Friday, May 15, 2009

When The Government Really SCREWS Things Up

Actually, when doesn't it?
There is a little girl who used to live near my parents.  Used to.
She is a foster child in the Washington State foster care system headed up by DSHS.
Her name is Poca.  I have tried to figure out what it means- it is not her real name- and I have come up with the feminine diminutive of little in Spanish- as in "Little Girl".  I don't know why that matters, but if you are a geek like me, it would have bugged you.  So there you go.

Anyway, Poca's foster parents have been hosting special needs children for 10 years, and they have hosted 20 children.  Poca was with them from infancy.  They love her and she loves them.  These are the only parents she has ever known.
According to Washington State family law, when a child is removed from their biological home, the bio parents have one year to reform or fix the issues.  After one year their parental rights are to be revoked and the child is to be placed permanently in a home.  In this case, Poca, who is 4, should have been adopted by her foster family when she was 1.

But her foster parents had the gall to question decisions made by DSHS.  They were labeled as trouble makers and had their licence suspended.  A court ruled that they were being unjustly retaliated against by a ruffled case worker and reinstated their licence.  Now, they have been told that they will not be able to renew their licence when it comes time this year.  This is plainly and simply retaliation.

But the real problem is that Poca has been removed from a licenced foster home, where she has PARENTS, and has been placed in the home of friends of her bio parents.  THIS IS NOT A LICENCED FOSTER HOME!  Explain this to me.  Poca has not been adopted at this point because the state will not terminate the bio parents rights.

Poca has a little brother who's case is also not being handled correctly by DSHS, and therefore his foster family, who are willing to adopt him, are facing losing him, too.  They also have another sibling, an infant, who was removed from the bio home recently because the parents left him in the care of a FELON that they were harboring!!!!  What in the H-E-DOUBLEHOCKEYSTICKS is DSHS thinking?  These people are not fit to be parents!  I have heard (but not confirmed) that they have had 3 other biological children die under their care....

Poca's family- her REAL family- is fighting to get her back.  This is an outrage and a travesty.  Unfortunately, it is also expensive and they are now in foreclosure proceedings and yet facing more legal expenses.  A fund has been created at Washington Mutual/Chase bank for them under the name "Amy Langley".  I know times are tight all around, but I am asking all of us to bless the socks off of this family who are being persecuted for doing the right thing. 

To read more about Poca and the Langley's click here or click the sidebar button.


Julie said...

Your mom shared about this too, it is really upsetting!!!

Glenda, saved by grace said...

The dhs has WAYYYYYYYYYYY too much power.
I (being a foster parent myself) hope her REAL (only) parents get her back!

Kat said...

Oh wow. This sounds so similar to what my cousins went through in Florida. They adopted three siblings. And then found out that there was another sibling that was removed from the home. They were fostering that one (and not telling the three they had that this was actually their biological brother). And then DFACS removed him from their home because they decided that my cousin's location was too inconvenient. Even though my cousins were the ones doing all the transporting for meetings and such.

Unfortunately their story does not have a happy ending. The child was removed. Given back to the biological parents. And about a year later, the child and another in the home "accidentally" drowned in the tub.

Most tragic. I don't think they have any clue as to what they are doing. And if what they see does not fit into the is interpreted as wrong...rather than a contingency they didn't consider.

Lee Ann said...

These stories are so heartbreaking. I really feel called to foster care (when my kids are older) or to work with CASA. I just don't think I'm strong enough to handle all of the situations like this. It's just disgusting!

Gramma 2 Many said...

Sadly for children of Washington State, I will NEVER do foster care. We began the process once about ten years ago, but came to the conclusion that we were never going to allow the State to have that much access to our business.

Brenda Jean said...

Things like this are SO dang frustrating. Social services is NOT doing their job and haven't been for a long time. I think children's needs are simply not being taken seriously. I'm not sure what the answer is, but something has to change.

Elena said...

I couldn't read all of this because it made my heart hurt too much. I can't stand foster parenting issues. SO incredibly sad and exactly the reasons why I can't do it and want to do it all at the same time.

Anyway, just a thought said...

I don't understand. I mean, seriously. Who thinks this is a good thing? I would like to meet the person, and ultimately there is someone, who made this decision & honestly felt it was right. And I'd like to know what they were smoking when they made this decision!

Kathi said...

Oh those poor sweet children. Where is Oprah when you really need her? Can't this story be aired? This is very upsetting. Kathi