Foster Kids and Cults
I'm focusing on raising awareness about cults in the foster care system. Many children from the kind of high-demand groups commonly known as cults end up in foster homes. Given the power structure in the communities these children are from, it is important for those involved in determining the best placement for them, to know who makes decisions regarding their health, education, and discipline.
My experience as both a foster kid and a foster parent give me a bit of insight into the tremendous challenges both face in navigating everyday situations. Knowing what to look/listen for as signs of cultic involvement could prevent children from being returned to unsafe environments. Unfamiliar church or group names, vague responses about belief systems or lifestyle and not participating in numerous aspects of modern or mainstream culture could signal experience in a high-demand group that should be brought to the attention of a case manager or CASA.
This is something I found online that reveals that the issue is on someone's radar;
"Cults are led by fanatical leaders that charm and direct followers to various actions that may include violence against others. However, the actions of the cult may harm the children of parent members to the point of injury and abuse both physically and sexually, and this may eventually lead to criminal charges and the children taken away to foster care.
Many cult members are followers of a singular leader. However, there are sometimes others that are given some amount of power that permits them to take action without question. Other adults in the cult may have aggressive or abusive tendencies. When children are involved in these organizations, it could lead to abuse and injury. The parents are generally too focused on the leader and not paying attention or aware of what happens with their own family. When the actions of the cult affect a child in this manner, he or she may be left scarred for life physically, emotionally or mentally. These wounds inflicted frequently only go away after years of therapy, if at all.
If a cult has a violent end, some children may survive by hiding when the leader has engaged in a suicide pact with the rest of the members. The parents that have been charmed completely may not think to protect the rest of the family from these actions. Then, law enforcement and social services are required to help these children break away and attempt to lead normal lives. Through therapy, medical treatment and social interactions with others, they are sometimes able to recover fully. For those that remain scarred, the cycle could continue when they become adults."