A Positive Move: There is good news for Deaf foster children in San Diego, California. The County has announced that it will set up a group home for Deaf foster children. We are crossing our fingers that this group home will be Deaf-centered and staffed by Deaf people.
We also hope that this group home will consider including KODAs. In our work, we have seen too many KODAs taken away from their Deaf parents and sent to stay in hearing foster homes. When it was time for these KODAs to go back home to their Deaf parents, they had very difficult adjustments. There are a couple of reasons why it is important for KODAs to be placed with Deaf foster families or in Deaf group homes. One is that young KODAs need to be able to continue developing their signing skills so that they will be able to communicate with their Deaf parents, when and if they are reunited with them. Making up for the missed time in learning ASL is extremely hard to do. A second reason is that sending KODAs to stay with hearing foster families suggests that Deaf families are bad or inferior to hearing families. KODAs need to have other Deaf adults and parent figures as positive role models . If they have had a hard time with their Deaf parents, and then experience a much better time with hearing foster parents, it doesn’t take much for their minds to decide that Deaf = bad and hearing = good.