Improvement of Foster Care: Stability in the Lives of At-Risk Children Essay

Improvement of Foster Care: Stability in the Lives of At-Risk Children Essay

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The song “Independence Day”, by Martina McBride, gives the account of an 8-year-old girl’s life, ravaged by her father’s alcoholism. The song ends when she is sent to “the county home,” leaving the listener to wonder, “What next?” A life in foster care is next for that little girl and many others like her. Over 530 thousand children were in foster care in 2009 (“Sexual Abuse: An Epidemic in Foster Care Settings?”). For these foster children, their stay in foster care will affect their future for the rest of their lives. Research proves that our country’s poor foster care system results in negative effects ranging from poverty and joblessness to psychological and physical problems. Programs centered on family preservation, stability, and preparation for the future will help these children later in life.
There are many negative aspects of foster care that result in problems later in life. Abuse is one of these negative aspects. Marcia Lowry, the executive director of the pro-foster care organization “Children’s Rights”, admitted, “I have almost never seen a child, boy or girl, who has been in foster care for any length of time who has not been sexually abused in some way” (“Foster Care vs. Family Preservation: The Track Record on Safety and Well-being”). A guardian abused many of these children she speaks of. Foster care has a very strenuous application process for foster parenthood. It involves applications, background checks, interviews, and recommendation letters, yet there are still many unfit foster parents. One third of foster children revealed to social workers and other authorities that an adult had abused them in various ways while in the system (“Foster Care vs. Family Preservation”); however, abuse by an adult is less li...

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Holmes, K.E. “Improving Family Foster Care: Findings from the Northwest Foster
Care Alumni Study.” The Foster Care Alumni Studies. Casey Family Programs.
April 2005. Web. 13 March 2011.

“Improving Outcomes for Older Youth in Foster Care.” Casey Family Programs.
2008. Web. 14 March 2011.

Koch, Wendy. “Study: Troubled Homes Better than Foster Care.” USA TODAY.
Gannet Co. Inc. 03 July 2007. Web. 09 March 2011.

Orlow, Orlow & Orlow. “Sexual Abuse: An Epidemic in Foster Care Settings?” Worldwide Legal Directories. 17 July 2009. Web. 10 March 2011.

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