When a Foster Child Dies: Rules for Radicals
The Business of Child Abuse
By Joshua Allen
When a Foster Child Dies, The Scientific term “Butt Covering,” comes into full play. The needs of the family of the victim move down to last on the list.
The list begins with a plethora of lawyers, agency officials, bureaucrats, doctors, social workers, psychologists, intern therapists, supervisors, government hacks, crappy news media, social work investigators, deputy administrators, chief administrators, peon dcfs social workers, teachers, foster parents and finally the birth parents of the dead child.
Then, things go something like this…
First on the list is the Group home or agency affiliated with a national organization, a religious organization or some other deep pockets – it doesn’t matter really – just that they have enough people on staff to have a really interesting top secret staff meeting where many of the above mentioned will review the case of the dead foster child.
The meeting is to examine individuals role as the people in charge of the child, and primarily, to prove everyone did their job magnificently and in no way contributed to the death of the abused and neglected child.
That fault lay somewhere else. The death, while tragic was no way because of the actions of the people at this table and could not have been prevented.
Reports are reviewed, checked and re-reviewed, by everyone at the table which will be led by a team leader. The irony is that by this time, everything has been checked, rewritten, redone, and reviewed and re-saved before the first nervous social worker and stern supervisor crosses their arms in the board room.
Did you write all the correct things you did and procedures you followed?…Check
Did you rewrite your notes to reflect this? … Check What computer did you use?...Check
Do you have the dates with the therapist?...Check
Did you notate your phone calls?...Check
Did you notate that you told the victim X Y and Z?... Check
Do you have the dates of the doctor visits, verification that medications were approved and properly administered?... Check. Have the medication logs been redone to comply with regulations?... Check
Were staff properly trained, retrained and trained again…wasn’t that meeting we had last month also training?... Check
What computer did you write your notes on?...Check (Computer time stamps are only checked on 'Law and Order).
Okay, so we’re all covered here right? We’ll meet again in two days to review this all over again. Oh, and after we have all our ducks in a row we’ll inform the…(put group - organization - county agency here)
Okay, you can all leave; we’ll be taking a meeting with the lawyers. Have funds been released for the funeral yet? …Check… Such a tragedy…poor thing. It's not your fault, you did your best.
Anyways you get the idea. Sausage making.
Because in LA Foster Care; not many will hear you die.
The Politics of Child Abuse