The Foster Care Independence Act

Operating from 1853-1929, the Orphan Train Movement transported around 250,000 children. The children on the bus consisted of those who had been abandoned, did not have a home, and whose parents were deceased. They were brought to Canada and the United States and were placed throughout to their new homes (DiPasquale, n.d.).

The purpose of this movement was to get children that did not have a home and were poor off New York streets and to bring them to the Midwest to new families. Children were being relocated in this way up until 1930. Multiple reasons lead for the end of this movement, but one was the beginning of the depression and it was difficult for families to afford another child. Another reason was new laws and programs being created to help children (DiPasquale, n.d.).

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This event is important to foster care because it is the start of documented foster care in America (DiPasquale, n.d.). Children living in poor conditions were being moved into other’s homes and living there. I believe this movement helped shape foster care and provided the framework that led it into what it is today.

In 1908, the Children’s Act, also known as the Children’s Charter, was created. It was made to protect poor children from getting abused. The Act helped do different things, and one main point was helping terminate child cruelty. It also made sure that children had a right to an education. Punishment was also a focus, and children were no longer tried as adults and sent to adult prisons under this Act. One other area that was focused on was childminding. It required individuals to register to get paid being a childminder, which prevented them from making money out of a child dying or being injured (“Children’s and Young Persons Act (Children’s Charter) 1908, n.d.).

I believe this Children’s Act is important because it focused on different aspects that all helped improve the foster care system. Before, paid childminders might have harmed a child to try and receive money. It impacts social welfare today for that reason, as well as children are not tried as adults if they commit a crime. The Children’s Act is important to foster care because children were beginning to be seen as children and their best interest was looked after through this Act.

President Taft created the Children’s Bureau in 1912. It was the first federal agency in the government of the United States, and the world, to have a sole focus on bettering the lives of kids and families. Since being created, it had addressed some of the biggest social problems in the nation. These issues include foster care, along with orphanages, death during childbirth or of the infant, child health, children that are abused or neglected, and more. The bureau has involvement in affairs and initiatives that supply for children and families to have permanency, to be safe, and for their well-being (Children’s Bureau, 2018).

The US Children’s Bureau has a focus on helping improve the lives of families and children, which is significant to foster care. It is still in existence today and impacts social welfare because of its help in the area of involvement. I believe it is an important bureau and gives support and help to individuals that need it.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was first enacted in 1974. It provides the lowest standards allowed for defining neglect and sexual and physical abuse that States have to include in their statutory definitions in order to get Federal funds. It delivers Federal funding to States for many reasons including avoiding, evaluating, examining, prosecuting, and treatment activities. Not only that, but it also includes grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies for programs and projects with the purpose of demonstration (“Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (CAPTA), 2018).

CAPTA is important to foster care because it provides funds to help neglect and abuse cases. I believe this is important because children should not be living in terrible conditions. It impacts social welfare today because it is trying to prevent children from being abused and is providing treatment.

Enacted in 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act was put into place. This Act helped make sure that young individuals in foster care get the skills that are necessary when they exit the system. It also broadened program opportunities that provided many different areas such as the following: training, education, support financially, housing assistance, and counseling. There were also other services designated for youth in foster care to help prepare them for living independently and to achieve self-sufficiency (“Foster Care Independence Act, 2018).

Not only that, but the Act placed an emphasis on permanency by making it required to continue efforts to discover a place to permanently live while, at the same time, issuing  independent living activities and having an increase in funding for adoption incentive payments (“Foster Care Independence Act, 2018).

The Foster Care Independence Act is extremely important to foster care because it helps those individuals that are leaving foster care provide for themselves. I believe there are many people who struggle when leaving the system and this Act helps them as they move on to living an independent lifestyle. It impacts social welfare today by helping those youth as they enter an important part of life and may need assistance.

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