Wednesday, August 25, 2010

any media is good media?

and my self-centered response to the reporter for using me as her sensationalist lead, without getting the details right:

Dear Reporter-

Though I appreciate the breadth of your article, I wasn't so thrilled with the depth.  The social worker and foster kid in me make it necessary to share my response.

List of corrections/thoughts:

-after birthing my first child, I become interested in digging up my past. (no one cares about that but me, but still, my need for records was a direct result of becoming a parent)

-the entire quote about feeling betrayed, part of the family, etc. applied to Casey Family Programs (CFP), not the state of Texas.  Out of context it sounds rather stupid, like someone using a word they don't really understand.  To me 'paternalistic' implies some controlling ill intent on the part of the power holder, which in this case is CFP, not Texas. Social service departments in most places are overworked state agencies prioritizing people with open cases. Most organizations suffer from the 'squeaky wheel syndrome', and now that former foster youth are squeaking louder, we're getting some attention. I'm fortunate to be benefiting from it, and adding to the chorus.

-most of the records I received are legible. Maybe 20%, of what I've read so far, isn't. There are no pictures so far, but because the disc is full of pdfs of the documents, I'm holding out hope. Pictures are often a missing link for foster people.

A common impetus for exploring the past and requesting records is having children. We are a people who don't want to repeat cycles of abuse with our own children--but that's much easier said than done.

Leigh Ecke

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