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The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking

May is National Foster Month, “Honoring, Uniting, and Celebrating Families.” But is this really what foster care is doing? Theoretically, foster care provides a temporary loving, nurturing and safe home for children who are removed from their own families due to heinous neglect or abuse. This theory helps those involved in the system sleep good at night and feel like heroes.

Molly McGrath Tierney, the former Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, gave one of the most insightful TEDx talks [1] about the problems with the “Foster Care Industry” – an industry where children become a commodity that profits doctors, lawyers, judges, social workers, advocates, and other organizations, an industry that can only exist by taking other people’s children, an industry that damages the very children it purports to be helping. She goes on to explain the trauma inflicted on children by the foster care industry, saying:

… we’re digging a wound so deep, I don’t believe we have a way of measuring it. This dismantling of families – it has enormous consequences. Kids that grow up outside of families – they don’t master the things that can only be learned in that context, like who to trust, how to love, and how to take care of yourself, and that frankly does more damage than the abuse and neglect that brought the kid to my attention in the first place.

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