Even a Short Stay in Foster Care Can Have Detrimental Effects on a Child (Pt 1)

A little red paper robot holding the two pieces of a broken heart.

Think your kids will never end up in foster care? Listen to this: You have a child who, for reasons no doctor can determine, isn’t meeting their developmental goals. They struggle to sit up by the six-month mark, and by 18 months they’re still showing no signs of being able to walk. At 4-years of age toilet training is a distant dream, and speech is seriously delayed. You take your child to specialists. You have endless tests run. You seek out all kinds of diagnosis – autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Landau Kleffner syndrome – but nothing seems to fit. 

In the end, you’re told your child has “failure to thrive“, which sounds vague and nonspecific because it is. It means the doctors have no idea what’s wrong, or what’s causing it. But the most common cause of “failure to thrive” according to medical professionals, is neglect. Which means you’ve just been labeled a neglectful parent. And now CPS is involved. This means both the struggling child and your other children, are at risk of being removed by the state. So what now?

This is actually a real foster case. It happened, and the outcome was tragic.

The family that got lumped with this “diagnosis” for their son (whose mental, emotional, and physical development was way behind what it should have been) was investigated by CPS. The agency wasn’t able to prove that they weren’t caring for their children (because they’re wonderful parents who went above and beyond for their kids in every way) but that didn’t change the mindset. Their son was doing poorly, so they must be doing something wrong. End of story.

Child Protective Services tried to take their children away from them. All three of them – the young boy who was diagnoses with failure to thrive, and their other two older children. And for a very short time, they succeeded. The children were placed in foster care, and while it was only for a very brief time, the effects of that separation are still impacting their family today. Their daughter struggles with nightmares, separation anxiety, and depression, all of which started after she was removed from her parent’s care. Their older son struggles with rage, and has difficulty trusting new people. 

Kids who are taken away from their families suffer in many different ways!

A recent study conducted by the Marshall Project revealed that an astounding number of kids placed in foster care are reunited with their parents within 10 days of the initial separation – about 17,000 every year. But while that sounds like good news – kids who are returned quickly to their families, the trauma of even that short separation can have a lasting impact on a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Join us next time for a look at some of that data, and which states are most impacted by the “short stays” in foster care. Until then, if your family is under the CPS microscope, and you’re at risk of losing your children, even just for a short while, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced and aggressive CPS defense attorneys can help keep your family together, and defend your parental rights against CPS overreach.