DFCS is broken

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 3:43pm
By: Letters to the ...

I applaud Mr. Munford’s article on DFCS in the state of Georgia. We are foster parents caring for a 2-year-old girl since she was 8 weeks old due to domestic violence and drug abuse of her biological parents.

She has a 3-year-old brother in another home, and two more siblings — 1-year-old and newborn — who are still with the parents because DFCS caseload is too high, so they say, that they cannot supervise more children. Worse yet, the parents are expecting child number 5.

DFCS needs to look at parents tougher and take a stand to keep the children OUT of the home they were taken from rather trying to “reunify” a dysfunctional baby factory that sees each child as a larger welfare check and not a loving gift.

We as foster parents are now being forced to provide “concrete” evidence that the parents are still performing their behavior or else DFCS wants to transition the children back into the home.

This is wrong because they haven’t finished their case plan, they haven’t changed their behavior, and the father said, “Sometimes I have to not get cigarettes to buy diapers,” as if it’s even a choice; the kids come first.

If my children were taken for something I was doing wrong, I would crawl over broken glass on my belly to see them. I would call daily to make sure they were OK, and if I had to wear the same clothes every day for the rest of my life so they could have what they needed, then I would do it.

We need to tell DFCS that “reunification” is not the answer to the cases, that the best interest of the child should be considered and not the rights of the parents. Frankly, they gave away their rights when they failed to care for, love, and provide for their child.

Georgia law states that a child that is out of the home for more than one year with no substantive support from the parent should have a permanency plan created and parental rights terminated. We are going on two years, and the older brother on three, yet the DFCS has done nothing to provide permanent care for these children.

We would gladly adopt them all and provide for them, but DFCS stands in the way and puts the burden of proof on the foster families and not on the parents and themselves.

You are right: Georgia’s DFCS system is backwards. It’s broke beyond repair and somebody needs to hold them accountable to the laws of this state which they regularly disregard or don’t follow.

However, it seems that the lawyers in this state are equally culpable because we have tried to get legal representation for the child and us to fight for enforcement of the Georgia laws, and each lawyer’s office has never returned any calls.

Shame on Georgia, shame on Governor Purdue, and shame on this state for denying our most precious asset, our children, the loving caring homes they deserve.

Don Price

Newnan, Ga.

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