Thursday, November 5, 2009

hating the system

If I'd posted yesterday like I was going to it would have been all about the experience of being in the recording studio and having an awesome bunch of actors bring my characters to life. I may write that blog in the next few days but right now I'm at home alone while you lot are at a party (by choice - no dramas there) and I just got some very frustrating news I feel I need to vent so... apolgies in advance that there are no pretty pictures or videos to watch and that this is not a particularly upbeat post!


You all know about a certain 12 year old we had the pleasure of caring for earlier this year, and it really was a pleasure. If was fantastic to see this unsure kid incapable of vocalising her thoughts or feelings grow into this vibrant young thing prepared to take US on in a debate (was she dreaming?!?!) Anyway, during her time here we tried to give her the time and space to be herself, and be safe, and the groth in her was a special thing to experience.

Now the rules say that once she leaves that's it, we have no right to contact, get information or anything. Hard to swallow but ok, I understand the family need rights and that in some cases this is possibly a good thing (though it doesn't, IMHO, do much to help kids to understand there are different kinds of relationships and that there is someone outside of the family who is there and cares about them). We have, with a little hardship and a lot of wondering at times, obeyed those rules.

Tonight I've been chatting with said 12 year old on a social networking site, and it was fantastic to catch up. She approached me to be a friend, I thought long and hard about it, and agreed. So, the chat was about all sorts of things and it was good to hear from her, except for now I know what I had formerly only wondered at, and in this case ignorance was bliss.

It seems that in six weeks this great kid, and her 10 year half sister, will return to the home of a man who has been judged by a psycologist IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS to be unsafe. We had a discussion with the psychologist some months ago and were told what her recommendations would be for the judge on th case. Clearly that judge completely ignored the report THEY requested in the first place and has done what CYPS are so bloody minded about and sent the kids back to 'the family'.

I get it, I know why the focus is there and all that, but I can pretty much guarantee that this family will not be closely supervised, that there will be little or no support, and that there are two kids who will be shit scared of making any disclosures because over the past three years the systems incompetence and family's messiness have served to make them feel responsible for the nastiness in their worlds. The mother is in a controlling relationship with degrees of abuse and those kids are going back into that situation.

I don't know whether I'm more inclined to anger or tears (maybe both). I do know that the 12 yr old has asked me not to tell her family I've spoken to her and I really don't want to risk that I might be someone she can come to if she needs to. BUT everything in me is screaming to challenge this ruling and the situation bureaucrats have put these two young people in.

Honestly, I don't know what to do.


Sporty said...

Oh god Ness,
I've just read this and I don't even know what to say. That's so f&*%kn awful.AWFUL.

pipi said...

I've been thinking about this post quite a bit. I hate the system too fnessm, in so SO many ways. Its just not fair. It seems to me our most vulnerable are often needlessly right at the frontline of danger.

I fear that if two, well educated, staunch, white (sorry have to put that in) women can’t get their recommendations across (are trampled on!) then what hope do we have?

I dunno how helpful this will be but here goes.. in my late teen years I had friends that were in cyfs care. I found that just letting them know I was there for them was way more constructive and helpful than what our corrupt system could provide, after all it was that very system that got them in their predicament.

But I was young, and I was their friend. Quite a different scenario. You are both superheros :)

kĊtiro said...

Oh god too! Only just read this now.

Don't really know what to say except - I hear you!

ugly. ugly. ugly. what to do?

Can't help but think they won't listen. I imagine they'll put even greater blinkers on and label you as 'interferring'.

bad when you think there's no way of helping.

ugly ugly ugly!

k x

fnessm said...

Ugly ugly ugly indeed. I'm still pretty pissed about it, and still in the same predicament. I guess I'll just have to rely on staying in touch through FB and check in with her sometimes to let her know I'm here.

Sporty said...

I know it's no replacement for a safe nuturing environment but I do think you're right about staying in touch on FB. As she knows you're a safe person to connect with.