Outcomes of Foster Care Angela Nagle COM 150 May 16, 2010 Michelle Vanderhoof Growing up many children think that it is normal how they are living, whether it is good or bad. On the bad side it could be from getting abused to not always having enough food to eat; or sleeping on the floors to sleeping in the family car. When social services finds out about something like this, they do their best to better the situation. One situation they try is placing children in protective custody, also known as foster care, while the parents get back on track, sometimes the children do not get to return home.
After being in foster care there can be many different outcomes. Not all outcomes are the same after being in foster care, because some outcomes can be good and some outcomes can be bad. When a child is abused or neglected he or she should be placed foster care. Each year more than two million children get investigated for abuse or neglect. About half are found to be true (Doyle). If a child is in this situation and does not get help, the child may start committing crimes or worse, follow his or her parent’s footsteps.
The child will also continue being abused or neglected. Children are our future and they should not be abused or neglected. In September of 2006, estimated 510,000 children were in foster care. Also in 2006 there was an estimate of 303,000 children entered foster care and 289,000 children exited foster care. For those that did exit foster care: 57 percent returned home, 17 percent were adopted, 16 percent went to live with a relative, 9 percent were emancipated and 4 percent had other outcomes (Child). In September of 2008, estimated 463,000 children were in foster care.
Also in 2008 there was an estimate of 273,000 children entered foster care and 285,000 children exited foster care (Families). Not only is foster care beneficial, but it can also help a child grow into a better person. After being placed in a foster home a child may have two main feelings about being in a house that the child/children does not know anyone but maybe siblings, scared but safe. The first foster family I was placed with we were only supposed to be there for a week. That week turned into weeks, then to a month.
After leaving this home I went to live with my best friend and her family, my brothers were placed with some family friends. An average foster child is moved to another home at least once; a quarter of these children will be moved three to four times. After a child is in the foster care home, he or she becomes family. The average a child stays in a foster home is two years (Doyle). Children are able to see how a normal house is to run and how family spreads love. When in foster care, children are shown love and togetherness with the family they are placed with.
The family encourages the children that they can do whatever they put their minds to. In order for a child to grow, they should be shown love and togetherness. If a child is not shown these, they would grow up thinking that no one is there to care for them or they don’t show love and togetherness to the ones close to them. Growing up my mother always told me this, but seemed to not follow through, when I tried to do cheerleading one year, she did everything she could to make me miss practices to get me off the squad. My foster family pushed me into doing what I wished to do.
I went from a child that barely did anything to a child that was going to the mall, getting involved with 4-H then FFA, being involved in my schools Native American Club to traveling California giving speeches. My youngest brother was in a foster home with our other brother, but he started acting up and need more one on one attention. He has now been in three different group homes. The group home that he is in now has been a better help than all the others. My brother has emotional, behavioral and developmental problems. He is now in high school and has a 3. 8 grade point average.
Kids in foster care are three to six more times likely to have these problems, than kids’ not in foster care (Doyle). Most children with emotional, behavioral and developmental problems also have depression and difficultly with relationships. According to Doyle, it is unclear whether removing children with these problems is beneficial or harmful to the child development. If a child is taken away from the parents and the child has emotional, behavioral and/or developmental problems in the first place, it could make the child fall behind in his or her development.
If the child is placed in a home that can help these problems though, it could beneficial to the child development. When a child has these problems, he or she should be placed in a home that knows how to handles a child with these problems. If a child is placed in a home that has no idea what to do or how to help the child, it could be harmful to the child development. The same thing would go for children with special needs. If a person/family wants to adopt a child with special needs, there are classes that one can take to help.
When a family adopts or takes in a foster child, classes are available to them. My other brother stayed with friends of the families. The family ended up adopting him, shortly after his adoption he started getting into a lot of trouble. He ended up vandalizing a school because of this he went to juvenile hall and got put on probation. When I had asked him why he was acting up, he said he wasn’t really feeling like family. But they stayed by his side the number of times he went into juvenile hall. He then stole a car and ended up being placed in a group home in Utah.
He is now eighteen and stays with my family and me; he has also stopped getting into trouble. He has not finished school and is too far behind to go back to school. He has talked about getting his GED. 15 percent of children that are in foster care end up getting adopted (Doyle). I ended up staying with a friend’s family. I lived with them for five in half years. We had talked about adoption but because I was so close to graduating, I was able to get more for my college from grants. In the middle of my senior year, I moved out of the house, I felt as though I was an outcast of the family.
They did not like my boyfriend at the time; he is now my husband and the father of my daughter, so I moved in with him. I did not talk to them for a few years. Since then we have talked and I still think of them as family. I have graduated from school, then I had gone to a community college, had to quit because I had found out that I was pregnant, I am now enrolled in University of Phoenix, to get my degree in Accounting. I believe that my outcome was better than it could have been, there were times that I didn’t think that I could go to college because of my childhood.
Sometimes I think that it is my fault for my brothers’ outcomes. But then I think that if I didn’t have them take my brothers when I was taken, that they would have gotten the abuse that I was getting. My brother that has been in and out of trouble has learned a lot from his mistakes and talks to our baby brother about how he should not do what he did. He also encourages our younger brother that it always helps to open up to someone rather than bottling everything up. The foster care system is very important for children that need better homes.
Even though some outcomes can be bad, the child/children are better than what they could have been if the child/children had continued to get abused or neglected. Foster care helps children and families in need, it also helps children grow into a better person. If there was not a foster care system there would be more crimes committed and there would be more child deaths. There are families out there that cannot have children, foster care or adoption is a great thing for those families. Not only does the family get to have kids, but then the child/children can have better homes and futures.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2009/Updated April 9, 2010). Foster Care Statistics. Retrieved April 15,2010 from URL http://www. childwelfare. gov/pubs/factsheets/foster. cfm#perm ————————————————- Doyle, Joseph. (Dec. 2007). Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care. American Economic Review, volume 97. page 1583-1610. Retrieved April 21, 2010, from source EBSCOhost. ————————————————- Families, A. f. (2009, October 9). Trends in Foster Care and Adoption.
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