On the High Rates of Abuse in Foster Care: “Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics.”
Foster Care is full of statistics - statistics which are used to prove just about anything. Unfortunately, many programs and ideas the author supports are backed by statistical methods and ‘facts,’ which are flawed and manipulative.
This is a tricky issue. For example, what happens when flawed statistics are used towards a greater good? Means justifying the end and all that…
The author is in favor of providing tax money so foster care, or more accurately, transitional living will be extended to abused and neglected teens until the age of 21 so they are “not thrown out in the street,” as the new laws supporters like to point out.
Yet supporters fail to note there was always an option for the teens in California to stay in foster care up to 21 if their social worker requested an exemption, and importantly, if the teen cooperated by not using drugs, going to college or trade school and/or held a job. And this outcome is not especially rare.
Many teens refuse to do this, or don’t want to live under the restrictions present in a foster home and chose instead to leave the system. Many teens that are homeless have run away from numerous foster homes. Do not MISUNDERSTAND, this new law for additional funds for transitional housing is a wonderful thing! Those teens who want less restrictions while continuing to be aided by the system now have more options. It is a very good thing.
Another manipulated statistic is when we discuss the dubious rate of child abuse in foster care. Often this is done with the legitimate goal of encouraging greater supervision and regulation of foster parents, discouraging the government from placing abused children into foster care to begin with, or to be the catalyst towards the creation of further regulations to protect children.
Under these circumstances, the only loser may be truth or clarity, as opposed to the usual victim, the abused and neglected child.Continued on the next page