The Need For Change: The Harmful Effects Of The Foster Care System

1279 words - 6 pages

One of the biggest misconceptions that we have in our country is that foster care is a great thing; well, it’s not. There are so many flaws in our foster care system to even consider it a good idea. With constant reports of abuse, depression, lack of stability, to even the terrible after effects of the foster care system, like homelessness and incarceration; the foster care system hurts more than it helps. Our foster care system is bad for America, but most of all, our children.
Chronic abuse and neglect is a huge part of the foster care system. According to the Children's Rights website, “Nearly 700,000 abused and neglected children will spend time in foster care in the United States this year.” Many children find themselves being looked after by a social worker, and eventually into the arms of a new family. The authors of Foster Care Placement, Poor Parenting, and Negative Outcomes Among Homeless Young Adults state that “More than half a million American youth currently [are] in foster homes due to child abuse and neglect,” (Tyler, Kimberly A., and Lisa A. Melander). This is a very terrifying statistic. It’s hard to think that there are that many children in foster care, let alone that over half a million are in the system because of child abuse and neglect. Some have even dealt with abuse before, during, and after foster care (787). This leads me to my first point; if foster care is so great, why are children still having to deal with abuse once they’ve been placed in foster care? Why are children like Krystal Scurry being raped and killed by those who are supposed to be offering better living conditions (Ambrose, Jeanne). Why are little children like Joshua Lindsey being beaten to death by their foster parents (1)? Who is responsible for speaking for these children that are too young to explain what is really going on in these foster homes? Many would say our social workers, but why is such a huge responsibility placed upon one person (Wells, Melissa, and Melissa Correia)?
Stability is another big factor in the success of children in foster care. One story that was brought to my attention was about a young boy named Kevin. Having been in the system since he was just ten days old, Kevin had been shifted around between his real home and foster homes. By the age of eight, Kevin “climbed into a hospital garbage can and asked to be thrown away,” (Ambrose, Jeanne). This is a perfect example of what is happening to these children. They need, and want stability. Stability is one of things that makes or breaks a family, and ultimately what all children need in order to become successful in some way (Tyler, Kimberly A., and Lisa A. Melander). I recently watched an interview about the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding scandal during the 1994 Olympics, and Kerrigan states that one of the biggest reasons she had a better childhood was because she had stability, where Tonya did not (Kerrigan, Nancy). According to Child Welfare, the highest rate of...

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