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The Foster Care System Essay

894 words - 4 pages

An inadequate foster care system leaves children exposed to abuse and leaves them incapable of leading a healthy adult life. Every day children become homeless for any number of reasons. Parents pass away, custody disputes become too chaotic, or the State believes that parents are unable to take care of their children and they are whisked away to a “safer place.” For many children that safe place is a foster home, but the question that remains is what happens to these children after they have been placed in foster homes? Studies show that children in foster homes may be subjected to even more abuse than originally thought. The overwhelmed foster care system has become known for losing children, leaving them in abusive foster care situations, and causing their victims to not have the necessary life skills to live as a healthy functioning adult.
When children are taken from their parents, it is often an extremely traumatizing experience, even though they may be taken from a horrible situation. In emergency circumstances, Social Services will come in and take the children to an emergency 24 hour foster home where they will then determine what the child or children’s Care Plan Goal will be. A Care Plan Goal is what the system plans to do with children long term. The options include reunification with the parents (43%), adoption (20%), long term foster care (9%), living with other relatives (5%), emancipation (6%), or another plan (Harris 3). After a plan is determined a group of people is assigned to oversee the children’s case. These group members include foster parents, the biological parents, the court, the social worker, and children themselves. The children will be assigned to one of four types of foster homes including: Traditional care, emergency foster homes, respite family foster homes, or a group home. The length of time children can spend in a foster home completely depends on the circumstances surrounding their case and their age. In 32% of cases, foster children will spend anywhere from one to eleven months in foster care, while in an overwhelming 66% of cases, children will stay one to five years in the system (Harris 6). Age can be a major factor in determining placement. Young children are taken more readily than older children because they are less of a threat to foster families and they need less space. It is more difficult to place teenagers age 13 and above because they are presumed to be more difficult to manage and require more money to meet their basic needs.
Becoming a foster parent is relatively easy. People do not have to married or have children of their own, but most states have age, income,...

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