Thursday, January 11, 2007

Working with damaged kids

I don't mean to sound like a bleeding heart, but life just isn't fair for a lot of people. I have finally started to get into my job at Trillium more and actually have a larger case load. I've worked with troubled kids for a while and seen a lot of tough cases, but the kids that I work with here are the most difficult I've seen.
I work as a foster care consultant with Trillium. Basically Trillium is a agency that sets up therapeutic foster homes and places kids in them that are in DHS custody. My job is to go out to the foster home and work with the kids. These kids are from all ages and nearly everyone has Reactive Attachment Disorder ( RAD). On the list of mental health disorders, RAD is one of the worst.
A child develops RAD when they are unable to emotionally attach themselves to a parent. The child's basic biological need to be loved and have their basic needs met never happens. Which makes RAD such a tough disorder to treat is that no one really except the biological parent can fill this need. The bond between parent and child needs to be established early in life or it almost never happens and there is no way therapeutically to go back and form that bond.
The kids that I am working with are very damaged kids. All of them have been torn from their parents at some point, often because their parents are unfit. It's interesting that everyone of them wants to return to their parents despite the fact that in most cases, the parents have abandoned them. As their counselor, I have to find ways to explain to them that they are never going home again. These kids are mad, and for good reason.
The other day, I was talking to a girl who was out of control. She said that she didn't care anymore. She didn't care if she ever had friends because she has to move around so much. I could really understand and told her she was right.
I've got another child that is only 4 years old that has been shipped around a lot due to her behavior. My son is 4 and I couldn't image him being shipped around to foster homes.
I've got another girl who yelled at a mother and baby in the mall claiming "it isn't fair!" We of course had to hospitalize her. This afternoon I have to go tell a pair of twins that they have to move again because their current foster mom's health is failing.
I've worked with some tough kids in the past, but they at least had some sort of connection with their parents (even though it wasn't very healthy). I don't have the answers to make some of these issues other than to tell people "stop having kids if you don't want them"


f o r r e s t said...

That is really rough. It must take a lot of prayer to do what you do.

Dash said...

If only getting pregnant took more thought ... then again, if everyone really thought about being parents, we might become extinct.

shakedust said...

That is horrible. I don't know if I could be in that line of work just because I would constantly feel like I'd want to help in every situation, but I wouldn't know how.

There really should be serious repercussions for abandoning your kids.

GoldenSunrise said...

Hearing those stories breaks my heart. You have a tough job.

T said...

At the risk of sounding dumb, sometimes I wish I could be everyones mom. It's not that I think I'm the greatest mom in the world, but I do love kids and just hearing stories like this really brings out my desire to want to help them. If only we could be parents to all the unparented kids.