Foster care is known as a facility/home care system run and funded by the government for the benefit of children who were abandoned by their parents or because they were unable to be cared for at such a young age due to their parents being unstable or deceased. The definition of foster care according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online is a situation in which for a period a child lives with and is cared for by people who are not the child’s parents. This definition explains how foster children are placed in a new home that is temporary for a certain amount of time until the child finds a permanent home once they’re adopted.
Becoming a foster parent at times is a touching moment for most because they feel like in their heart their doing an amazing act of human kindness by bringing a child into their home whereas other people foster children for a source of stable income from the government. Most cases of foster care revolved around the abuse and neglect a child receives from their foster parents. Examples of these would be that they weren’t fed properly or were abused either physically or verbally by their caretaker. Maltreatment is the key source tied to several cases dating back to the mid-1940s according to an article published by Nina Biehal in the UK in 2013. She stated in her own words that It is important to distinguish allegations of maltreatment from those concerning poor standards of care’ whereas this ties to how Maltreatment in foster care since the mid1970s has received far less attention than maltreatment in residential settings’ (Maltreatment in Foster Care). The article referenced that foster children’s cases gained little to no attention from the media regarding the abuse of a child and even at times a death as if law enforcement and the government had no care at all for the safety of each child put into these homes.
A child fears for his own freedom or says in the world, constantly being moved around so often and neglected can lead a child to build up a wall in order to protect themselves. By protecting themselves a child tends to not speak about an incident in which he or she was assaulted or abused by past foster parents or a former guardian or parent. This is known as under-reporting, which is where a child or victim holds back information due to being so young and becoming confused by not understanding the situation around them or the one, they may be put in, in regard to their own safety and fear that they may even be hurt again by the same person (Morris and Wheatley, 1994).
Another major issue is teen pregnancy studies show that teenage girls in foster care tend to become pregnant at a higher rate compared to other girls (Child Welfare). Polypharmacy is the taking of multiple prescription drugs prescribed by a professional in order to help the child mentally (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). These drugs are beneficial to a child state of mind some of these are narcotics, and psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and other drugs that help with hyperactivity disorder (Zito et al., 2008). The constant taking of such strong drugs can lead a child to feel overwhelmed and cause them to find a way to not be able to take them anymore. Pregnancy ties to this because females see this as an opportunity to stop taking their prescribed drugs and feel they have power over their body once they find out their pregnant (Center for the Study of Social Policy, 2013). By doing this study researchers realized that most foster teen pregnancy ties to the number of prescriptions they are taking. The more prescriptions a child takes the more likely she will confine in pregnancy as an escape route from getting off her meds because of her physical state as a new mother who is expecting and wants the best for her baby.
Constantly being moved around for a child can be traumatizing because at such a young age you aren’t able to develop a nurturing relationship with a family because you are constantly moved around. Within a child first 12 months over 15 percent of children in the system are moved from three or more placements (US Children’s Bureau 2015). These moves show that older children specifically tend to experience behavior problems by being a problem in a home they might be placed in (Taylor and McQuillan 2014). Foster parents who experience a disruption in their home tend to contact the troubled child’s caseworker to tell them of their concern. Most of these parents tend to ask that the child is removed from their home because they were not only for their safety but for their children as well (Fernandez 2009; Noonan et al. 2009). Foster parents play a key role in a child’s life by opening their home to them and by letting them know you truly care for their health and wellbeing. There are many ways to examine an outcome of placements mainly dealing with the setting of a home regarding the persons who live there. Children tend to show positive changes when a couple shows a strong marriage and goes on with their daily lives and routines by showing they are flexible and can cater to all their birth children lives including they child they foster also (Buehler et al. 2003). A family who gains experience tend to continue fostering due to the attachment they gain with every child they foster, by showing improvement with traumatized children and allowing them to open up physically and emotionally shows how certain homes allow a child to feel safe (Brown 2008; Thompson et al. 2016).
Racial Inequality has never been a prime topic within a foster care system. Most studies/articles and videos show that based open race being Black was more traumatizing compared to any other race. A Ted talk by Kizzy Lopez a former foster child explains her stories and the trauma she expirees as a child in the system for over three years. Within her speech, she explains and points out studies of how traits from parents can affect young children in their future. She explained that children who experience any type of trauma were most likely to harm themselves or be harmed physically by being likely to have heart disease as an adult, mental disorder, and even attempt to take one’s life in an attempt or performance of suicide. She states that in 2016 57,000 children were adopted from the foster care system and only 17 percent were African-American they rest were mainly White or Latino.
We define what bias we put on people in the world. By judging places upon one’s social background and skin color creates a barrier between what is normal and not normal. Foster care is the main source where inequality is shown children are not given equal rights of freedom to express themselves and invest in their own future. Young children are traumatized and affected by neglection, abuse, etc. Today there are many problem people focus on, one that is least focused on is foster care. Foster care should be known and should be documented or televised because thousands of children are left to care for themselves because they feel worthless and as if they have no place in the world. Overall Foster care will always be a controversial topic that depicts racism and inequality the only way to change this is by providing a voice for each child to be equal to be heard to be treated as a human and not an object.
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