Sunday 9 July 2017

Fostering Failures

I should like very much for the reader to watch the following short, a mere twenty-six minutes, film (movie) called "Home(less)", as it covers the topic of fostering and how the system often fails fosterees.

The description of the film is as follow:
Home(less) is the story of Ben, a gay seventeen year old on the verge of aging-out of foster care. He has been in six different foster homes and three group homes over the past five years. Becoming accustomed to conditional love, Ben has lost hope in finding a forever family. He struggles with establishing a relationship with his boyfriend and finding his older sister.

I commented in the section on YouTube below the video, along with other commentators from across the globe. The comments come from fosterers, potential fosterers, fosterees and other interested parties.

I think the acting by the two leads is terrific. We are led to understand why Karen is so concerned and why Ben is so self-protective. I love that we are given background info on both these characters - Karen's home & work-place; Ben's disappeared sister & romantic attachment - as it gives them more depth.
Being passed from pillar to post is, lamentably, not uncommon for such youngsters. Foster homes have to work for all concerned, including the foster-parents and foster-siblings. I should like to see different ideas explored for fosterers and fosterees to meet socially prior to placement, to see whether there is compatibility with the foster-family. Studying & learning from systems that are more successful might help; but I suspect in many systems it is [the] lack of funding which is its downfall.
I think the design of care-systems around the world tend to be proscriptive and inflexible. In the UK, due to constant cuts to budgets, there are insufficient staff to adequately check on children's welfare. Despite many high-profile cases of abuse & even killings and subsequent investigations making countless recommendations, rarely is anything done in actuality to ameliorate the situations.
My housemate & I are both queer, well-educated and financially sound. We have the space to home a youngster. However, I am disabled (requiring some carer support) and chum works during the day. We are not deemed acceptable as a potential foster-home, because the social-workers cannot tick ALL the necessary boxes.
Instead, thousands of children are left in a system that ultimately means they will, on average, do less well educationally, at work, in relationships, are more likely to become involved in crime and even die younger.
Most families are far from perfect; so the system ought not to only want perfect environments!
I hope the sequel you are planning gets off the ground and is successful.
May I ask for a listing at the end of the film of organisations which might be able to assist?
My thanks for a touching film & wishes for future success!

The company that produced the short are hoping to create a feature-length film exploring the issues in greater detail as well as progressing the narrative. If the reader would like to financially contribute the film-makers, please do contact On-Ride Entertainment, LLC. directly. Thanks.

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