I thank Miami Herald reporters for stories about children under the scrutiny of the Department of Children & Families who are being so badly served. Each story is more heartrending than the last. I was a Guardian ad Litem in the Broward County Dependency Court for almost seven years. The last children I had under my observation were three sisters, ages 10, 7 and 2, who were in foster care. All three had the same mother and father who lived the most marginal of lives.
I was horrified when I realized there was a real effort from ChildNet and the judge to reunite the children with their parents. Neither parent had a job, and they were, for all intents and purposes, homeless. Yet they were continually assigned various tasks that were going to make them responsible parents.
The situation became so emotionally charged for me that I had to take a leave. I simply couldn’t sit in court, watching the judge disregard the GAL attorney and continue to push for reunification.
There’s more to this story, but the crux is that pushing children back with untrustworthy parents is just a way for the various agencies responsible for child services to thin out the ranks of foster children or children placed for adoption.
Dianne Stutts, Pembroke Pines