These days it seems like every interaction has a disclaimer associated with it – “fine print”, if you will. As much as the fine print irritates me, I suppose it plays a role in clarifying what is or isn’t included in the interaction. Perhaps there is some utility in that.
So, here is my fine print. First, any stories that I tell about people other than members of my family have been carefully altered to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, and/or have been imaginatively created by combining details of the countless thousands of foster kids, case workers, and others involved in the foster system with whom I have interacted for a dozen years. If a story sounds familiar, understand that there are only so many things that one human can do to harm another. Child maltreatment has a repetitive tempo – which is why it is easy to fall into the trap that a standard treatment plan will work for every family – but that is a conversation for a different part of this site. The point is, I do not include HIPAA or other identifiers in my stories – rather they are meant to be representative of what my collective experience with foster care has been. I am a story-teller, and this is a story that needs to be told.
Second, my views do not reflect the opinions of any agency with whom I work. They are mine alone, and while I hope they are shared by many others, you will never see them grace the pages of a public institution.
I hope that you are willing to engage, to listen to the stories, and to dream about solutions – foster kids desperately need you to.