Foster Care Victims
“I am 17 years of age now and I am a victim of having my home ripped apart due to deportation. My father was taken from my home 11 years ago in front of my face. It’s really something you just don’t get over it. I’m still hurt as if it just happened 2 seconds ago” says one of our citizen children.
When citizen children’s parent(s) are detained or deported, they lose the love and guidance of a parent who can raise them into healthy adults, the security of being in their own home, and the independence of living without government support.
Children placed in foster care after their parents have been deported may:
- not know whether their parents are dead or alive;
- lose their home and source of support;
- lose track of where their parents are living;
- become wards of a state’s Family and Children’s Service Agency;
- need government support through AFDC, food stamps and Medicaid;
- experience trauma resulting in mental illness and PTSD;
- be placed in a group home or emergency shelter;
- be moved frequently, from one foster parent to another; or
- become homeless when they are 18 years old or younger.
Foster Care was designed as a temporary placement for children who experienced neglect or abuse from parents who were temporarily disabled by illness or addiction. If and when the parents were deemed to have recovered, their children were returned. Foster parents may not have the skills or determination to raise a child, and so foster children are often sent from one family to another until the age of 18.
Between 2011 and 2013, roughly 500,000 citizen children experienced the detention and deportation of at least one parent. These are estimates of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Who knows if these children are in foster care, with a relative, or even living in the U.S.A.?
The foster care system is not prepared to provide basic care for huge numbers of children whose parent(s) may well be detained or deported in accordance with present policy. There are 5 million U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 living with an undocumented family member. Their future is very uncertain.