It has been really, really ugly around here. Thankfully, they take turns, but it feels like one kid is having a complete behavioral meltdown. And, this one has been a doozy!!
And, as a parent, I look inward. I second-guess everything. I ask what I’ve done wrong.. and what I can do better and why am I failing?
But, the truth is… we are doing our best. And this isn’t our fault. Some of it is just kids being kids, some of it is age appropriate (not ok, but “normal”), some of it is because the world is changing *really* fast and teens (and their parents) are still trying to catch up with technology and new social norms.
And, with our kids, that’s not all. Our kids have their genetic makeup–one that we don’t really know. And they have been through trauma. Even in the very best of all foster/adoptive situations, there is trauma. And, foster care, leaves an imprint.. Here are some stagering statistics:
- 40-50% of former foster children end up homless within 18 months of leaving care (I am not sure, but I am hoping/assuming that this is based on kiddos that aged out of the system)
- 25% of foster youths will be incarcerated within 2 years of emancipation
- Former foster youths suffer from PTSD at a rate of 6 times the general population and double the rate of veterans returning from war
- Eight of ten (81 percent) males have been arrested compared to 17 percent of their peers who were not in foster care
- Adolescents who were in foster care are nearly four times as likely as to have attempted suicide as their peers
- Persons with a history of foster care are diagnosed at a significantly higher rate than the general population with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorder, and Antisocial Personality
- A variety of studies reported that 30 to 40 percent of foster children have been arrested since they exited foster care. Over one-fourth have spent at least one night in jail and over 15 percent had been convicted of a crime. This compares with only 3.2 percent of the general population who were on probation, in jail, or on parole in 2005
I don’t like to focus on this much… And it’s easy for people to dismiss with our kiddos–our kids came to us relatively young and they have a stable home and family. But, it’s there. Don’t believe me? Want to learn more?
And, honestly, I would love to say that I spent hours combing through info to find this, but I didn’t. This was a five minute search to see what I could find.
So, before you judge, just realize that some things are not because of poor parenting.