A FORGOTTEN ANGEL
Who was she? They wondered
No one knew her name
Where did she live? They wondered
No one ever saw her playing
How old was she? They wondered
Did she have any friends?
What happened? They wondered
Will this travesty ever end?
Who hurt her? They wondered
How did she die?
Who are her parents? They wondered
As they started to cry
This foster child was invisible
Like so many children before
And Child Services never questioned
what happened, behind those closed doors
And like many children before her
And for those children to come
If we don’t’ stand up for these angels
Then they’ll live in fear, they’re done
The laws are not changing fast enough
And decisions need to be made
If we don’t protect these little angels
We will be looking down at many more graves
The foster system is still failing these kids
As it has failed these kids before
It’s time to unite and make changes happen
And find justice for this little girl
© Giggles the Poet
September 1, 2019
“Change will never truly come if indifference remains the standard of care.”
Hello, my angels,
God has been great today and shared many beautiful words with me.....
My Angels, this poem is a reminder of a broken Foster Care System. I was one of these children, lost and forgotten at the age of 5 taken from an abusive home and placed in more. I could have become a statistic, no one hears you, and no one cares. HOPE REIGNS
I lived in foster care for 12 years, from the time I was taken from my abusive parents when I was 5 years old, until my attempted suicide at the age of 12-13. Nobody listened.....
After I left the hospital, I was placed in a girls Reform school, for Juvenile delinquents, it was supposed to be a temporary placement until another foster home could be found, but I was forgotten, and nobody ever came back for me. I was there until I turned seventeen. That was the safest place I remember living.
I lived in so many different homes, I lost count and I also lost memories. I have memories of the abusive foster people, I have no memories of me, I have no memories of being in school, having friends, although I’ve seen pictures of me with friends, it brings back no remnants of a lost childhood, but, “You’re always the new kid in school. You’re always adjusting, you’re always losing friends,” “Sometimes it’s instant. You don’t have time to say goodbye. You’re just gone one day from school, or gone from wherever,” as if you’ve never existed…..
According to the census, a total of 17,410 households in Canada contained at least one foster child aged 14 and under in 2011. More than half — 57 percent — were households with married couples; about 12 percent were common-law couples and 14 percent were lone-parent families.
Of the foster children counted, 8,590 were aged four and under; 11,455 were teens aged 15 to 19. a total of 320 deaths in the past five years alone.
But what I found out was the number of deaths of children who had been out of the childcare system for less than a year. Global News surveyed the country to try and determine the number of deaths of those children. Shockingly, we discovered many provinces don’t keep track.
Ontario is one of the few provinces that does. And in that province alone, since 2009, 57 children have died less than 12 months after their case with Children’s Aid had been closed.
But if you combine that with the number of children who have died while in care and the number of children who have died while living at home with their families, but have an open file with Children’s Aid, the total number is over 500 since 2009.
That’s between 90 -120 deaths each year, and about one death every three days.
“When I hear 100 – 120 I think Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – a child connected to care dies. Thursday, Friday, Saturday – a child connected to care dies,” says Irwin Elman, Ontario’s Child Advocate.
“If somebody thinks the child welfare system is completely without holes and doesn’t need looking at in terms of how we protect children then how do you explain that?”
Love and hugs
Giggles the Poet