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The History And Progression Of The Foster Care System

2982 words - 12 pages

This paper will contain research done about foster care, including a brief history and progressing along to the system today. This research interested me because it is a professional career option after graduation. I found both positives and negatives about the foster care system that children and foster parents go through on a daily basis. As the paper progresses I will be explaining these positives and negatives in more detail. Throughout the paper I will be referencing different scholarly sources that explain foster care in different ways. Overall, this paper will show different aspects that the general public may never know about foster care.
A foster parent, as defined by the Health reference series second edition, is an individual who is licensed to provide a home for an orphaned, abused, neglected, delinquent or disabled child (Matthews, 2004). A permanent placement is one that is intended, but not guaranteed, to last forever (Barth & Berry 1988). Foster care is not for delinquents but somewhere for children go when their parents can no longer care for them. A form of foster care has always been around in early Christian churches where “worthy widows” would board children in need and were paid by church collections. Foster care started in 1562 during the time of the English poor laws, which stated the poor children were allowed to be placed in legal services until they reached of aged (nfpaonline.org). In the 1970’s, foster care increased in popularity but foster parents were seen as unfit to adopt children permanently (Barth and Berry, 1988). In 1980 the Adoption Assistance of Child Welfare Act (public law 96-272) made it clear that the most desirable permanent placement for children is with their own family. The law requires that , in order to receive certain federal dollars that help pay for child welfare services, states must comply with P.L. 96-272 (Petr, 1998). It is required that states must determine if reasonable efforts were made to prevent the unnecessary placement of a child in out of home care. The state and agencies must make reasonable efforts to return the child to their family, however, reasonable efforts are not defined by the law (Petr, 1998).
Foster care isn’t always the best option for children to enter into but some appropriate situations are when a mother and or father have relinquished the child, the child has been abandoned or parental rights have been terminated either by legal actions or by a parents own choice (Barth and Berry, 1988). Foster care is commonly broken down into three separate parts. There is short- term placement that has a high return rate of children to their biological families. The main goal that the child welfare system has is to be family centered and seek to place the child with family or near family so consistency can be maintained. Placing the child with a relative during this time is common, also known as kinship, which makes up about 31% of foster care. This is common in...

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