None of my previous families were religious, so this really freaked me out. The bullying from other kids and at school was awful just because of my negative background. One day I got in a fight with my sister and my parents called the police on me. "Group homes, sometimes referred to as 'congregate care,' are literally breeding grounds for the sexual exploitation of children and youth," Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a statement. My parents were desperately trying to get custody and I was told to lie by both my parents, their relatives, my own sisters, my foster parents, and most of my case workers but I wanted out badly. I became a crown ward within the system at a young age, essentially was that the government was my ‘legal guardian’. Momma was all I knew. The scariest part was having a younger sibling when threats to harm her were the norm. I moved into this foster home and there were 10 other kids living there. My three siblings and I were finally liberated. Teachers, kids, anyone. The moment I stepped into a group home when I was 12, I felt like it was a mistake. 5) I got lice at school and instead of the family spending money on lice remover, they used Lysol drain cleaner on my head. She disappeared cause child protection services finally found out and yanked her out. Plus, they had 3 kids of their own. The fourth foster family I had made me pray every night, say grace, and go to Bible studies. When I came out with all my things packed, the social worker said that Momma’s adoption process had been stalled and he found family members for me to live with. I’ve tried talking to the social workers there, but they just didn’t take it seriously. Some of us had KP duty, cleaning up the mounds of dishes and pots and pans before heading off to one activity or another or just back to our rooms to dream, write letters, cut or dye our hair, or play our radios too loud. The third and final foster care was the best one out there. She came to visit me too, although I only remember my mom visiting once or twice. She spat on the two leftover cupcakes and then threw them away. Now I’m 19 and struggling hard with depression. Due to the lack of available foster homes and jails for kids, some genius decided it would be a great idea to house criminal children and foster children together because they’re all problem kids, right? I was a pawn for the mother who was netting money to a side piece. The most relatable, entertaining and informative stories all about human experiences right in your inbox. That same house had six to seven kids in it. The mother and daughter had very high-school-mean-girl personalities. I remember crying almost every day and being in trouble for it. She forced me to let her bathe me even though I knew how to bathe myself as any normal eight-year-old does. Some of their stories are almost unbelievably cruel, but they aren’t fictional. Sensing some shady energy from the guy, she took the bag back. They told me she left, they couldn’t stop her, they couldn’t leave to find her all they could do was ring the police. Not knowing if I belonged or that anyone ever truly wanted me or loved me messed me up for the longest time, I would go as far as say even today. Florida ex-foster care child here, so strap in boys and girls. I’m going to keep this short, but I have vivid memories of the grandmother basically dragging me by one arm on multiple occasions up and down these huge stairs when no one else was home. Sometimes I wonder what happened to all those girls and boys. Finally, something I have experience with. I have an awesome best friend whose mom begs me to come for holidays, but I usually choose to work because it just feels weird. I stayed in that home for years, there were many nights that I just felt so lonely; I’d cry myself to sleep. Sometimes I'd hear my roommate cry, and one time I lay in silence, crying quietly with her. I lived with them for the rest of my childhood, but I spent every Sunday at Momma’s. Another time my roommate, Melody, caught me reading her diary and told everyone about it. The smell was so unbelievably strong. They told me it was a nice place, that there were Shetland ponies and lots of room. "The story goes that in June 1945, on his way home from the Philippines in World War II, he had a layover in San Francisco where he had a brief … The amount of emotional trauma I endured as a child from having to repeatedly testify against my own mother in court still haunts me to this day, but at least I turned out okay. I had my own opinions. Foster care is arguably one of the most broken systems in our country. 10 Real-Life Horror Stories From The Psych Ward. I got the nickname Jesus. Wonderful family of mom, dad, two sons and daughter (if I remember correctly)? The place believed in group punishment. Everyone dreamed their parents would pick them up one day and tell them they could magically come home. I was so confused. I only ever got half my work done and I started getting into trouble for falling asleep in class. My long hair at the time probably had something to do with it. Needless to say, Punishment Level had no privileges. Community agencies provide different residential accommodations that help people with a developmental disability. I’ve so many stories of that place, some terrifying, some downright cruel, some really good memories too. We went without groceries for three weeks because of employee embezzlement, so I only ate free lunch from school and nothing on weekends. I was three years old. A quick glance at her arms and you could see dozens and dozens of scars running up her forearms, some thin and silvery other deep, angry and purple. She never spoke about it again or even checked in to see if I had gotten access to food. I was painfully aware that the families I was staying with did not take me in for any reason other than money. I was shocked. Many of these children have been silenced about the traumas they’ve suffered at the hands of neglectful caseworkers and horrible foster parents. The lady I moved in with got mad at me and threw me off her lap and onto the floor. 3) Another year for Christmas, the family didn’t want me there, so I was sent to a temporary house for the holidays. I shared a room with four other children. Offers starting at 99¢/month. I just remember lots of fake smiles from them at first. There was also three bathrooms in the house, but I was only allowed to use the basement one because she was afraid I would pee on the seat. Everything of mine was stolen. I was embarrassed and ashamed, but the other kids didn't seem to be bothered by it. At Heritage House we focus on the individual and their possibilities. My biological mom eventually surrendered custody when I was seven, after five years of legal battles, because she was pregnant with another child. Those burns that ran through my back stayed there for years. The Investigative Unit: Group Home Horror Share: Desktop News Click to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time. The foster parents were terrible. I lived with her and her three children until midway through kindergarten. I still question authority and I still rebel, looking for that loophole that keeps me from losing myself, spirit, and sanity as I write. They outed me as the culprit for literally no reason and made me blow up an ENTIRE pool, with a hole in it, using just my mouth for literally 4 or 5 hours in the middle of the 100-degree summer. There were only a few other kids there, one whom I actually knew from school so that was kind of nice. Then, I would be allowed to sleep. I am strong and fiercely independent. A group home doesn’t feel like a home. The kids often got in trouble with staff, says Lindsay, … Or both. It was a woman who took in kids who needed to go somewhere on short notice. And he was saying “nope”. I was eight and frail, having starved within this home and begged for more portions from school to even stay awake. My foster dad was sexually inappropriate with me and made advances. She ate one, then looked me in the eye and said she was too full to eat the others. It was written in fancy blue scroll against a white backdrop, and there was uncut grass behind it as we rounded the curve. One that sticks out for me though is this: Girls went in and out of the girls home regularly, all with our own tragic stories but there was this one girl, in particular, I’ll call her Eve. I remember being in respite one time when I was living with my aunt and the lady that took me in was absolutely heartless. So, I decided to put up with the neglect. When I was about six or seven, I shared a room with a baby. One time I threw up and I got thrown into a room for a full day and wasn’t allowed out. I got called ugly and dumb. I discovered foster care when I was four. There was a resident fruit bat in the main room of the barn. Support local journalism. I caught pneumonia twice in one month because my foster parents decided a new sports car was more important than heaters or thick winter coats. He told me to pack everything up. The operators of the state-licensed group home, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, didn’t say much, although she had … As in, sitting in a bathtub with someone else you hardly knew. From what I remember though, the children were very nice. The barn was cleaned out days after we moved in (we were sleeping on couches in the lounge in the meantime). The most horrific part of this story is that the women who took care of these children knew about this, yet they did absolutely nothing to stop them. We were physically abused and starved half-to-death. I think people have had it worse than me, but I wanted to leave this comment as a reminder that there are good people out there as well. Lindsay was the youngest. Becoming their foster child after being passed around the rest of my family and being rejected was really scarring for me. The others I can't remember. I went into foster care around 4 years old with my sister who was 5. We laid there for a few minutes in silence until Kelly said, "Terri?" There exists a company in central Florida known as the Arnette house, which has a large compound in Ocala. My friend told the guy the stuff was for the kid. Like, nobody knew where she went. On those days, hygiene is all of a sudden a priority, rehearsed speeches and quizzing are the most attention received to date, and the home is filled with the smell of a slow-cooking stew. The first night, a while after I finally fell asleep, I woke up and had to pee. I had to walk on the freeway to school and it rained a lot in the town so my shoes smelt bad and my toes kinda pushed together where the shoes got smaller. I’m deaf in that ear as a result of it. But my biological mom fought it… for five years. because we didn't have to. Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories! I needed all the attention so I started acting out on my anger and I ended up in a group home. I do remember thinking if I ever had to go through that again, I would just run away. Each youth below experienced foster care and shared their #fosteryouthvoice in order to inspire, advocate, connect to other foster youth and to show that their voice can make a difference. I was threatened often and not fed properly. After being in a particularly awful one at the age of 6, my social worker decided I had to be in an actual foster home or stay with a one on one care giver in a hotel. I swore up and down that I didn’t, but she insisted that I did and kept going on about how disgusting I was. One of my teacher friends was taking some of the kids home that evening and one foster dad was standing at the front gate waiting. Right now, I’m slowly repairing the damage that was done by just my parents but there is so much more I’m struggling with. By ABC30. She would lock me in the basement and I wasn’t allowed out of my room during the night, so if I had to go to the bathroom, she made me go in a bucket. I don't remember if they told me the name ahead of time, but I remember the huge sign that read Elks-Aidmore Children's Home. There were individual little "houses" (cottages) divided by gender and age, a tennis court, game room, administration building, pool, trails, and lots of room to walk. The first time I saw Eve she didn’t speak but had that telltale haunted look most of the girls had. Where do you go for holidays? Orabelle had been there 10 years, and she was 17. This girl, who didn’t know better, dragged me about 14 feet and none of her older siblings or my foster mom did anything about it. My biological mother was autistic (very high-functioning) but also suffered from extreme depression. I … Though he did close Reclamation Ranch, Patterson opened a home for adult men in its place, maintained his school for girls nearby, and told a Mother Jones reporter in 2011, he planned to … This content may be upsetting to some readers, but this is my candid outline of what it was like working in a group home (or residential care facility) for the developmentally disabled, and you know me- I won't be holding anything back. We get a knock on the door and it was my dad and his new girlfriend there to pick us up for good! Everything felt very impersonal and distant. I had very long pretty hair that I enjoyed, and I got it chopped off as a punishment. Learn what it's like for kids in a group home as she describes her experiences. I’m happy I was able to get out. How many went on to lead "productive" lives? You get to learn certain tells of abuse and cut up arms usually meant childhood abuse. I had to sit there and watch him open them and express his happiness. She was so kind and had this aura around her that felt like home. I was a part of the foster care system in South Korea, and the foster home I lived in was great. I remember being six and moving from my first ever foster home where I had lived for two years. I guess they felt a bit hopeless, but they allowed us to leave (there was some disciplinary action taken later against staff and girls for it). I will say it’s made me who I am today. It was owned by the local Elks Lodge, and a big, booming man named Milton oversaw the large staff who supervised us for better or worse. But as the months and for some, years, ticked by we knew this camp was like no other and that is what made the difference. Now in my 30s, I’ve made a handful of awesome friends that are a huge help, but it took me a while to learn how to have a healthy relationship. The rest of us were telling him “dude, they’re keeping you”. In 7th grade, I had a friend named Kyrie, but nobody called her that. I put my head down and cried. And the first time he got in some kind of trouble he basically said, “that’s that then, see you later, they won’t keep me”. From then on it was group home after group home and foster home after foster home. Most of us bonded in there, our connection was founded on mutual pain and different issues we had because of our childhoods. Getting smacked so hard that I literally pooped my pants out of fear, all because I forgot to chew my food with my mouth shut. From hitting me to calling me names; all that fun stuff. I saw many “firsts” here. I remember one home that my sister and I were placed in (didn’t last more than a week) where the family loved flaunting basic necessities and acts of fun in front of us. That was an adventure I would like to forget. It kept me sane in an insane time, breathing, living, hoping as I told myself I was different from "them," from all the other residents who did or did not have parents. My whole childhood I remember just begging for meal vouchers (good for 5$ at McDonald’s or subway) or a warm bed to sleep in for just a night and being ignored. My foster parents had an inflatable pool in their backyard, and one day it popped or something randomly. You just want quiet, and you are really ok being alone. My first foster home when I was six years old was filled with church nuts. Then my toenails got infected and they still are. Group homes should be a place where foster youth can grow up, feel like they belong and get help with their issues of being away from their families. If I didn’t eat my food, I had to stay the night at the kitchen table. I no longer live there, but my parents still do. "That s--- burns doesn't it?" Their tales give us a true glimpse into the horrors of the foster care system. We thought we were getting kittens, lol. I was rarely allowed to shower. I woke up to my 300-pound foster brother sitting on top of me and choking me half to death. I was drooling and watching her like a dog watches Thanksgiving dinner. I said, slowly turning her way. It was quite clear that my foster mother hated me the moment I arrived. Over and over again. No one ever talked about why we were there, only when we were leaving and how. I once saw a 9-year-old girl making out with a 12-year-old boy. I have never had a home to call my own or for that matter a family. Only once every couple of weeks. It was cold and wet 9 months out of the year. Then there was Punishment Level, which you could be bumped to any time you did something you weren't supposed to do. 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