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Foster Care & Foster Families Essay

7727 words - 31 pages

Definition & IntroductionThe term foster care is often applied to any type of substitute care facility-boarding home, adoptive home, or institution. However, the Child Welfare League of America's (1959) definition is "A child welfare service which provides substitute family care for a planned period for a child when his own family cannot care for him for a temporary or extended period and when adoption is neither desirable nor possible".Note that according to the CWLA, it is care in a family, it is non-institutional substitute care, and it is for a planned period--either temporary or extended. Thus it is unlike adoptive placement, which implies a permanent substitution of one home for another, one family for another. To distinguish this use of the term foster care from other kinds of foster-care arrangements, we will refer to it in this chapter as foster-family care.Historical Background & Purpose of The PaperFoster-family care was probably practiced on a limited basis in antiquity: "Under ancient Jewish laws and customs, children lacking parental care became members of the household of other relatives, if such there were, who reared them for adult life" ( Slingerland, 1919, p. 27). The early Church boarded destitute children with "worthy widows."The parents' perception of the primary problem, in the limited number of studies where this is available, tends to differ from that of the worker. Much more frequently, parents see the child's behavior and situational stress as the primary problems requiring placement. Parents see as the major difficulty their own emotional problems, neglect, and abuse much less frequently than the workers ( Phillips, Shyne, Sherman, Haring, 1971, p. 10; Jones, Neuman, Shyne, 1976, p. 32).This paper investigates and throws light upon the recruitment of foster parents by "Department of Human Resources" of Georgia. The essential resource of the Fostering is, of course, the foster home. Such homes have to be recruited, assessed, and ultimately selected for a particular child. A great deal of agency work is devoted to each of these steps. The paper is focused on these steps.Research Question in Perspective of RecruitmentRecruitment of fostering parents in Georgia by "Department of Human Resources" involves a program of interpretation to the public of the need for foster homes for children and the satisfactions to be derived from fostering a child. All mass communication media have been used by agencies in recruitment efforts: newspaper ads, radio, television, billboards, and placards in buses and subway trains. On occasion, such advertisements have been supplemented by making speakers available to church groups, PTA groups, women's clubs, and so on. Experienced foster parents are asked to participate in campaigns and to speak to local groups. They are effective recruiters, and they are apt to convey a realistic conception of foster care.Such activity is reinforced by the visible enhancement of the symbol of the...

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