Think of the Children

Today, I was checking out my classes on Blackboard. I’m not a fan of Blackboard – I prefer hands-on learning – but it’s a step in the direction I want to go.

I’m working toward my BA for Early Childhood Education. I have all the credentials you can get, now I need the BA to go with them. :-p Working with and for children is my calling. I’ve been doing it for years and years, and I love it still. I really want to get more into children’s advocacy, and I’m trying to figure out how to go about that. I considered social work, also, but – I don’t know. It’s not a job I could “leave at the office”. I can’t even do that with child care. The real problem would be handling situations in an ethical, professional manner. I’m not sure I could look into the eyes of a suspected child-abuser and say “We’ll come and check things out”. I don’t think I could walk away and leave an abused or potentially abused child with that person. In fact, I’m quite certain I couldn’t. For all my professionalism in my line of work. I don’t believe I could tell a person “You’re under investigation” or whatever it is one would tell them, and then just walk away and leave that child with them. I would be more apt to walk in with a ball-bat and scream “Let me show you what you’re doing to that baby!”

Maybe that’s what’s needed, though. I know case workers are overworked, understaffed and very underpaid. I know that there are rules, regs and laws that have to be followed. Maybe, though, those kids in trouble need someone who will refuse to accept “investigations take time” as an answer. Maybe they need someone who will scream at a system who, far too often, lets them down. Maybe they need someone who will follow through on even the “little” complaints, because what if? What if that child really is in trouble? What if you’re the only person willing to help? What if you’re the last resort, the final stand?

Maybe those kids in trouble need someone who will fight for them, tooth and nail, heart and soul. Who will scream “No! Look again!” when “unsubstantiated evidence” is thrown out. Who will say “No! Parenting classes are not enough when they’re hurting this baby!”

Our system has failed so many kids. Too many. I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve made the reports and I’ve tried to follow up to see what’s going on, only to see absolutely nothing being done, or to see it blown off like it doesn’t matter. It’s sad, it’s beyond sad. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s heart-breaking and it’s not fair, because we’re supposed to protect our children. We’re supposed to love them and nurture them, and teach them that there are good things in this world. We’re supposed to protect them from the monsters that scare them in the dark, but how are we doing that if we’re the monsters?

The focus is so wrong. You focus on guns and you focus on political parties and you focus on who’s doing what and when. Who’s putting the focus on the little hearts who need it the most? If the people who are supposed to protect them fail, and the system who is supposed to be the back-up protection fail, who do they have left to save them?

I haven’t pursued a social work degree because, and only because, I could not handle watching children fall through the cracks. I could not be professional when I know in my heart that a child is being abused or neglected, yet they’re left in the hands of the people doing it. I could not stand by passively and listen to nonsense bureaucracy who pretend to have the youth’s interests at heart but really don’t care. I couldn’t stand by and watch some beast of an abusive person walk away with a child that is in need of help because the system failed that child.

That’s the point when I would break out my ball-bat, scream out some type of Amazonian war cry, and take things into my own hands. I make it sound like a joke, but it’s not. It’s not a joke. I haven’t pursued social work up until now because I have children of my own, and they don’t need mommy spending time in jail for assaulting some tosser who harmed a helpless child. I am a protective momma raptor, and it’s not only of my own children. It’s of any child who needs me.

I’m looking into a social work degree, though, so maybe I’ll make a career change. Professionalism be damned, someone needs to let the protective mommas out of their cages.

 

 mother

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