are YOU guilty of treating foster kids like trash?
We all know the classic image of a young child in foster care standing there with a black trash bag either barely filled or bursting at the seams waiting for the worker to come and pick the child up. Who the hell thought of putting foster kid’s belongings in trash bags? Who? Or used, beat-up old boxes? Who? Or pillow cases? Who?
To you “big people,” it may seem like nothing…
but do you carry your “treasures” in a trash bag or a beat-up old box or a pillow case?
I don’t think so.
Trash is carried in trash bags. Dirty laundry is carried in trash bags.
Dead bodies are carried in trash bags.
Treasures are not.
And so what, if the “treasures” a foster child has are old, stained, ripped, broken… they have meaning to the child… and it’s not TRASH. But yet…it is treated that way the minute it is put into a trash bag or a beat-up old box.
Have you ever had a trash bag with your treasures rip apart in the middle of the sidewalk as you are being hurried into a worker’s car, leaving a foster home? ….Have you? Do you see how tough this is? On one hand you are being rushed away, on another hand, your “treasures” are on the ground and you want to pick them up… On one hand, the foster parents already said “goodbye,” and on the other hand they start to help pick up the “treasures” on the ground, ……
For pete’s sake… if your foster child comes with trash bags and boxes, go out and buy a back-pack or a suitcase or a duffle bag. What the fuck? Think about it. You don’t have to buy an expensive one; but give the kid the same dignity that you would want for having to carry your “treasures.”
I am always amazed when I read on foster parent forums and blogs that they continue to pack their foster child’s stuff in trash bags and boxes. THINK about how you would feel? And even if the child is not feeling anything, it still IMPLIES that their stuff is trash.
Buy a fucking suitcase or backpack or duffle bag.
Goodwill and thrift shops even sell them….
… if you don’t want to buy a new one!
Does it solve the world’s problems?…. NO…. but it gives a foster child something to secure any treasures they are trying desparately to hold on to… An organized, safe place for the few things that have meaning in their lives, that keep moving with them.
We joke about it, but it’s not funny. Trash bags are NOT meant to be luggage for foster children… and boxes aren’t any better and neither are pillow cases.
Isn’t it interesting how another population, the homeless, carry their items in bags and boxes…… another population considered “nuisances”…… a population that is made up of alot of aged-out foster kids…
You see, you don’t outgrow feeling like trash…that easily.