No Child Should Be Labeled a “Bad Kid”

When children are placed in foster care, their whole world is turned upside down.

They are forced to say goodbye to their family, their friends, and their school. The tangible, known pieces of their lives are ripped away from them – their childhood bedroom, their favorite toy or blanket, their pet.

Children in foster care have experienced physical or emotional trauma beyond what most of us can comprehend. Many of them have been abused or neglected. If there is no foster home immediately available, the instability continues and they must live in a shelter until a home is found for them.

And in the midst of all the chaos and confusion – when they are struggling to express their pain, fear, and frustration – they are often labeled as “bad kids” or “troubled.” As they start school in a new district, they experience whispers and stares. When they join a new sports team, they sometimes overhear a parent asking what they “did” to enter foster care.

The answer? Nothing.

Most children enter foster care through no fault of their own. They are not removed from their homes because of their bad behavior. They are not removed because they are delinquent, disruptive, or violent. They are not removed because their parents can’t handle them. They are removed from their homes because it was no longer safe for them to live with their family of origin.

Western Iowa children have already been referred into foster care more than 200 times this year and the need for more foster families is great. You can make a life-changing impact by becoming a foster parent.

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