Cost of Childhood Trauma
Those who know me well understand that I am a principled person, a life-long conservative, who speaks my mind and often posts my thoughts on social media! Thus, this chapter excerpt shares some of my personal (Warning: possibly political!) beliefs related to my daughter’s murder. We have got to do something about a society that discards children as unwanted and treats them worse than trash. If we remain silent, we are complicit.
(Chapter begins in book.)
In having to face my grief over the death of Destiny, I have been compelled to speak out about the deplorable state of our culture when it comes to families, parenting, and raising children. With substance abuse and addiction increasing among teens and adults every day — further contributing to the breakdown of stable, loving families — more children are entering the foster care system and the problem will only worsen as time passes into the future.
Destiny’s adoption into our family was a direct result of her biological parents choosing drugs and other sins — legal or illegal — over the intentional, loving parenting deserved by Destiny and her biological brother. Law enforcement and social services had to step in to protect the children from abuse and neglect. In granting birth parents their Constitutional rights to fight within the system to keep their children, several more years of traumatizing meetings — court ordered visits with their dysfunctional birth parents — caused additional distress to Destiny and her brother before they eventually became my children. The length of time dictated by law, bureaucracy, and well-meaning professionals within the child welfare and legal systems, which is granted to the birth parents, often further injures these innocent children. Like a surgeon, I believe the first cut should be the deepest to separate the out-of-control tumor from the body it is destroying.
Hence, it is my firm belief — based on personal experience and immense research — that abused, neglected, even trafficked children need to be removed from harm’s way immediately and have permanency established within six months. Unsupervised parental visits should not be permitted, and kinship placements should only be considered if no contact with birth parents (or other known related perpetrators) can be guaranteed and enforced. Furthermore, just as foster families are expected to adhere to their part in a child’s placement plan 100%, so should birth parents whose children have been removed from their care be expected to adhere to their treatment plans 100%. With any less, children should not be returned to their birth parents, period. Not for 25%, 50%, even 75% compliance — only if 100%!
This is the viewpoint I share whenever I have a public platform — hopefully, I am positively influencing the decisionmakers with whom I am presenting information. This shift would stop extending unearned privileges to the parents under the term “rights”, and instead cause real change to benefit the children.
(Chapter continues in book.)