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The Foster Care System Is A Disaster. That’s Why You Should Join It

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About a year and a half ago, I was talking with my sister, venting about all the frustration I felt with the child welfare system. My wife and I had just said goodbye to three children we’d been fostering for a little over a year.

The children had been wonderful, it was a good thing that they were returning to their parents, and we had been blessed by the faithful service of many people involved in their case — people I would count among the most loving, selfless, and hard-working people I’ve ever known. But throughout that year, we had also seen firsthand how profoundly inefficient the system can be and how easily justice can be hindered through the laziness, bitterness, and bigotry of those who are supposed to be working in the best interest of these vulnerable children but aren’t.

As I explained to my sister, over that year, the foster system wore out my wife and me. It shredded our hearts and bled our eyes dry of tears.

“So do you think you guys will ever foster again?” my sister asked.

“No,” I immediately replied. “We’ll never do this again. Not in a million years.”

Then my wife and I immediately said “yes” a few months later when our agency asked us to take another child in need of a home. Such is the nature of being a foster parent. The child welfare system is broken. It’s a disaster. It’s a travesty. And we can’t help but want to be part of it.

Netflix recently debuted “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” a documentary series that tells the tragic story of an 8-year-old boy who was tortured and murdered by his mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre. In addition to focusing on the evil of his murderers, the series details those who had the opportunity to help Gabriel but failed to do so — those in education, law enforcement, and especially Los Angeles’ child welfare system.

While focusing on those in the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) who faced charges for negligence and falsifying public records, the series does a good, if somewhat scattered, job of highlighting the brokenness of the child welfare system. It would make sense for any non-foster parents watching the show to say, “I would never want to be a part of a system that is so broken, heartbreaking, and........

© The Federalist