A Mission of Foster Care

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Foster care is a temporary living arrangement made by the state for a child. Children are often placed in foster care because either a child protective service department employee or a court appointed judge has deemed the home unfit for a child to stay at. Foster care not only affects the child’s life now but it also creates a barrier for future opportunities. Children are often placed in foster care because of the risk of maltreatment, including neglect, physical and sexual abuse.

The United States of America foster care system has over 438,000 children in the program.  At some point in their life 6 in 1000 children will live in foster care. 52% of the foster care population being male and 48% being female we have a constantly growing need for foster care parents.

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There are many different types of foster care. They are kinship care, group homes, foster care, and straight up adoption. To determine which home a child will go to the social worker determines who will take the kid, what is the kids mental state, how old is the child, and does she have any siblings

Kinship care is when the parents of the child is unfit to parent but a relative or in some cases a close friend steps in as the parent. With 23% of the youth in foster care living in kinship care these lucky kids can stay with a familiar face and sometimes not have to be constantly moving. Kinship care can benefit the child by letting him or her stay in the same area, around the same people, being taught by the same teacher, and going to the same school. In a kinship care case the child may be moved to a different city, town, or state based on where the willing relative lives.

Group homes are is a institutional or residential placement with a variety of different foster kids. Group homes are normally run by a state trained worker or a formal social worker. A group home normally houses about 10 to 20 kids at a time, but some larger facilities with more leaders house up 40 to 50 kids at a time.

Most of the children in foster care are placed in foster homes these are different from group homes and kinship care because you have not met your new family and you are not in a large group setting. A foster home normally holds around one foster kid at a time. For a child to placed with a foster family the social worker or caseworker has to find a home suitable for the child’s needs. When a child is placed with a foster family they have access to caring individuals, doctor visits, counseling, and their own warm bedroom. 52,900 children are adopted out of foster care yearly. Even with that  large number of children being adopted still can take years for other children in the system.

Sometimes a family can choose to adopt a child immediately straight out of the system without fostering them beforehand. This is most common in newborns whose mother sadly does not want the responsibility of having a child, or legally can not raise the baby for personal reasons. Straight adoption only happens to few kids above the age of 5.

To become a foster parent you have to be over the age of 21, go to classes and get a license from the state you live in. You also have to have recommendations on your character from family members and non family members. To qualify for a foster license you also have to have a car, valid car insurance, a clean DMV record,you must also complete a criminal background test. After your case worker has confirmed you have all the necessary qualifications, and your case worker has signed and filled out all the necessary paperwork, then a state hired case worker must come and make sure your house is a place of safety and comfort. The house must include a bed, a stove, and a working toilet, if the foster parent candidate can not match these necessary equipment he or she can not become a foster parent at that moment in time.

After the state determines that the foster parent candidate meets all the requirements needed, they then check to see if the person can afford a child and has time for the child in between his or her work schedule. The state where the foster parent is living sends the foster parents monthly checks to cover all of the child’s needs. A foster parent is expected to pay for food, clothing, school supplies, transportation, personal expenses, and medication. The monthly child support Texas provides is around 400 dollars, which is about the amount of money for school supplies for two.Even if families receive adoption and foster care assistance or subsidy, adoptive and foster families are still responsible for everyday financial obligations such as child care and extracurricular activities. – Dr.John de Garmo

Just like there are advantages to the foster system there is also flaws such as: splitting up siblings, leaving kids in the system for to long, placing them in group homes for a extended amount of time, and not supporting them when they age out of the system without adoption. The foster care unit has a tendency to split sibling groups into separate homes because they can not find a family to host all of the siblings. Most sibling groups of three normally get split. By splitting these siblings up the government is not only cutting their parents out of their lives but also their brothers and sisters.

When a child enters the foster care system they are expected to be there for a minimum of nine months but lately that number has skyrocketed to an average of two years. Two years is only if they get adopted this number can go become their whole child hood because nobody has adopted them. This problem leads into our next problem.

Kids who are left in the system for too long typically age out at the age of 18 without a home or a forever family. Research has statistically shown that kids who are left in the system till they are 18 have a higher percent chance of dropping out or not leaving school with high school credits. If they do not receive a good education they have a higher chance of unemployment, homelessness, or incarceration. In 2016 alone more than 20,000 young adults age out of the system with nowhere to go or stay. Almost 15 percent of America’s homeless population was in the foster care system at one part of their life.

More than 12% of the children in foster care live in a group home. Group homes can be beneficial to some children with behavioral issues because they have around the clock supervision by a state worker and not a civilian who has a foster license. Children  are placed into to care at a group home  because they cannot find a foster family for the child. Group homes normally house between 10 to 20 kids at a time. They run around the clock and do not work as a family but like a psych ward according to former foster kids.

The type of home does not only affect the foster child’s mind but also the overall system including: constantly moving, meeting new people, and having to adapt constantly to the people and environment around you. “Foster care is a completely different world that is happening as you are walking the streets, you don’t understand that their world is constantly changing and you can not stop it. Children in foster care are constantly moving which can be confusing.

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The child needs to learn how to voice his thoughts and feeling when in care so he or her can receive the care they need. Kids who have experienced trauma in their former homes have a higher risks of having PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which can result in violent outburst in children 5 years old. In some cases children with violent outburst are placed in group homes so they can receive around the clock supervision. There are parts of larger hospitals dedicated to counseling foster kids and helping them to find forever homes. Sometimes a child’s past can affect how long it will take to adopt. Though the child can not change his or her past it still affects their adoption process, because some potential parents do not want a aggressive child.

Foster children are often forgotten in this society. The system is left unchanged because nobody sees its flaws. This being said this paper was intended to not only stick up to the developers of the foster care system but to bring awareness of the system and how it runs. “Family disruption is a serious issue and a child must come to terms with his or her feelings regardless of their age.-Joann Harrison This quote comes from the book  Making History and helps us understand how to help the child cope with his or her situation.  Thesis Statement: Foster care not only affects the child’s life now but it also creates a barrier for future opportunities. Foster care is intended to operate as a temporay stage while a permanent and adequate environment in which the child will live is found. The foster care system can only do so much once the child is 18 they are released from the system and left on their own to make a life for themselves.

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A Mission Of Foster Care. (2019, Mar 11). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-mission-of-foster-care/