There are drawbacks to learning all about abuse, neglect and the families that go along with those issues.
To become foster parents we needed 27 hours of training within 3 months of being licensed. On top of that, our agency (We were with a Private agency, not the local county) required us to have 35 hours. Then we moved to another state and were required to get an additional 19 hours of training! As you can imagine we learned a
Ever since then I catch myself looking at children that pass me in the street, families that live in my neighborhood, kids that attend school with mine… I find myself analyzing them and their situation. I can identify children with the facial features of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I don’t even have to look for symptoms, they jump out at me. When my neighbor’s 2 adopted children seemed very sexualized for their years I can’t help but question what happened to them before they were removed to live with their Aunt and Uncle. There was a situation at a grocery store not long ago. I identified the mother of a dirty, mangled child to be high on Meth. She had all the symptoms. Emotional and physical. The child had wandered off in her stupor. I cringe to think what would have happened had the child wandered into the arms of a pedophile or worse.
I don’t like it!! I don’t want to be walking through the isles of Target to see a toddler who I feel needs help and yet I can do very little, if anything about it!? I ache for these kids for weeks on end even when I have no emotional ties to the situation, no invested interest at all. I can’t help but wish I didn’t know about any of it. Before I could identify these terrible things, life wasn’t so bad. Now, I can see it surrounds me… all of us really.