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The Foster Care System

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An inadequate foster care system leaves children exposed to abuse and leaves them incapable of leading a healthy adult life. Every day children become homeless for any number of reasons. Parents pass away, custody disputes become too chaotic, or the State believes that parents are unable to take care of their children and they are whisked away to a “safer place.” For many children that safe place is a foster home, but the question that remains is what happens to these children after they have been placed in foster homes? Studies show that children in foster homes may be subjected to even more abuse than originally thought. The overwhelmed foster care system has become known for losing children, leaving them in abusive foster care situations, and causing their victims to not have the necessary life skills to live as a healthy functioning adult. When children are taken from their parents, it is often an extremely traumatizing experience, even though they may be taken from a horrible situation. In emergency circumstances, Social Services will come in and take the children to an emergency 24 hour foster home where they will then determine what the child or children’s Care Plan Goal will be. A Care Plan Goal is what the system plans to do with children long term. The options include reunification with the parents (43%), adoption (20%), long term foster care (9%), living with other relatives (5%), emancipation (6%), or another plan (Harris 3). After a plan is determined a group of people is assigned to oversee the children’s case. These group members include foster parents, the biological parents, the court, the social worker, and children themselves. The children will be assigned to one of four types of foster homes including: Tradit... ... middle of paper ... ... rarely completely investigated. This leaves abused foster children trapped inside of their abusive foster homes. While some children are stuck in these insufficient homes, others are lost entirely. In 2002, Florida child welfare officials reported that they had not kept adequate records concerning social workers interactions with children and foster parents. Over 652 children were missing from the Florida foster care system ranging in ages (“Putting Families First”). The foster care system failed, yet again, to keep the children who they were responsible safe. Another issue with the system is its overall lack of setting up foster children to succeed as adults. “Adults with childhood histories of foster care will report higher rates of mental and physical health concerns, including those that affect the ability to work, than those without” (Zlotnick, Tarn, Soman ).
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