Putting obese children in foster care??????????

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ME - posted on 07/15/2011

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I struggle with this one...On the one hand, I've worked within the "system"...the system mostly sucks; I'm not sure that any of these children would be better off trying to survive in the system than they are with their woefully inept parents...I do think, however, that woefully inept parents are often times still compassionate, loving people, who simply don't know how to care for themselves and their children. Love is a strong bond, and loving inept parents are likely to be FAR better for a child's emotional development than a cold bureaucratic system.
On the other hand...sometimes, obese parents and their obese children have LOTS of other problems going on, and might be in need of some assistance...I wish there was an easy answer to this question...I don't think that there is...

Jane - posted on 07/14/2011

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And where are we getting the extra foster homes to put these kids? We already don't have enough for the kids that were beaten, burned, sexually attacked, and left to starve.

Barb - posted on 07/14/2011

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According to the article they are talking about MORBIDLY obese children and only removing them as a last resort.



"In severe instances of childhood obesity, removal from the home may be justifiable from a legal standpoint because of imminent health risks and the parents' chronic failure to address medical problems,"



Parents chronic failure. repeatedly failing to provide proper nourishment and continuing to provide harmful foods that exacerbate the problem.



I agree that parents should be supported in making the right choices. They should be provided with education and the resources to do it. But there are some parents out there that think they know better or that no one can tell them what to do with their child, even if what they are doing with their child is harmful to their child and will be defiant to any type of help or resource. In those cases where parents are unwilling to make changes for the health and benefit of their child, i agree that the child should be removed so they have a better chance at a healthy life.



I'm sure if parents provide medical documentation to prove there is some condition or medication which makes their child store more fat than usual, they will see the parent is working in the best interest of the child and no action should be taken. But if it is obvious the parent is NOT working in the best interest of the child, and not even willing to work in the best interest of the child, then action should be taken for the benefit of the child.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/13/2011

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I can say as a foster child for half my life…I don’t see it as better. Some NOT all foster parents to put up a front as to how well they run their home. Some have been getting foster children for sooooo long that the system trust that they will take care of the child..and that is not always the case..

I too see this with 1000 problems.

First educate the parents!!! offer free classes on nutrition and the misleading labels that foods have and at least a 6month to a year free membership at a local gym with a trainer.(make it a group thing..or have the kids sent to one of those camps with other obese kids) I know that sounds expensive, but when we can spend trillions on war we can spend a few billion or million on our children of the future…Make It Happen

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Barb - posted on 07/17/2011

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I think it is genetic in as far as fat cells are formed while the baby is in the womb. What determines the amount of fat cells is the hormones estrogen and testosterone. The more fat the mother has, the more hormones she is going to have to pass onto her child and determine the number of fat cells the child has.

I agree it is also parents not wanting to say "no" all the time and give in because it's easier. I have done it myself with the grandkids. When we took them to the children's museum we wanted to feed them before we go. Doug decided we would take them to McDonalds because it's faster and cheaper than taking them home and fixing them something to eat. I felt horrible the whole time. I told Doug, "i feel like i'm feeding them poison"

I also believe it has to do with the way food is produced now. WHY has the obesity rate gone up to 65% for Americans? It can't be that we ALL are lazy and don't exercise and eat the wrong foods. I believe it is something in the foods that is causing such an epidemic. And the one common denominator that keeps popping up is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is in every processed food you purchase. It is in ketchup, yogurt, salad dressings, ice cream, cereals, low calorie anything, and of course soda pop.
They even changed the name of HFCS to "corn sugar" so now products that contain HFCS can say they contain "sugar".

Amy - posted on 07/16/2011

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was talking about this and someone told me obesity is genetic. uh....learned behavior from parents, but not genetic. imo. body types/shapes sure. morbidly obese...not so much

I think sometimes - not just in obesity, but other things - parents are so into making sure kids are "happy" rather than doing what's best for them. I see it in a lot of things. Even at teh stores parents give in left and right for food/toys/games....because it'll shut the kid up and make them 'happy'. Hm...maybe should start a thread about that and the impact it's having on society. Well, if i get time.

Barb - posted on 07/16/2011

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I agree with you Tah, it should be as a last resort. Parents and kids should be educated together to change. Morbid obesity is as much a psychological condition as it is a physical one. Much like Bulimia and Anorexia, where the one thing the person feels they can control is the food they eat. Removing the child from the parents could cause the psychological problems to be worse making the overall problem bigger.

And yes, sometimes there are medical factors that cause obesity, as well as some medications. But really? With 30% of kids being obese there is probably 1 in 1000 that are because of medical reasons.. In other words, it is the exception, not the norm.

And c'mon.. 555 lbs, almost half a ton, at 14 years old?! That's a death sentence. That has to be painful on every growing joint in that boy's body. My Jeff was much like Amy in that he could pack away the food and never store any fat. When he would have a growth spurt he would talk about his knees hurting so much it would make him cry.. he grew 6 inches in a year! That is way too fast.. I can't imagine how much it would hurt if he had 4 extra human bodies hanging off of him. I think that would be abusive. And no, i'm not buying that the kid got that big by eating school lunches. Yes, school lunches are horribly high in fat in sodium, but there has to be more to it than that.

Amy - posted on 07/16/2011

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Why don't they just put families in a free education program and teach them about healthy eating/exercise habits? Just yank the kids out because parents may not know better? What about hte ones who have something medically going on that causes them to be overweight? Parents often do the best they can to their knowledge and abilities.

And what about kids who don't live in good neighborhoods? Go for a walk. Bang. dead. well, that didn't work.

and some people - sorry to say - are really that clueless about food. They think the chicken from mcdonald's is healthy and that ice cream is a good source of dairy. that pizza is hte perfect food [cheese, bread, veggie, meat and 'fruit' as tomato sauce. uh....really folks?]. So we can think that others are aware of hte things we know, but it's just not the case. How many people really paid attention in health class? I had someone tell me I eat too much and too many calories. Have to be honest. Don't know/recall all the stats on calories. But guess what, I work my ass off nigh on daily hauling/stacking firewood, working in the big ole veggie garden, daily cleaning in this huge house with three kids and a dog...i need all that extra i can get because i'm using it and working it off. Size 3 here a month after giving birth. so, it's also partly 'what's good for the goose,good for the gander'? yeah....there has to be another way.

unless like barb listed [i skimmed everyone's stuff, sorry didnt read it all] - if the child is in SERIOUS danger. Life threateningly obese. then they should perhaps have someone with them daily - i don't know, like a nurse or soemthing - to work with them on diet and exercise for a couple months and report back to...who, cps? and then if parents are blatantly trying to work against nurse and child, yep, take em out.

Tah - posted on 07/15/2011

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I think they should be offered help first..not taken first, then have help offered..if she refused to get help for hoarding, which is a symptom of a bigger disease in most cases, then yes it's her fault..if I'm trying and may not understand the difference between the types of fat, or how the body metabolizes food, don't live in an area where riding our bikes is the safest thing youncand do in a day etc, then what???...I just want it to be fair and extenuating factors taken into account. As I stated one child was taken, then after spending time away in foster care was returned, no lighter with a medical diagnosis, so they couldn't have explored that through test BEFORE separating the family??....I see kinks and wouldn't agree to it before they worked out, as a last resort maybe..but not before

Barb - posted on 07/15/2011

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A couple of weeks ago i was watching an episode of Hoarders. A woman had two children, an adult daughter and a teenage son. The son was removed from her care and placed with her adult daughter because of her hoarding. If she cleaned the house, her son would be returned to her. She never cleaned the house. Her son blatantly said "my mom chose trash over me"

Who's fault was it that his precious teenage years were missed by the mom?

If the parents don't make the effort to comply with what a judge has set for them to do in order to get their child back, then it is their own fault if they miss those years.

Tah - posted on 07/14/2011

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if they refuse to cpmply then they MAY need to look at that...i just don't advocate seperating families and putting them into the care of people who sometimes do far worse things..there is alread a overcrowded foster care system, sme children are there and don't need to be and it makes me weary of if all the steps would be followed or if a overzealous case worker would just let their views get in the way, i see problems with implementing it and if you take the child, they lose 100lbs and the family isn't hasn't made a change or been shown how to make a change..or given help to make a change, then what...you put them back and the same thing happens or you seperate them unti the child is 18 making them miss precious moments with their child??..

September - posted on 07/14/2011

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I agree there should be education offered however at some point parents need to be held responsible, for example in the cases above that Barb pointed out. Most states do provide the needed education and or resources however some parents fail to even seek the resources. Our son is 2.5 and I frequently spend time educating myself about what's best for his health and I will continue to do so until he is out of my care. My hopes would be that I've created healthy eating habits early on therefore he will carry them with him for a lifetime.



Edit to add: I'd like to add that I think exercise is very important too. I do believe being active and eating healthy go hand in hand.

Barb - posted on 07/14/2011

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Ideally that is how it should start, but what do you do with parents who refuse to comply?

Tah - posted on 07/14/2011

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If there are extenuating circumstances and obesity is there, Okay, but who is making that decision. Why not come in, educate, find out where the break down is, and then go from there...I think prevention is key which requires education. One child was taken away and the after sometime it was discovered she was predisposed to obesity..look at the time she spent away from her family that could have been avoided.

Barb - posted on 07/14/2011

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Here are some examples i found where children were removed from their parents for being morbidly obese:

Jerri Gray- Her 14 year old son was 555 lbs.
http://thedailyvoice.com/voice/images/50...

She says she was doing everything she could to keep his weight down, however, he was invited to participate in some programs and he said he wasn't allowed. This is when Social Services got involved. Then she failed to come to court, which is never a good idea, and she fled with him.. really a bad idea.
Alexander now lives with his Aunt and has lost over 200 lbs.

Ludwig said he starting thinking about the issue after a 90-pound 3-year-old girl came to his obesity clinic several years ago. Her parents had physical disabilities, little money and difficulty controlling her weight. Last year, at age 12, she weighed 400 pounds and had developed diabetes, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

"Out of medical concern, the state placed this girl in foster care, where she simply received three balanced meals a day and a snack or two and moderate physical activity," he said. After a year, she lost 130 pounds. Though she is still obese, her diabetes and apnea disappeared; she remains in foster care, he said.

http://www.wthr.com/story/15069126/shoul...

And this heart breaking story: http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-20/justi...

Police responded to a call of domestic violence and found these two girls, a 5 year old girl weighing 160 lbs and a 4 year old girl weighing 89 lbs, wearing a soiled diaper, drinking out of a bottle, and covered in insect bites.


I think the common thread with all of these stories is that children were not removed based on weight alone. There were extenuating circumstances that lead to the decision of removing the children but mainly it's been parents not able to provide adequate care.

September - posted on 07/14/2011

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If these families are putting forth no effort to help their children, then I would agree with it. I would hope that the state would first give the families a chance to prove themselves, a chance to show that they would like to have healthy children. Eating healthy can be expensive and yes the unhealthy foods are cheaper, but in my opinion the health of my child is most important so we spend our money on healthy foods. In some cases it's not always the parent's fault.

Rosie - posted on 07/14/2011

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i agree with it actually. if people are going to claim they are clueless as to how their child got that morbidly obese, they are lying. everybody knows high calorie, sugary, high fat foods make you fat and increase your chances of diseases that can kill them. if this were malnourishing a child we would be all over taking that kid away. there would be no screaming let the parents get an education to learn how to feed their child right. we'd laugh at the notion. it's common sense.
now obviously if there are medical reasons or whatever then limits need to be set. but for MORBIDLY obese children who are on the verge of suffering diseases, hell yeah. take them away and give the parents the information they need to learn how to properly take care of their child.

[deleted account]

wow. without evenr eading article or posts I say yeah I would see a thou problems here. and embarrased it is canada. especially vancouver which is a pretty great city. soemtimes.

Tah - posted on 07/13/2011

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Exactly..when I buy organic breakfast bars they are twice the amount as sugary goodness tarts...I mean pop tarts...

Jane - posted on 07/13/2011

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In addition to education for the parents, perhaps we need to figure out how to make healthy, low calorie foods cheaper than junk food.

Tah - posted on 07/13/2011

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How about education, healthy cooking classes..health on a budget cookbooks, access to these thing...not snatching children assuming that families are refusing to change

[deleted account]

Seems excessive but for situations where the children are morbidly obese as a direct result of their parents refusing to change things I think yeah get that kid out. If we can take children from parents who starve them then I think it goes both ways. If your lifestyle is going to kill your child and you refuse to change that then yes your kid should be taken away wether the lifestyle involves too little or too much food, its irrelevent the means, the only concern is where these kids will be in 5 years if the answer regardless of the reason is dead or dying then someone needs to step in.

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