The History and Progression of the Foster Care System Essay

The History and Progression of the Foster Care System Essay

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This paper will contain research done about foster care, including a brief history and progressing along to the system today. This research interested me because it is a professional career option after graduation. I found both positives and negatives about the foster care system that children and foster parents go through on a daily basis. As the paper progresses I will be explaining these positives and negatives in more detail. Throughout the paper I will be referencing different scholarly sources that explain foster care in different ways. Overall, this paper will show different aspects that the general public may never know about foster care.
A foster parent, as defined by the Health reference series second edition, is an individual who is licensed to provide a home for an orphaned, abused, neglected, delinquent or disabled child (Matthews, 2004). A permanent placement is one that is intended, but not guaranteed, to last forever (Barth & Berry 1988). Foster care is not for delinquents but somewhere for children go when their parents can no longer care for them. A form of foster care has always been around in early Christian churches where “worthy widows” would board children in need and were paid by church collections. Foster care started in 1562 during the time of the English poor laws, which stated the poor children were allowed to be placed in legal services until they reached of aged (nfpaonline.org). In the 1970’s, foster care increased in popularity but foster parents were seen as unfit to adopt children permanently (Barth and Berry, 1988). In 1980 the Adoption Assistance of Child Welfare Act (public law 96-272) made it clear that the most desirable permanent placement for children is with their own family. The law...


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...t with a child in the foster care system. This paper gave me the opportunity to learn the positives and the negatives as well as more details about the little parts of the foster care system that I didn’t know existed. Even though my focus is to help the child and think about their best interest, this paper showed me that the parents, both biological and foster, are another important factor that helps the children. It made me realize that I will need to meet the parents and work with them to make a plan that fits their life. I will need to figure out what issues they feel are important to fix and how to get to those solutions. Foster care is a complex system that will challenge me daily if I enter the into this specific field but even if I work with children in a different environment I need to be aware that children come from all different types of backgrounds.

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