Essay on Orphanages and Foster Care

Essay on Orphanages and Foster Care

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There is a great need to care for the neglected, abandoned, and orphaned children of the world. While most of the world uses orphanages to accommodate this need, the United States uses the foster care program. Both programs are beneficial, but the foster care system better tends to the needs of these orphaned children.
When orphanages were first established in the United States, they accomplished the task that they were set up to do. Orphanages began in the 1800’s during the industrial boom (Keiger). The cities became crowded beyond capacity as everyone moved their jobs to inner city factories. The high death rate from factory deaths and low sanitation left many homeless orphaned children living on the streets. Orphanages were originally designed to be a place to temporarily house these children while other arrangements were made. “The directors of these orphanages did not expect to raise a child to adulthood; their institutions were meant to be way stations, refuges where a child could receive care and supervision, learn some discipline, and then be returned home or placed in a better situation outside the walls.” (Keiger).
Unfortunately, the way that many institutions regulated these children’s short stays in the orphanages made for a poor environment. The orphanages were focused on regimenting, not raising, a child. “Children marched to meals, which they ate in silence. They wore uniforms and sometimes had their heads shaved. Corporal punishment was common, with inmates routinely beaten across the hands with leather straps. The diet tended to be poor.” (Keiger).
In addition to this, the environment of the orphanages was focused around the survival of the fittest. The older, tougher kids continuously attacked the smaller, w...


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...stics." Facts and Statistics. Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Dec. 2002. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.
"Foster Care History & Accomplishments." The Children's Aid Society. The Children's Aid Society, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.
Grindis, Boris. "Post-orphanage Behavior in Internationally Adopted Children." Post-orphanage Behavior in Internationally Adopted Children. Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment and Remediation, Apr. 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.
Keiger, Dale. "The Rise and Demise of the American Orphanage." Johns Hopkins Magazine. John Hopkins Magazine, Apr. 1996. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.

McIntyre, Anne. "Psychological Disorders Among Foster Children." Taylor and Francis. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 07 June 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Pappas, Stephanie. "Early Neglect Alters Kids' Brains." LiveScience.com. Livescience, 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

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