Saturday, August 21, 2010

RICO Gets Adopted

This is a blog post by a foster parent. The child placing agency has forced the foster parent to enter into a contract with penalties if there are any disclosure of anything to the media or the internet.

It seems like my secrecy campaign of not telling the public is catching on.

There are already penalties for public speaking on what happens in the foster care system for parents (i.e. no visitation, termination of parental rights, referral for psychotic medications), now the foster parents are silenced.

All records of billings, costs and donations are kept from public disclosure as these are non-profit organizations...all in the best interests of children.

The child welfare industry has adopted its final piece of racketeering policy.

The $1,000 blog (or the 1 year in jail blog)

I have a real reason to have not posted lately. Besides just worn our end-of-the-days.

I signed a new contract.

It’s a privacy contract.

And it effectively forbids this blog.

So I’m not sure what I’m going to do. The contract doesn’t explicitly say ‘no blogs, anonymous or not’ but it says not to share confidential information with media, including on the internet. And I am publishing a blog. Okay, maybe that is pretty explicit.

Before I signed this contract, I knew this blog wasn’t really jiving with my agency’s rules, but I reasoned I could claim ignorance if I was outed. And I have tried very hard to make it anonymous – but I also want it to be real, and with those two somewhat conflicting goals in mind, lately I have veered much more towards being real. If Mark and Nikki’s mom or aunt or Lulu found this blog and read more than one post, they would know who it was.

I’m an ethical person, and now that I’ve signed this contract, I feel duty-bound to honor it. Plus there’s that $1,000 or year in jail for breaking it. (Okay, that’s up to $1,000 or a year, but maybe they’d want to make an example out of me!)

And really, all jokes aside, I do care about the kids’ privacy rights. They have no control over their lives as it is, so maybe I do need to be a lot more thoughtful about their personal details…

So for the time being, I’m taking down all my old posts and figuring out if and how I’ll be continuing this blog. It’s been really helpful for me to have a record of events, but I’m not sure how much I’m actively contributing to the foster parent world. Especially when I don’t post for weeks at a time. I believe it is possible to blog about being a foster parent without compromising anonymity; it just takes a lot more focus.

So maybe when I have more focus.

Whenever that will be.
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