Foster Care Reform Needed Now

Foster Care Reform Needed Now

Concetta Verga, Staff Writer

Would you believe me if I told you that there is an issue in the foster care system? Have you ever thought about this issue before? Maybe you watched the TV show, The Fosters, redefining the problems as well as other issues facing the United States, our home. If we are the next leaders, the next politicians and lawyers, shouldn’t we understand the problems that are going virtually unnoticed? Interviewed on the issue was a family friend, Michael, who spent most of his childhood in this struggling system of emotional and mental abuse. He was able to graduate and now owns his own business, but the story of his childhood isn’t a good one, and the majority of the time this isn’t the case, as many children have been raped and even murdered while in the care of a foster parent.

In 2019, 672,000 children were placed in the foster care system, In 1993, Michael Pabon was a child entering that system. During the interview, Michael stated, “There was a major crack/cocaine epidemic during the ’80s and early ’90s and my mother was actually caught and arrested for it when I was around three (1993), I was placed into foster care until I was nine. The family was, on the surface, your typical white suburban family who would plant trees for fun on weekends, but behind closed doors, I was only seen as a paycheck and spent most of my time in the corner, forced to stay there all day, and would only be allowed to eat dinner in the corner after everyone else had.” His birthday presents given to him by his own biological family were given to his foster parents’ daughter instead. These are just a couple of instances of how corrupt the system is, and his story is one of the good ones. He was able to get his life together, but at what cost?
His childhood was ruined, and he was never even given the chance to be a kid because of the choices his mother made. It took Michael’s grandmother six years to get him back, no progression of her life whatsoever. This meaning, her main focus throughout those years was her grandson and his well being to the point where there was development in her life.
What if we could change the system? What if once this country is finally passed down to us, we can fix this issue as well as so many others. What if we had the motivation to do so, “I am a product of my environment, but that can only lead me so far. I have to think about what my family would expect from me and what I want them to look up to. Would my wife want me to turn down someone in need?” A quote from Michael during the interview.
Helping those in need is a mentality everyone should strive for, so we can change things for all of the children in foster care who don’t have the love from a parent and are treated even worse than Michael was.
We need to take action against this. Believing the children who say this is happening and taking them out of abusive homes is one thing, but just to put them into another home that is even more abusive is morally wrong.

We can change this.

We can implement systems such as expansive background checks and regular check-ups on homes to ensure children are protected no matter what. There is no excuse for these issues to be happening or continuing. As citizens of the United States, we have the power to fix this. We need to do the right thing not only for future generations but also for our people now in these terrible situations.