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View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: Monday (203 comments)

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  •  Happy Monday (35+ / 0-)

    CHEERS for unexpected outcomes... Kgirl1's youth group was "homeless" for one night -- they slept in cardboard boxes, they had limited money for dinner and that was about it in hardship. Of course, knowing that it all ends in the morning makes a world of difference in the psychological difficulties...

    The point was gain some empathy for the homeless. However, in the morning as they discussed what they gained from this, Kgirl declared that she will start taking school a lot more seriously because she does not want to end up homeless. Life changing, indeed!

    I should probably get a move on -- I have to go buy some guns for my daughters' rooms... Yeah, craziest man on earth. Guns for kids's rooms. What the hell is going on with these people?!?!?

    First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

    by theKgirls on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:29:09 AM PDT

    •  I find that volunteering in the soup kitchen (21+ / 0-)

      for a day has the same effect.    Kind of a "scared straight" effect

      I'm not a complete idiot - some parts are missing.

      by Civil Writes Activist on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:45:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She did that a few weeks ago (18+ / 0-)

        and it didn't have the same impact. She was absolutely horrified that a six year old boy came in alone and significantly more horrified to learn he's a regular, but no one has ever seen his parents.

        Kgirl's takeaway from that experience was that no child should EVER experience anything like that and no God would ever allow one child to suffer while other kids have everything.

        First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

        by theKgirls on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:27:02 AM PDT

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        •  I would be horrified too. (12+ / 0-)
          She was absolutely horrified that a six year old boy came in alone and significantly more horrified to learn he's a regular, but no one has ever seen his parents.

          PLEASE
          tell me someone at this soup kitchen has contacted child services to get this kid into stable housing. If the parents are absent and there are no related caretakers available, there's no way on Earth a six-year-old should be accessing services on his own! That's a mandatory report of child neglect.

          "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

          by Vacationland on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:29:58 AM PDT

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          •  They may have... (8+ / 0-)

            Kgirl's account of the episode is that the people running the kitchen know this child by name. I wasn't under the impression that the boy was homeless or necessarily neglected, just really hungry. The youth director said that the director of the kitchen is aware of the boy's "situation" and I didn't ask about it after the presentation of their trip experiences.

            I took my kids everywhere and stayed there during their lesson or whatever -- Kgirl just cannot fathom a six year old out by himself in the Bronx. Personally, I see a bit of neglect in that, but "they are aware" so Kgirl was just concerned that a young child was so hungry, he'd venture into a soup kitchen on his own...

            First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

            by theKgirls on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:43:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  See, that's the thing... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marko the Werelynx

              ...it's actually illegal to let a six year old access services like that. Even if people providing services are aware of what's going on, they're breaking the law by not involving authorities. Kgirl is right to be concerned, but I'm actually really concerned about a child of this age unaccompanied. It's not a crime to be poor, and certainly not a crime to be hungry, but it is a crime to let a child this young navigate services without a responsible adult present (not counting the volunteers and staff).

              It's not just ill-advised, but meets the standard for child neglect in NY. It's not only terribly dangerous for the child (he's SIX!! Children under ten should be supervised in shelters and similar places unless contracts for care are in place, as with a Boys and Girls Club, Y, or school-related activity) but it jeopardizes the service provider's status if they observe this type of thing and don't involve child welfare.

              "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

              by Vacationland on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:10:38 AM PDT

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          •  Disagree. Let him come eat, no report. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marko the Werelynx

            My stepson used to walk about 3 blocks to attend a church near his mother's house. Someone he knew had taken him once. After a few Sundays they told him he couldn't come back unless he was with an adult.

            The deal is, we had already fought the custody case to try & rescue him more than once, and lost. So- his situation was static, but the church could have improved his life via socializing and possibly some food. (They really got that "suffer the little children" thing down,eh?)

            Further, as a foster parent, I have to say, if you think that one call is going to result in a removal, it's not. And if you think entering foster care is going to be helpful, likely the child will just be in one or more homes, then sent back to the exact same situation. The current fad is "reunification" at all cost, no matter situation.

            It's horrifying to watch, and seems quite pointless.

            This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

            by AllisonInSeattle on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:44:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ps He was about four. When children have a lot (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marko the Werelynx

              of freedom to wander the neighborhood because a parent isn't home or isn't effectively supervising, they think it's no big deal. They don't know other families run differently.

              This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

              by AllisonInSeattle on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:48:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Allison, I'm not angling for removal (0+ / 0-)

                I work in the field, and know better than most the realities of kids in the system. I know what it takes to get a kid removed from a neglectful home, and know that entering the system is neither a quick fix or always a good thing.

                I take issue with a the view that a preference for reunification as a "fad" (though kinship care is preferred to traditional foster for a few reasons, many of which have to do with building a safety net for kids once they age out of care). I also dispute that such action is at "all costs"...but the fact that I have a job at all (often evaluating state-level foster/adopt and child welfare programs) tells me the system is often badly messed-up.

                I realize individual cases are just that, individual; I was a sometimes-neglected autonomous kid myself and my circumstances weren't typical. I also know that every report doesn't automatically start the march to foster care; sometimes, it's simply hooking up the parent with affordable child care options, vouchers for services or supplementary meal programs, or a reminder that a kid that age probably shouldn't be unsupervised in that type of setting---and maybe hook them up with a home visitor or help them identify a friend or family member who could go with him to the kitchen for meals. It doesn't have to be punitive; it's often quite supportive if the baseline child abuse/neglect hasn't resulted in serious negative consequences yet.

                Based on my experience with similar situations, the church probably had to refuse him due to liability issues. Their ability to provide services at all (to anyone/everyone) may have hinged on adhering to certain restrictions placed on them by external forces (city, state, or their insurance company) and they might have feared that making an exception for your stepson might jeopardized that. I'm sorry he didn't get to take advantage of the program. And I admire the work you do as a foster parent; it's tougher than most people realize and we need all the good ones we can get!

                "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

                by Vacationland on Wed May 08, 2013 at 12:09:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I dunno what soup kitchen that was, but a (5+ / 0-)

          "regular" 6-yr-old would not happen here.  Any unescorted child would immediately be referred to social services.

          I'm not a complete idiot - some parts are missing.

          by Civil Writes Activist on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:59:57 AM PDT

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          •  I replied above (5+ / 0-)

            that the director of the soup kitchen "is aware of his situation" and I don't know exactly what that means. Kgirl's youth director was also there and I trust with every fiber of my being that if she believed that child was neglected and that the director of the kitchen was not addressing the situation, she would have called Social Services right then and there.

            I don't know the complete story; I only know Kgirl's impression of what happened. Kgirl remembers that I wouldn't let her play out in the driveway unless I was outside with her when she was five, so the idea of a six year old by himself in the Bronx just makes her want to cry. Or scream.

            First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

            by theKgirls on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:51:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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