Yesterday we shared a horrific article about a 15 DAY old infant that was mauled by rats in Magnolia, Arkansas. According to the article on Today’s THV, it is believed that the parents were under the influence while their daughter sustained 75-100 rat bites on her body. A judge has ordered that the parents have no contact with the infant and their other three children were taken into care of the Department of Children and Family Services.
I won’t put the gory details on here because some people don’t want that in their mind and I respect that decision. I’ll just tell you this infant will need reconstructive surgery on her face in the near future, according to the article.
There are a few things that this story shows and they’re the reasons we wanted to share it with you.
We cannot close our eyes and pretend this doesn’t exist
You hear horror stories online about things that happen to children. You may even see things on CSI, Criminal Minds, or whatever crime drama show you’re into. At the end of the day though, you don’t want to believe that this stuff really happens. You don’t see faces or hear the age of a real child facing trauma. Once you do, the blinders are off.
This story, and every other story like it, is the reason why we do this. It’s the reason we volunteer and the reason we ask you to give, volunteer, or foster. We’re not doing this because DCFS is pulling kids out of homes for no reason — we’re doing this because children are being traumatized in ways we can’t imagine right here in Arkansas and in White County.
You get a glimpse at the process
The article states that a judge ordered no contact between the parents and the infant. It goes on to say that the other three children were placed in custody of DCFS. Caseworkers with DCFS make recommendations, not decisions. Only judges can make final decisions. Notice the article said “placed with DCFS,” meaning that a judge made the decision that these children need to be in state’s care rather than their biological parents. DCFS may have made a recommendation (I don’t know that information), but they didn’t make that final decree.
At this point, only a judge can go back and make the decision for the children to return to the biological family or for the children to be put up for adoption (We don’t know the details of the case so this is just generic information).
You see how quickly it can happen
Yesterday morning started like any other day for most people. We had a number before us telling us how many children are in foster care compared to how many foster families we have right now. That data, over the course of 24 hours, has become inaccurate. There are now four more children in foster care in Arkansas and still no more open homes than there were yesterday (that we know of).
Where do those children go? Do we have a foster family that is able to cope with an infant with such high-maintenance needs right now? The CALL doesn’t know the answers to those questions.
It shows we need more homes
In the blink of an eye, four children were added to care when there weren’t enough beds for the children we already had. This is why The CALL strives to have “more than enough”. We need to have more than enough foster families for the children in Arkansas. Enough for the children we already have in care, and an excess to ensure we don’t get in the position we’re in ever again.
We hope this pushes you if you’ve been on the fence about fostering. If you would have started the process two years ago like you’d thought about doing, would DCFS have called you today? How many times would they have called you over the past year for children right here in our own county?
Our hearts hurt for the children in this situation. Our hearts hurt for all the children with stories that we can’t share with you. Our prayer as The CALL and as Christians is that God would break our hearts and yours over what breaks His heart.
For more information about fostering or adopting, check out the Foster/Adopt tab on our website or message us on Facebook.