The one thing most kids in residential childcare share in common is the absence, or almost complete absence of a positive male role model. Almost all of the children I have worked with have never had a father around, and the ones that did have Dad around were being abused by him.
A young man growing up without a positive male influence is a very dangerous thing. Not only do they grow up (Statistically) to continue a dysfunctional cycle of abuse but they also latch on to ANY male influence that they come across. This can come in the form of a drug dealer or just an everyday hustler, thereby ensuring that we as residential care givers will have job security well into the next century.
A huge part of the problem is our society has totally turned on all aspects of family. For a girl that is seventeen that wants to be a home maker is considered a girl that has no ambition and possibly needs counseling. A man that chooses to work close at home and places his family above a career and money is considered to be someone that is not providing for his family and largely unsuccessful.
Lets also not forget that being a single mother is now a source of pride. Despite the Lifetime movies my wife has forced me into watching, I cannot think of anyone I know that has divorced because her husband was beating on her or going to kill her. More often it’s because one or both “Partners” lose that loving feeling and start thinking the grass is greener on the other side.
So what does this have to do with residential child care? Everything. Our work is solely based on people that refused to honor a relationship dedicated to God. Divorce and broken relationships affect everyone. So much so that our society does not talk. Don’t believe me? What are the names of all your neighbors?
1% of the entire population in the United States is currently incarcerated, and it’s not slowing down. The foster care system is overloaded with cases. But yet, as a society we still don’t seem to understand how significant a man is to the family. Oh well….
As a professional House Parent you always need to keep in mind that you may be the only decent role model a kid has between now and 18. Everything we do and say is being analyzed by them and being compared with what they know from their past experiences. I know for a fact that the most important thing I can do is to be there for those kids and for mine, even if it means we must adopt a lifestyle of simple living.
For everyones information, I’m just as guilty as all the people I have talked about in here. I lived on the road chasing a dollar thinking that was the best thing I could for my family, I’ve been divorced and I have contributed in many ways to creating the society that I have come to despise. It has been only through he power of Jesus Christ that my eyes were opened. Change is possible, but only when you realize what the truth really is. -Launch