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My View: The Plight of Supervisor Rexroad and Why We Must Protect Our Children

Jasmine-Dad
Yesterday morning I’m about to head to court and Jasmine is dressed to go to Davis Diamonds.

Any parent who has followed the account of Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad and his 18-month saga with the toddler he lovingly refers to as the “Bonus Baby” had to have their hearts torn out by the news this week that the Rexroads lost their efforts to keep the baby, who will apparently go to relatives.

Matt Rexroad was too emotionally torn up to comment further to the Vanguard this week, but on Facebook on Tuesday, he posted, “It was certainly one of the worst moments in my life but I feel strongly that the little boy was worth every moment, dollar, and tear. Bonus Toddler crying out for ‘Mama, Dada’ the entire time was heart breaking yet we could not hold him.”

For me, it was especially heart-wrenching because I know exactly how he feels. My wife and I have been there and darn near done that.

For Cecilia and I, we have always loved kids and wanted to have a family. We always talked about having two of our own and then adopting two. But by the time we actually got down to carrying out that plan, fate intervened and we realized that we could not have kids of our own.

In 2009, a family friend’s situation compelled us to go through the Yolo County Foster Care program, but that baby slipped through our arms as a relatively distant family member decided to take the baby, over the objections of some of the family.

Not deterred by that difficult experience, we put our names into the mix for a foster baby. On December 7, I got a call early in the morning about a one-day baby girl who had become available. We immediately responded and, while there were nearly a dozen other families that expressed interest, the officials decided that Cecilia and I were the closest match.

At noon I got the call telling us to pick up the baby at Woodland Memorial Hospital at 3 pm. I quickly texted Cecilia, “Meet me in Woodland at three to pick up baby girl.”

I was never so scared in my life when they put little Jasmine, tiny at 6 pounds, in my arms for the first time. If you think about it, when you have a normal pregnancy, you have nine months to prepare for that moment, we had a few hours.

Flash forward, the birth mother in this case had tested positive for the presence of a controlled substance during the pregnancy and, as we would learn later, this was not the first time she had had a baby removed from her care.

However, the system is set up to favor the birth parents’ efforts to regain custody of the child, and the system is set up to give priority to family members over non-family members. That meant not only could the mother get Jasmine back through the reunification program, but a family member would have automatic priority if they sought custody.

The system was long and excruciating – what started out as hour-long visits with the birth mother, twice a week, turned into daylong visits on a mother-baby parenting program and then came the reunification process. This started when she was about eight or nine months old.

Jasmine at one day old, as I hold her at Woodland Memorial Hospital on December 7, 2009
Jasmine at one day old, as I hold her at Woodland Memorial Hospital on December 7, 2009

Over about a six week period, they transition the child from the care of the foster parents to the care of the birth parent. First it was a night. Then it was two nights. Then it was three nights. Then it was five nights. After the five nights, there were two nights off and then it would be a full week. If there were no problems after the week, she would not have come home with us.

In a way we had resigned to our fate. We had always gotten along well with the birth mother and made plans to hopefully remain part of Jasmine’s life afterwards. I tried to remain strong even as it was ripping us apart. There was one day that I remember sitting on the couch and we both broke down in tears. It was the worst month of my adult life.

Jasmine was a week away from going back to the birth mother permanently when fate intervened. I was ironically sitting in Judge White’s court for the gang injunction trial (ironically because a year later Judge White would perform the adoption of Jasmine) when my phone went off (on vibrate) once, twice, three times. It was the social worker.

Clearly, something was going on. I was supposed to pick up Jasmine that day, but late in the day, for what would have been our final two nights with her. But the social worker couldn’t be reached. Finally I reached her and she said reunification had been suspended and I needed to go get Jasmine immediately.

I couldn’t get ahold of my wife, so I rush a few blocks to go pick up Jasmine. At first, the social worker couldn’t tell me what had happened other than there was a significant incident and it had to be reevaluated.

When I got Jasmine, she was not the same. Normally she was smiling and happy to see me. Even then we had an extremely close bond. That spark was not there. She was traumatized.

While things were changed, it wasn’t clear what was going to happen. However, the mother missed a scheduled supervised visit at the Yolo Crisis Nursery, and it was obvious something was up.

In the end, we learned that there had been a police raid on the apartment where she was staying, however, the target was the mother’s boyfriend. The mother would be charged with misdemeanor child endangerment. More serious was a few weeks later when the mother was arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop.

The process played out slowly. The mother willingly agreed to give up parental rights, which set the stage for our October 23, 2011, adoption of Jasmine, who was just under two years old at the time.

Our story turned out well, but for that one month period in 2010, she was a few days away from permanently leaving us.

Here is the thing – the social worker later admitted that she suspected there were problems once the mother moved out of treatment and was living on her own – she just couldn’t prove it. Had the arrest happened later on, who knows how things would have played out. We were lucky and the system is not well-designed to protect children.

There are far more tragic situations – that play out like what happened with the Rexroads rather than our ultimate happy ending. If the pain that the Rexroads are experiencing is to be meaningful, we have to bring meaningful change to the system. Our chief goal here has to be to protect the children.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “My View: The Plight of Supervisor Rexroad and Why We Must Protect Our Children”

  1. Tia Will

    Our chief goal here has to be to protect the children.”

    I could not agree more. Adults have all kinds of motivations for choosing to parent… or not , to use drugs… or not, to stay in treatment …or not, to develop and maintain healthy relationships…or not. Children do not have these options, and thus in my opinion their well being should always be placed above the legal demands of relatives who may be incapable of caring for them in the case of Jasmine’s mother or those with whom they have no established relationship but happen to be genetically related.

    My heart truly goes out to the Rexroads. I cannot imagine anything more painful than the loss of a truly loved child. I wish them all the best as they struggle to cope with this loss.

  2. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Rexroad family during this challenging time. I also think and pray for “Bonus Toddler” that he is safe.

  3. gentlereader

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that although the system is far from perfect it is in the best interests of the child to live with biological relatives whenever it is feasible, and whenever the biological home is good enough. Not necessarily perfect, but good enough. From my understanding, there are thousands of children that need adoptive homes. Children that have homes with biological parents should go back to them 1. because it’s always better for a child to live with bio parents whenever possible, and 2. it makes adoptive homes available for children that have none.

    I have not followed the Rexroad case so cannot speak specifically to it. And I don’t think that children should live with parents who don’t provide a safe environment. And some parents have decided they cannot properly care for their children even though they are not using drugs–that’s perfectly fine too. But if parents or biological relatives can provide a safe, albeit imperfect home, that’s who children should live with.

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I don’t think your view is unreasonable but the problem comes with the definition here: “whenever the biological home is good enough.” How do you define good enough?

      1. gentlereader

        For me, “good enough” is safe from physical and emotional harm. Within reason, of course. Every child is going to get a boo boo, and every parent has a bad mommy moment.

        No child lives in a perfect home. All we are entitled to is “good enough”.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          agree.

          My concern was that good enough from the perspective of the system was that they couldn’t prove that there were dangers even though the social worker knew something was off, they just couldn’t prove it. And in the case of the Rexroads the child was there a year and a half and that’s the only family he knew. Ours was eight months and I believe that even that brief period caused her attachment issues.

        2. gentlereader

          I would agree with the system that danger has to be proven. “Something is off” isn’t good enough for removal of a child (or continuing to hold one). When the child is removed from the bio home, they are also removed from “the only family they know”. Removal of a child from the bio family, even for the best of reasons, is a very traumatic event. A foster family can always turn down a foster placement. And as I said, there are thousands of children who are “legally free”.

    2. Tia Will

      gentlereader

      it is in the best interests of the child to live with biological relatives whenever it is feasible, and whenever the biological home is good enough. Not necessarily perfect, but good enough”

      Overall, I would agree with your statement. The problem is with the concept of “good enough”. My experience in working to provide a medical perspective on “good enough” was that due to the overwhelming numbers, children were being returned time and time again to neglectful and abusive parents and family members ( the sexually abusive part was why a gynecologist was involved) due to a misguided belief that biologic family was always to be preferred over foster or adoptive families. I realize that this is not the situation that you are referring to. I am pointing out that this was so often the outcome because of this philosophy that I removed myself from the committee when I realized I was making zero impact despite my sometimes impassioned pleas not to return the child.

      1. gentlereader

        I can’t imagine that someone would think a home in which sexual abuse occurs is “good enough” and if the system believes that, then it is broken. Or at least that aspect is. A question: Is the Duggar home “good enough”? Should the children be removed? Is Josh Duggar’s home “good enough”? Why or why not? I don’t think it’s safe for a child to live in the Duggar home. That said, you’d have a hard time convincing me that the best thing for all those children would be to be removed. It’s not a black and white issue.

        1. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

          The Duggar children are NOT SAFE at all and at minimum the son should be forbidden from being around the other children while the parents required to  have oversight, counseling and responsible parenting classes. Just because they have 19 kids does not make them good parents. Knowing that their son was groping the girls and doing nothing about it is not acceptable at all. I also have to question someone having another child for “Reality Show purposes.”  The system is seriously broken and needs to be fixed! It needs an overhaul.

        2. gentlereader

          I agree completely, Ceclia. I don’t think those kids were safe with their brother around, and I do think the parents didn’t do enough to keep them safe. Then the question becomes: Should they be removed? And what effect would that removal have on all those kids? If you asked the kids, what do you think they would say? There is not a right or wrong answer, but I’m just trying to illustrate how complex it is. Personally, I don’t think they are safe. But I think removing them would harm them more than staying there.

           

  4. Frankly

    However, the system is set up to favor the birth parents’ efforts to regain custody of the child, and the system is set up to give priority to family members over non-family members. That meant not only could the mother get Jasmine back through the reunification program, but a family member would have automatic priority if they sought custody.

    This has to change.  The system is broken and leads to too many broken hearts.  And it leads to fewer foster kids being adopted because prospective adoptive parents are terrified of the pain and the potential cost of fighting in court and then losing a child that they have fallen in love with.

    The courts are wrestling with what is best for the child.  Where the courts are wrong is in giving automatic weight to the biological family being best for the child.  There is scant evidence that this is the case… children adopted outside of their biological families are just as happy and successful through childhood and through adulthood.  In fact, there is some evidence that adopted children and better cared for… and it makes sense given what is required to adopt.  The process is difficult and only the most determined parents will tackle it.

    I think the bar should be high for adoption.  But I think once a child is handed over to new adoptive parents, the contract becomes ironclad.   There can be visitation rights for the biological family at some point and in certain circumstances; but once the court makes a decision who the parents will be, that should stick.

    And to add to this argument, I think the courts are ignoring the damage done to a child that, early in their lives, get’s demonstrated such parental volatility.  Children are resilient, but they also are imprinting strongly during their early years. We simply don’t know what the impacts are for forcefully ripping them out of one set of loving arms and given them to someone that the child only knows as a stranger.  But we can estimate that it likely is not good.

    1. Matt Williams

      Wel said Frankly. Very well said.

      For the record, my son and his wife are currently going through an international adoption process. Things get even more complicated when the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS) gets involved.

      Like others have said, it is hard to imagine the pain the Rexroads are going through, and my heart goes out to them.

    2. gentlereader

      Whose “broken heart”, Frankly? Anyone who enters the foster care program knows the parameters of the program. We go down a very dangerous slope if we are removing parents from biological parents who can care for them simply to save foster homes’ hearts.

       

       

      1. Tia Will

        gentlereader

        if we are removing parents from biological parents who can care for them simply to save foster homes’ hearts.”

        But that is never the case. The child would not have been removed from their parents home in the first place had their not been evidence of neglect or abuse. These are not cases in which children are being snatched from “good enough” parents to be placed in the homes of “better parents”. They are children already defined independently as at risk before the foster parents even meet the child.

        1. gentlereader

          That is the case fairly frequently. There are many times when a parent makes a mistake, the child is removed, the parent gets their act together, and the child is returned. I know of several cases personally. Some parents do get it together, and kids should go back in those cases.

          There is also not insignificant evidence of abuse in the foster care system. White babies are highly desired.

           

        2. Frankly

          There are many times when a parent makes a mistake, the child is removed, the parent gets their act together, and the child is returned.

          The parent “makes a mistake”?  The parent does something so bad that it is in the child’s best interest to be removed from the home… I call that more than just making a mistake.

          I’m sorry, but why do we think that it is ok to shuffle a child that is great need of development, that relies on  love and care from parents, into other temporary care while the parents or parent gets is together?  Shouldn’t you have it together before you start having kids?  Shouldn’t you keep it together after having kids?

          Either we are too conservative in what we assess as harmful to children for justifying their removal from their homes, or we are too liberal in our assessment that parents can “get it together” enough to allow the child to return.  In my perfect world, we remove a child from a home because the parent(s) are proven unfit to be parent(s).

        3. gentlereader

          Frankly: “I’m sorry, but why do we think that it is ok to shuffle a child that is great need of development, that relies on  love and care from parents, into other temporary care while the parents or parent gets is together?  Shouldn’t you have it together before you start having kids?  Shouldn’t you keep it together after having kids?”

          Because children want to live with their biological parents. And some parents something (usually drugs), get caught, child is removed, parent goes to rehab, and stays sober. The home is now safe, and the child should go back. Foster care is to care for children who need temporary places to live. The goal is for them to go home.

    3. Tia Will

      Frankly

      Where the courts are wrong is in giving automatic weight to the biological family being best for the child.”

      It is such a rare event that you and I are in complete agreement that I really felt the urge to comment on it.

      One other thing that I would add along these lines, when a child is removed from the home of a parent because of neglect or abuse, the first alternative is frequently the home of the parent or sibling of the abuser. It does not appear to occur to anyone that perhaps the abusing parents problems with drugs, alcohol, or whatever is causing their inadequate parenting may just have stemmed from the home in which they themselves were raised. In my experience, the investigations into the background and childhood of the parent are weak to non existent. This is not necessarily the fault of those in social service or others attempting to ensure the child’s safety. Typically they are over worked and underfunded and any close family member will be considered a safe port in the storm until proven otherwise.

      1. gentlereader

        I have to say I think that’s a completely unfair assessment. Drug abuse is not the result of bad parenting. Nor should a parent be automatically accused of being a bad parent because their child abuses drugs.

         

        1. Tia Will

          gentlereader

          Drug abuse is not the result of bad parenting”

          I would like to point out that I did not make the assertion that it was. I made the assertion that it can be. There is a key difference. And I am not speaking from generalities. I am speaking from specifics that I saw repetitively when I was in this particular program I mentioned. I will share just one example.

          A young girl was taken away from her family home because she was being sexually molested by the boyfriend of her mother. The alternative placement that was chosen for her was in the home of her maternal grandfather. As it turns out it was discovered long after the placement, when the girl continued to do poorly in multiple areas of her life that the grandfather was also a child molester who was abusing her. Multiple efforts to reunite this family were made over my objection over the course of a year.

          Now, as I have said this morning on another thread, one cannot generalize from a single anecdote to an entire population. But please note that I was only advocating for rigorous assessment of the family history of the members of the proposed placement family rather than automatic assumption that biologic family is better. Should rigorous assessment of the placement not always be undertaken ?

           

        2. gentlereader

          Should rigorous assessment of all homes be made? When a woman goes to the doctor for the pregnancy test, and it’s positive, should a rigorous assessment of the home be made by authorities?

          It’s not a perfect world, but I think biological parents/relatives are entitled (yes, entitled) to their children without rigorous assessment. Otherwise you go down a very slippery slope.

           

    4. Mark West

      Frankly: “The system is broken and leads to too many broken hearts.  And it leads to fewer foster kids being adopted because prospective adoptive parents are terrified of the pain and the potential cost of fighting in court and then losing a child that they have fallen in love with.”

      The first priority and responsibility of a foster parent is their unqualified support for family reunification, whether they like it or not. There is never a comparison or competition between which family (birth or foster) will provide the best home for the child, but rather it is a simple question of will the birth family (or relative) be capable of providing an appropriate home.

      The problem is not the system, but foster families who do not fully understand their role and responsibility.  Until the Court rules to terminate parental rights, the foster parents have no legal right to even be a part of the conversation about what is best for the child. Their only role is to provide a safe home for the child while the Court makes its determination.   Foster parents who do not understand this may unfortunately feel that they have ‘lost’ a child that they love, but the painful truth is that the child was never theirs to lose.

      1. Frankly

        Mark – I actually agree with this.  I was referring to adoptive parents.  Those foster parents or others that attempt to adopt and then have to give back the child to the biological parent or family after having the child for months and after developing a physical and emotional bond.

        1. Mark West

          Frankly – You cannot adopt a foster child until the Court has ruled to terminate parental rights, at which point there is no chance that the child will be sent back to the birth family.  Terminating parental rights is permanent.  The conflict that you describe is no longer possible if you are talking about the adoption of a child through the foster care system (at least in California).

        2. Frankly

          Thanks Mark for this explanation.  It is clear that I am not informed enough on this.  So do I understand that some parents are becoming foster parents because they hope to adopt?

          If so, I now understand more what gentlereader is talking about.

          I get why a family might do this, and I also get that there might be cases where the foster parenting drags on and there is an emotional bond that forms and it breaks hearts when the separation occurs.

          But I remember reading quite a few stories where adoption is in process and the child is returned to the drug-additcted mother than “gets her act togeter”.  I thought that was what we were talking about here with the Rexroads.

        3. Mark West

          Frankly:

          There are foster parents who are looking to adopt, and those who are only interested in fostering.  In order to adopt a child who is a ward of the State, that child must first be placed in your home for at least six months as a foster child before the adoption may be finalized. Consequently you must first be a foster parent before you will be considered for adoption.  Many of those people who are looking to adopt are interested in taking in a newly born baby that they can raise as their own. They often take the baby home directly from the hospital, and in some cases, have a reasonable expectation that the baby will ultimately be available for adoption. These are the situations that are the most difficult for many foster parents because though they often are the only family that the baby has ever known, the Court may decide that reunification is the appropriate outcome. For the child’s sake, I hope these foster parents have become attached because that is in the best interests of the child.  Unfortunately, they may also have to be willing to let go when the Court decides that the birth family is the appropriate place for the child to be raised. It is not a competition for who will provide the best home, though many of these parents seem to believe that it is, or at least should be.

        4. Frankly

          Mark – thanks… this helps explain some things I did not know.

          It is not a competition for who will provide the best home, though many of these parents seem to believe that it is, or at least should be.

          So, from this and your comment below it seems that you are giving weight to biological rights… maybe for moral reasons, or maybe because you don’t trust bonehead government officials for being able to take reasonable actions… or maybe for both.

          I guess for me it comes done to that test of “reasonable”. It is reasonable that a parent has a serious drug-addiction and .  I don’t think so.

          But my experience working directly with government officials, the problem is rampant risk aversion.  Decisions are made based on interpretation of the CFR and SOP and current technical memos mostly from government attorneys.  It isn’t even that doing the right thing is not going to be rewarded, it is that doing the right thing can get you fired.

          One of my favorite leadership books of all time is: “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently”

          What we know in current best-practice business leadership is that decisions accuracy and quality is improved when it is moved closer to the front-line employee, and the front-line employee is both trained and empowered to make decisions.  But there are the “rules” people that constantly push back on this even in the face of so much evidence that it works.  They will attempt to exploit each mistake as a justification for adding more rules and more parallelizing decision hierarchy rather than turning it into a learning opportunity for improving front-line decision capability.

          It is a wiring thing… some people just don’t feel comfortable without a lot of rules and enforcement of those rules.

          But many decisions become suboptimal because the rules don’t provide enough flexibility in nuanced situations.

          Think of a situation where an experienced and objective case worker develops an opinion that the child is not really going to be safe in the care of the parent that, by the rules, has “got it together”.   The case worker generally will end up ignoring experienced perceptions and intuition and simply follow the rules.  The same might also happen when a case worker deciding to remove children from a situation deemed reasonable and acceptable, because of the rules, has to remove the children.

          So I think we are always going to have these actions by case workers that are unreasonable because everyone has to do things by the book.

          So, in consideration of this, I would hope that there are some overriding guiding principles being followed: namely that the welfare of the child is the most important consideration… and that unless there is clear indication that the child will be at material risk, the nod should always be to the biological family.  But I guess I am of the mind that there should be some inventory of certain “mistakes” made that we should consider absolute indicators of unfitness for parenting.

    5. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

      Excellent comments Frankly! I agree. The impact on children needs to be looked at more closely. This story breaks my heart. Children need to stop being returned to homes that are not good for them.

      1. Mark West

        “Children need to stop being returned to homes that are not good for them.”

        How do we determine what is ‘good for them?’  An entire generation of aboriginal children in Australia were removed from their families because someone thought that staying there was not ‘good for them.’  Where do you draw the line? There should to be a very high standard before a child is removed from a home, and an even higher one before parental rights are removed. Otherwise we will all at the mercy of some nosy Nelly and the bureaucrats at CPS. The standard is not what some bystander wants, but rather what is best for the child, and the foster parent is too biased to be able to make that decision responsibly or fairly.

        1. gentlereader

          Agree, Mark. Not only “how do we determine” but, as you said, “who determines”? There are people who think a child should live in in a single parent home. Or a gay parent home. Or a home with a parent on welfare, or below the poverty line. Is a child who lives in a ghetto with gunfire going off nightly living in a home that’s “good for them”? Should they be removed?

  5. Anon

    the system is not well-designed to protect children.”

    A relative of mine and his wife are foster parents.  One child they took in and wanted to adopt ended up dead at the hands of the mother.  From what I have learned of the the social services system, too much leeway is given to the parents for reunification with their child.  Reunification can take place over years and years, with the child having no sense of stability in their lives.  IMO if the parents or relatives cannot get their act together within one year, then the child should be adopted out to someone who truly cares for the child.  To allow the parent/relatives opportunity after opportunity over several years, forcing the child to remain in custodial limbo because their parent/relative cannot get his/her act together is NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.

    1. Tia Will

      Anon

      To allow the parent/relatives opportunity after opportunity over several years, forcing the child to remain in custodial limbo because their parent/relative cannot get his/her act together is NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.”

      Absolutely agree !

    2. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

      Anon

      “To allow the parent/relatives opportunity after opportunity over several years, forcing the child to remain in custodial limbo because their parent/relative cannot get his/her act together is NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.”

      Ezcellent comment! I completely agree! Thank you!

       

  6. Jim Gray

    David:  Thank you for having the personal courage to share your and Cecilia and little Jasmine’s story.  Luckily you are all resilient and your love is unconditional.

    Sorry to hear about Matt Rexrod’s ordeal.  I can’t imagine how heart-breaking.  Hopefully the best interest of the child are being served?  I wish Matt and his Family the best during this terrible period.

    Hopefully, with the passage of time the child will flourish and Matt’s heart will heal although I’m sure with lots of scar-tissue.  And who knows maybe like your story, Matt might get an unexpected call, and be asked to open his heart and home to the child once again.

  7. PhilColeman

    The agony of the contesting parties to be “parents” legally is well described, but still remains incomprehensible for the many of us who have been spared.

    A note of appreciation for the unrecognized professionals in this battle that nobody wants I refer to the social service workers and ruling magistrates. They have to make the “tough call.” How anybody could do that and not have their guts ripped out emotionally is beyond me. But they do, and very selfishly I’m sure glad that it’s them and not me.

    While an individual family does this once and then focus on emotional repair, the professionals do it again, and again.

  8. gentlereader

    I would suggest to anyone who wants to adopt a child from foster care and avoid reunification is to adopt one that is legally free and clear. There are plenty that need homes.

      1. gentlereader

        Because it allows foster parents who are more comfortable with reunification to foster those children who may go back to their homes. Many foster children will never go back to their homes. If reunification is a concept that’s difficult for a foster family, they should only foster those children who won’t go back and allow foster parents who are more comfortable to foster the others.

        1. Frankly

          Thanks for this explanation.  I was getting crossed up between those that pursue adoption and providers of foster care.

          Good foster care is done in love.  All the more reason to laude the act… because it would alwasy end in heartache when the child is returned.

  9. tj

    Yes, if foster/ adopting parents can’t deal well with the return of the child to its biological parents, then foster/adoption of a child whose parents have had their parental rights terminated is a very good idea.

    Speaking as an adoptive parent, we should be happy for a child who will be returned to its biological family.  If that family can’t offer as much financially/educationally to the child, then there’s the option to develop rapport and support the child’s biological family and help as much as possible.

    “The social worker admitted she thought there were problems but couldn’t prove it”  — It’s her job to be sure the child will be safe.  She should have taken the time to investigate until she determined whether there was a problem or not.  I say this as a former CPS worker.  It’s hard work but the child’s life depends on it.

    Yolo County’s social workers often appear totally inept, untrained, uncaring, good talkers, but not very bright.                                                          I wonder if other people have had good or bad experiences, whether it’s adult services social workers, or children’s social workers?

    1. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

      Tj,

      David and I were very fortunate to have Yolo County social workers who were smart and very attentive to the needs of children (including Jasmine). We had about 3 or 4 social workers through the entire process since different social workers handle different parts of the foster care/adoption process.

      On the other hand our experience with San Luis Obispo County social workers was terrible! I’ll be writing a story about that.

  10. Michelle Millet

    I’m grateful to all the families who are willing to take on the emotionally vulnerability that comes with fostering children. It has to be so hard. I’m glad so many families, like the Rexroads, have the courage to do it.

    1. Frankly

      Nice Michelle.  It is more than I could do.  I agree.  My admiration and thanks runs deep for those that do this.  Also, the families that adopt chidren that would otherwise probably live their lives in foster care or orphanages.  They are absolute heros, IMO.

  11. Tia Will

    gentlereader

    Should rigorous assessment of all homes be made? “

    We are not talking about all homes. We are talking only about homes in which something has gone so wrong that the child has been removed for his/ or her own protection. So in addressing your question with only this situations in mind, my answer to your question is a resounding “yes”.  All potential placement homes for this group of children should undergo a rigorous assessment whether related or not.

  12. hpierce

    Title of article is WRONG… this article is all about the Greenwalds, and the “system”, Reroad is so peripheral as to be almost non-existent.

    Perhaps the title should be, “here’s what we went through, and, oh by the way, the Rexroad’s went thru a bit of this too”. Or, “the problems of the foster care system”.

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