Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Kids Are (Not) All Right

Los Angeles, CA

In response to yesterday's post on Kayla Wood, commenter angry in l.a. points out the site missingkidsla.org, the Los Angeles County Runaway and Abducted Foster Children website.

The site is a web searchable database of runaways and abducted children from the County foster care system. The site lists close to 800 children (239 abductions and 511 runaways), their ages, descriptions and, in some cases, photos. These are cases going as far back as 1991 and as recently as this last August.

Just grabbing at random there's Christopher Stevens, Jaquina Aguilar, Courie Alexander.

Eight-hundred children. Most don't appear to have any further information. Those that do paint a picture maybe a little brighter than the foster system might care to admit. "Minors visited relatives in Mississippi. Have not returned." "Thought to be living with father" "Abducted by mother and thought to be in Mexico." And so on.

The runaways are not all that surprising, though as angry in l.a. says, "I wonder where they are running from and where they are going."

It's the abductions that have no further details that I find particularly chilling. In the absence of fact conjecture fills the void. How many of these children are buried in a concrete slab somewhere or in an Angeles Crest ditch?

What I find truly disturbing is the sheer number of them. I don't know how many children are in the foster system, but dear Christ it has to be a lot. And I have to wonder how many of them are going to end up on this list.


Trace said...

It is very chilling and disturbing, Stephen. And I am sad to say that I don't think the kids in foster care are really top priority.

angie said...

These are not bright pictures of kids running away to better situations. What happens more often would be something along the lines of "minors visited (crack-dealing, abusive, alcoholic) relatives in Mississippi," "thought to be living with father (who sexually abused him/her)," and "abducted by mother (who pimps out her kids for drug and rent money) and thought to be in Mexico."

Sorry, but that's what usually happens. When kids run, they often run back to the fucked up situations that CPS took them out of. They're used to it & they miss their families. Hey, just because the families are fucked up doesn't change the fact that the kids love their moms, dads, etc.

It's a lot of sick families involved in a lot of very, very sick systems (CPS, JPO, APO, whatever l.a.'s version of public assistance & mental health care - the list goes on and on).

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Sadly, Angie you're absolutely right. It's wishful thinking on my part that someone bailed from the foster system and went somewhere better.

I just wish we had some better ways to handle the situations.

Angry in L.A. said...

It is sad that many of these young people are running back into the destructive enviroments they came from...but they are use to crack dealers and gun shots.

The bigger problem is that many of these young people are running from foster homes in which they were physically and sexually abused.

DCFS has a number of lawsuits pending in which children were abused or even murdered in DCFS liscensed foster homes

trisen maher/cplust06@yahoo.com said...

i was in foster care for 11 years i knw how the cps works and ffa's as well i was moved many times and was abused in many but then again i did get some that did help me. i have meet so many foster kids and alot hate there parents but hate cps so they rather go home with there parents so that they can atleast live simi normal lifes in foster care you become a number you sometimes lose your identity they treat you like a pay check and you guys wonder why these kids are running away. not that many home feel like a home they might as well just send these kids to juvinial hall that is how they are treated like animals in cages sometimes. you are lucky if you get a social worker who cares or that even believes you i have told one of my workers that my foster mom was not buying food for us and she didnt believe me and went straight to my foster mom and told her what i had said and they laughed it off and i was chewed out later for opening my mouth. and you fucking people ask why are these kids running away. idk what to say but sometimes these kids are better off with there families. i chose to stay in foster care after they told me i could go home at age 13 1/2. and i grew some thick ass skin going threw what i went threw. but in the long run in my situation i believed it was best. but for kayla woods a good friend of mine who was murderd september 6th 2006 i think it would have been better if shewould have either been detained in a lock down fasility or to go back with her grandmother but witch is now to late.