One of the toughest parts about sitting in class with professionals who have dealt with the foster care system for some time is hearing the stories of patients. There are some really messed up people out there. Can you imagine using your child to help you break into homes? Or killing a person in front of a child? It is haunting how long mental problems can plague a person after witnessing or participating in a traumatic event. Oh but for the grace of God!
Someone brought up the same news magazine program I saw several months ago when we were just starting this journey. It was about how foster children tend to be over medicated. It troubled me back then to think that I might have to give drugs to a child who maybe didn't really need them. The news show supported the angle that the state just doesn't want to deal with any deep issues a foster child might have so they drug everyone in the system. I am not sure that was completely accurate (thankfully). There is some really hard stuff out there that kids go through. It sounds like Medicaid does a "good" job getting kids the help that they need. So much so that this professional said that some parents give up their children to be in foster care so they can get the mental health services that they need and are unable to afford on their own. Mental disorders can be hereditary. So sometimes the issues that might cause/trigger a parent to have their children put into foster care in the first place might be passed down biologically.
A foster parent can be a huge help in documenting a child's mental health growth. The presenter last night said even if a child is in therapy for three years that only equates to 150 hours of time in treatment. Not much can be accomplished in a one hour session once a week. Foster parents can be an important part of the team to help a child get the help they need.