Effects of Foster Care Essay

Running head: Children removed from their home New Beginnings: The Effects of foster care and incidents of aggression in children removed from their home by Child Protective services Melvin L. Prince University of Houston-Victoria Abstract The Purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between multiple placements and the amount of aggressive behavior incidents. Subjects will include male and female children, ranging in age from 5 years old to 12 years old that have been placed in a minimum of three settings.

Descriptive statistics, including the number of aggressive incidents, as well as the number of placements will be used to describe the research sample. The Pearson correlation coefficient will be used to analyze the data and test the hypotheses. It is expected that findings will support the hypothesis that the number of aggressive incidents would decrease in number based on the placement setting the child receives, whether foster care or a relative placement.

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New Beginnings: The Effects of foster care and incidents of aggression in children removed from their home by Child Protective services Although it’s a sensitive topic for most people, it’s necessary to review in detail the effects of Child Protective Services, (CPS), and removing children from their home. The children in these situations are usually young and extremely fragile and emotionally unstable due to the type of abuse they have encountered.

The significance of this research project is to gain a deeper insight on the lasting effects of children being removed from their home and put in foster care and the number of incidents of aggression they have. In doing so, the individuals involved in such cases can learn ways to help aide in the transition of these children with fewer negative incidents. Literature Review The following literary review examines the topic of the effects of foster care and incidents of aggression in children removed from their home by Child Protective services.

The effects of foster care for the children and the difficulties they encounter are discussed as well, followed by a conclusion. Effects of Foster Care for Children and the difficulties they encounter Zima, Bussing, Freeman, Yang, Belin, and Forness (2000) described the level of behavior problems, academic skill delays, and school failure among school-aged children in foster care. Home interviews were conducted on the foster parents and the children, along with telephone interviews with the teachers.

The increased number of foster care placements provided an adequate amount of information on this topic. The research showed that the children were at high risk for behavior problems in the home and at least one behavior problem in the classroom. In addition to that, the behavior problems were related to suspension and or expulsion from school. However, these findings did not show any relationship to severe academic delays or grade retention. Strijker, Knorth, and Knot-Dickscheit (2008) examined the placement histories of children in child welfare.

Their research showed that consequences for children with a high number of placements included an increase in externalizing behavior problems and the children are prevented from developing any form of emotional attachment with the foster family. The information was obtained from the files of the foster children. If any information was missing, it was obtained by a phone interview with the case worker. It was their hypothesis that children with attachment disorders had more placements than those without. It was established that children with a higher number of placements showed an increase in problem behavior.

The foster child’s thoughts and concerns are also a factor in how they react to their placements. Johnson, Yoken, and Voss (1995) researched the impact of family foster care placement based on the insights of the children. This study was based on interviews with children placed in alternative care due to serious abuse or neglect. A survey was conducted on children between the ages of 11 and 14 and had been living in foster care for between six months and two years. There were 95 children that were selected.

Its focus was on the children’s understanding of what caused the placements, the reasons for changing placements, and the impact of changes in school, friends, and neighborhood. The study found that, although placement caused severe disruption for the children, the children gave a positive review and they offered a variety of suggestions for dealing with problems. It was the conclusion of the study that the concern for most of the children was to be kept informed about the major events affecting their lives. They also felt that everyone involved should be better informed about the child’s history as well as their present and future.

Recent findings indicate that children exposed to greater amounts of violence in their homes and neighborhoods are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior ( Litrownik, Newton, Mitchell, & Richardson, 2003). An examination on the quality or characteristics of placements was done on 254 six year old children that had been removed from their homes before they were 3. 5 years old. The data was obtained by trained interviewers for an average of about two hours in order to complete the assessment. The study focused on children who were self selected to receive out-of-home services nd looked at the amount of exposure to family violence. The research discussed an explanation found between relative and non-relative caregivers, relative caregivers reported using more physical discipline than did non-relative caregivers. However, the outcomes of this study do not support that claimed benefit. “Foster children frequently suffer from developmental delays and severe behavior problems, which often leads to repeated displacements that in return increase the risk for attachment disorders” ( Gauthier, Fortin, & Jeliu, 2004, p. 379).

To prevent an increase in such disturbances, an attachment clinic was developed to offer consultation to youth protection workers. More than 400 children and their biological and foster parents were evaluated. The research was based on clinical cases dealing with children with attachment issues in regards to leaving their foster family and returning to their biological family. This was due to the biological families failing to demonstrate significant progress that would allow their child to return to their care. In a situation like this, the child remains in foster care even longer and continues bonding with their foster family.

In such cases, the consensus was that in the best interest of the child, it is better that the child preserve their attachment ties and if the ties are repeatedly broken it would cause severe trauma to the child which would result in aggressive behaviors. The clinical research also states that fostered children frequently suffer from developmental delays and that severe behavior problems often lead to repeated displacements. Therefore, they also often develop an inability to trust the adults who want to care for them.

Although this clinical experience is highly valued with Child Protective Services, it is recommended that it would be important to follow up this experience with a research perspective. According to Redding, Fried, and Britner (2000) Placement stability depends in part on effective matching of foster children with potential foster families. When the foster care placements of these children fail, the children are shifted without the opportunity to experience emotional attachment. The end result for the children is poor adjustments which cause the children to act aggressively. This review was based on the limitations f extent research. Review was done on the characteristics of foster children, the biological family, the foster family, and the agency that are related to successful placement as well as child satisfaction. The review recommended more research on the general effectiveness of treatment foster care. It states that further research is necessary to gain a better understanding of the characteristics that will allow for in an increase in the number of successful foster care placements. Children placed in foster care represent an extreme group of maltreated children (Heller, Smyke, & Boris, 2002).

Aggression is sometimes noted in interactions with peers and occasionally in interactions between the child and the foster parent. The Foster Care Team was created as means to provide assessments, treatment, and recommendations to Child Protective Services. This clinical research helps families to navigate the systems involved with each foster care child and to manage the demands of being a foster parent. Thorough assessments of the child and his foster home as well as case management and behavioral management techniques were used to address various problems.

Interviews and observations were used to gather the information for the findings of this clinical experience. Observations were done in the home as well as the school setting in order to get an adequate amount of information in regards to the child’s development and behavior. In addition to interviews and observations, questionnaires were always read to the foster parent by a team member. This was done because of the compromised reading skills of the foster parent and important information becomes clear when discussing the questions.

It was their finding that foster children require comprehensive assessment and long term multidisciplinary interventions. Conclusions The literature reports findings that are in agreement in regards to the effects of foster care and incidents of aggression in children removed from their home by Child Protective services. Foster care is a protective intervention designed to provide out of home placement to children living in at-risk home environments. Foster caregivers are responsible for providing the daily care for children placed with them, and carry a significant responsibility for the children’s experiences while in public care.

Nonetheless, children placed into unfamiliar foster care showed higher levels of problems compared with children reared by maltreating caregivers, children in familiar care, and children who received adequate care. However, research suggest that outcomes related to foster care may vary with type of care and beyond the effects associated with maltreatment history, baseline adaptation, and socioeconomic status. Therefore, it necessary for foster parents to provide the children with extra time, but also greater patience, skill and endurance in dealing with the child’s demands and the effects they may have on their personal and social life.

Methods Design of the Study The independent variable of my study will be the placement setting, foster care with the dependent variable being the number of aggressive incidents the displaced children have. I believe the research will show a negative relationship in regards to the type of placement settings the displaced children receive and the numbers of aggressive incidents the children have. The information used in my research will be gathered through observations and interviews both personal and over the phone. Therefore, a non-experimental method will be used for this study.

This means of gathering information allows for empirical results which entail the collection of data and the analysis of the data to answer a research question or hypothesis. It is my belief that the number of aggressive incidents would decrease in number based on the placement setting the child receives, whether foster care or a relative placement. The children would not be as emotionally disturbed because they would have some sense of security being placed with someone they knew and had some type of personal relationship with as compared to being placed with total strangers.

Therefore, in doing the above research, I believe the information gathered will prove to be evident. Sample Population The sample population for this study will be children, male and female, ranging in age from 5 years old to 12 years old. In addition to the children, the foster parents will also be a part of the sample population. The children will have been placed in at least a minimum of three settings. The participants will give their permission to allow me to continue with the study. Instrumentation Information Questionnaire

The Information Questionnaire, which will be designed by the researcher, assesses the following information: ethnicity, age, and marital status. In addition to the demographic information listed above, the following information will be assessed: How long have you been married? , How many biological children/siblings do you have? , How long have you been a foster parent/child? , How many placements have you had? , How do you rate your foster experience? , (Satisfied or Dissatisfied), How many aggressive behaviors have you witnessed? , What are your major concerns as a foster parent/child? Procedures for Data collection

The subjects for this study will be recruited voluntarily based on availability. The samples will be chosen from a database through the local Child Protective Services office. Although the sample will not be random, it’s thought to be a representation of the population of children with multiple placements, which will allow for the overview of results to other similar subjects. Subjects will be chosen to participate in the study based on the number of placements they’ve had while placed in foster care. A distribution list of all children with multiple placements will be sought from the CPS database by the assigned caseworker.

The names on this list will be mailed a research packet, by the investigator. Individuals chosen will receive a letter of introduction and the research questionnaire. Those willing to participate will be instructed to complete the packet contents and return them to the investigator, by mail. The questionnaires will be hand-scored by the experimenter and the results will be computed. The volunteers will be reminded that their participation is voluntary and they may pull out of the study at any time. The participants’ confidentiality will be maintained with the use of aliases in place of their actual names.

Data Analysis Although it’s a sensitive topic for most people, it’s necessary to review in detail the effects of Child Protective Services, (CPS), and removing children from their home. The children in these situations are usually young and extremely fragile and emotionally unstable due to the type of abuse they have encountered. The significance of this research project is to gain a deeper insight on the lasting effects of children being removed from their home and put in foster care and the number of incidents of aggression they have.

In doing so, the individuals involved in such cases can learn ways to help aide in the transition of these children with fewer negative incidents. Foster care for children that have been removed by CPS is when children have to be placed outside their home, and there is not an appropriate non-custodial parent or relative willing and able to care for them and there are no close family friends that the court can give temporary legal possession.

Incidents of aggression that the children experience is defined as defiant or violent behavior towards the guardian, other children in the home, school professionals, or even themselves. The independent variable of my study will be the placement setting, foster care with the dependent variable being the number of aggressive incidents the displaced children have. It is my belief that the number of aggressive incidents would decrease in number based on the placement setting the child receives, whether foster care or a relative placement.

The children would not be as emotionally disturbed because they would have some sense of security being placed with someone they knew and had some type of personal relationship with as compared to being placed with total strangers. The sample population for this study will be children, male and female, ranging in age from 5 years old to 12 years old. In addition to the children, the foster parents will also be a part of the sample population. The children will have been placed in at least a minimum of three settings.

The participants will give their permission to allow me to continue with the study. The Information Questionnaire, which will be designed by the researcher, assesses the following information: ethnicity, age, and marital status. In addition to the demographic information listed above, the following information will be assessed: How long have you been married? , How many biological children/siblings do you have? , How long have you been a foster parent/child? , How many placements have you had? How do you rate your foster experience? , (Satisfied or Dissatisfied), How many aggressive behaviors have you witnessed? , What are your major concerns as a foster parent/child? Data Analysis Descriptive statistics, including the number of aggressive incidents, as well as the number of placements will be used to describe the research sample. The Pearson correlation coefficient, “r,” will be used to analyze the data and test the hypotheses. A correlation coefficient measures the linear relationship between the variables.

The Pearson correlation coefficient, named after Karl Pearson, equals a value between +1. 00 and –1. 00. When the number carries a plus sign, it indicates a positive relationship, and when the number has a minus sign, it indicates a negative relationship. When the value of “r” is close to zero, it indicates a weak or irregular relationship, with zero equaling no relationship. The closer “r” is to the number one, the relationship will have a more positive affect. For this study the number of aggressive incidents will be correlated with the number of placements. Discussion

It is expected that findings will show that the number of aggressive incidents will be related to the amount of placements, demonstrating a significant and negative correlation. Thus, the number of aggressive incidents will decrease with fewer placements. Since this study will consist of a selected number of volunteer subjects, it is possible that the findings may not be beneficial to the general population. It is recommended that any future research should explore the relationship between the study variables with a wider age range and that includes children that stayed in the system until they reached the age of eighteen.

By doing so, this will give a better overview of the negative affects of multiple placements as well as any success stories. References Gauthier, Y. , Fortin, G. , & Jeliu, G. (2004, July). Clinical application of attachment theory in permanency planning for children in foster care: The importance of continuity of care. Infant Mental Health Journal, 25(4), 379-396. Heller, S. , Smyke, A. , & Boris, N. (2002, September). Very young foster children and foster   families: clinical challenges and interventions. Infant Mental Health Journal, 23(5), 555-575 Johnson, P. Yoken, C. , & Voss, R. (1995, September). Family foster care placement: The child’s perspective. Child Welfare, 74(5), 959-974 Litrownik, A. Newton, R. Mitchell, B. , & Richardson, K. (2003, Februrary). Long-Term follow-up of young children placed in foster care: subsequent placements and exposure to family violence. Journal of Family Violence, 181(1), 19-28. Redding, R. , Fried, C. , & Britner, P. (2000, December). Predictors of placement outcomes in treatment foster care: implications for foster parent selection and service delivery.

Journal of Child and Family Studies, 9(4), 425-447. Strijker, J. , Knorth, E. , & Knot-Dickscheit, J. (2008). Placement history of foster children: A study of placement history and outcomes in long-term family foster care. Child Welfare Journal, 87(5), 107-124. Zima, B. , Bussing, R. , Freeman, S. , Yang, X. , Belin, T. , & Forness, S. (2000, March). Behavior problems, academic skill delays and school failure among school-aged children in foster care: their relationship to placement characteristics. Journal of Family Studies, 9(1), 87-103.

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