Foster Care is Temporary Care Given to a Child
How it works
“Foster Care is temporary care given to a child when there are certain issues occurring in the family. Those issues jeopardize the child’s safety and that child is unable to remain in the home. The service is provided through DSS and the children are placed with those that best fit their needs. During the separation, the department makes sure that the living environment is safe before returning the child home. There are occurrences where a child cannot reunite with their birth parents.
If this occurs, the parents have to renounce their parental rights before the adoption can happen. Guardianship is also an alternative. This when a person is granted custodial rights over a child. The guardian acts as an advocate in certain decision making. They also manage the child’s welfare by providing adequate shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and insurance. Children in the state’s custody is not always a permanent placement.
Becoming a foster parent is an in-depth process and requires licensing. You should first inquire about and research information on becoming a foster parent. It is good to know the background information on foster parenting, expectations and the types of children you may come in contact with. Have a consultation with an agency and express your keen interest in becoming a foster parent. You must be 21 years of age or older to fill out the interest application that serves your resident county. A SLED check, fingerprinting and child abuse central register release will be conducted for everyone in the household who is 18 years of age and older. A certain amount of standard preparatory hours will need to be completed to help with finding the child that best fits your family. If you are adopting then you would have to complete 18 hours. A cleanliness check and fire inspections will be conducted by the Fire Marshal and DHEC. A trained specialist will do a home visit and investigation to ensure the living environment is suitable for the child. A thorough medical exam of all persons living in the home will be issued. Documentation such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, or divorce decrees should be furnished. After everything is properly received, documented and cleared by the appointed officials you shall be granted approval by the South Carolina Foster Family Association.
There are several different types of fostering provided to children. Short term fostering is when the child is placed with a foster caregiver for a short period of time. They could be placed for days or months, depending on the circumstances before being returned to their biological parents. Long term fostering occurs for an extended term and could last for months or even years. There have been cases where children have returned home after a long term but some never do. This why more foster parents are needed to meet the needs and high demands of temporary or permanent placement. Kinship care is when the child is placed with their relatives who have agreed to care for the child. The kindred is typically aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. Respite care is a form of fostering that occurs when children take brief breaks away from their families. This gives the child an opportunity to form bonds and be introduced to other experiences in a different environment. Emergency care plans are implemented under short notice and a child needs immediate placement. This typically happens within a matter of hours. Children are often removed from unsafe environments due to drug abuse, physical abuse, neglect or mentally impaired parents. In certain cases, no abuse has taken place and a child may need emergency care because their parent may have died suddenly or becomes hospitalized. Fostering for adoption or concurrent care happens when prospective parents have intentions of adopting their foster child. The child is in a stable environment with a concurrent caregiver. By this time a strong bond has been formed between the child and their potential adoptive parents.
Children often times think that they did something wrong and that is why they are in foster care. Truth is, children are usually placed in these situations at the account of unfit adults, unsafe environments or unforeseen circumstances. A lot the most vulnerable population in the nation are in foster care. These children typically develop behavioral, mental, emotional or social problems due to separating from their parents. The act of being bounced around from one foster home to the next can have a negative impact on a child’s development. The behavior and overall mental state of the child become very challenging and intense at times. They display signs of withdrawal and become physically aggressive towards other people or even pets. Patience and understanding are very important in these types of situations. You do not want to label the child as “bad” or “wrong” because it is normal for them the react in that manner. They are experiencing trouble adjusting to new people and a new environment and use negativity as a coping mechanism. The importance of the foster parent is to create a therapeutic and non-hostile surrounding especially, for those children who have experienced some form of trauma. Be aware of body language, facial expressions, and approach because the child needs to feel secure and able to trust you. A beneficial technique is to be fair, firm and consistent at all times.
Article I focused on the permanence of children in the foster care system. It stated how Federal child welfare policies are aimed towards removing children from State custody into adoptive or guardianship families. The author covered very little statistical findings on how placement can affect the nature of a child. One aspect of post-permanency caused a decrease in Title IV-E caseloads for foster care nationwide. While the Title IV-E caseloads for guardianship and adoption increased. The needs of the twenty-first-century child welfare system were highlighted by the writer. She stated how the increased federal efforts that would ensure the well-being of the child after adoption or legal guardianship had been achieved.
Article 2 gave me insight into the adaptiveness of children in the foster system. Some of them do not follow a positive while in foster care and get labeled as being “problematic.” A child in the system that internalizes trauma will have a major effect on how they externalize their emotions. This causes a placement breakdown. Foster parents have to be mindful of how they interact with the child while under stress. If not, that can also result in placement breakdown. The author shared how statistics have proven that longitudinally can affect behavioral development of a child in foster care. It states that child behavioral problems increased because of an increase in parent-reported stress.
This overview contains vital information for someone who is interested in possibly becoming a foster parent. It thoroughly explains the process and the requirements for being considered for the fostering. There is a listing of the different types of foster programs that are offered within agencies; both temporary and permanent placement options. Being a foster parent includes dealing with children who may have behavioral, emotional, or mental problems. Some have even experienced serious trauma. Becoming a foster is a life-altering decision. So, before making a decision, it is important to do research and have a clear understanding. Be sure to weigh all of your options and be aware of your patience level.”