The Foster Care System and its Advantages

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 When a child is removed from their home by Child Protective Services and placed in the foster care system, the child is provided with physical care and emotional support.

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Children who have been abused and/or neglected by their parents or guardians receive the physical care they need once they are placed in foster care. These children are often behind on vaccinations, dental appointments, and have medical needs that haven’t been met. In some cases, abused or neglected children are malnourished, have somatic symptom disorder, and suffer from chronic pain, just to name a few (Springer, Sheridan, Kuo, Carnes, 2003). They are taken to doctor’s appointments and receive any and all medical treatments and medications they may need.

Many foster and group homes have regulations regarding the medical treatment of foster children. For example, the Georgia Sheriffs Boys Ranch (a  group home located in Valdosta, Georgia) has a very rigid protocol when it comes to the medical treatment of its residents. The administration at the Boys Ranch is required to make sure all of their residents are taken care of medically. The state authorities require that each resident has a well-child doctor visit once a year as well as a dental appointment every six months. The residents also receive vision treatment as well as orthodontics when needed. Their medication is managed by the staff at the Boys Ranch to ensure that the proper dosage is taken as frequently as needed (L. Cox, personal communication, December 3rd, 2018). The Boys Ranch is just one example of a group home that provides adequate medical care. In just the state of Georgia, there are at least four other group homes that are required to meet the same health care standards as the Boys Ranch (georgiasheriffsyouthhomes.org) . While the protocol might not be identical, almost all states have a similar health care standard regarding the medical treatment of foster children.

Foster care children are also provided with emotional support. Children that have been abused or neglected often suffer from a variety of different mental health issues. These issues include but are not limited to: depression, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. Abused and neglected children can also suffer from bipolar disorder and can have sexual abuse issues (Springer, Sheridan, Kuo, Carnes, 2003). Foster care children who suffer from the aforementioned issues receive therapy in order to help them deal with their emotional needs. The Boys Ranch, along with other group and foster homes, provide therapy in cases where it is needed (L. Cox, personal communication, December 3rd, 2018). These therapy services can be provided by licensed professional counselors, phycologists, and psychiatrists, depending on the situation. Mental health professionals use a wide variety of therapeutic techniques such as art therapy, bibliotherapy, talk therapy, play therapy, and education to provide emotional support to their clients (B. Eilders personal communication, December 3rd, 2018).

In most cases, the foster care system does everything that it can in order to provide a nurturing and stable environment. We had a traditional fostering houseparent setup (a married man and woman). We got religious services per request of the houseparents. Education, tutoring services, and counseling services (were also provided) (A. McCastle,personal communication, December 3rd, 2018).  The children in the foster care system often receive emotional support beyond therapy services. For example, foster care children are typically allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. Usually, their participation in extracurricular activities is contingent upon their behavior; if they are well-behaved, then they are allowed to participate. Not only are they just allowed to participate, but they are also supported by their foster parents or group home staff members. I played football, basketball, and ran track in middle school and in high school…There was total support. I think I got just as much support as any other kid playing sports (A. McCastle, personal communication, December 3rd, 2018). This emotional support is not only reserved for children involved in extracurricular activities but is extended in all aspects of the foster child’s life.

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The Foster Care System And Its Advantages. (2020, Mar 10). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from
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