Fixing Foster Care System

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As structure changes in the family, children have to pay the price of it. Children in the home may lose the comfort of a balanced household, or even a school to call theirs when the parents decide they are no longer in the picture. This is an issue that is not looked at often, and ignored quite a bit from society and the government. Without a foster care system, children would be left with nothing, not even hope that a family would adopt them or the possibility to be reunited with their family of origin. These children would be abandoned and forgotten by most. In the foster care system, children tend to stay in the system for almost three year before they are reunited with their families or adopted (ABC, 2006). However, the foster care system in America is lacking for all American foster children. Changes must be made now before problems continue in the foster care system. Improvements are crucial in bettering foster care systems, improvements such as strengthening the family of origin, and how to properly screen foster parents.

One of the most important ways in fixing the foster care system is to first strengthen the family of origin. A good start would begin with better funding. According to Sarah B. Greenblatt “The way that the federal government has funded services has made it more possible for states to get funding for placement services than for family-strengthening services” (Hasenecz, 2009). If we really want to help, we need to develop and assist families who want their children back. Some parents give their children up for adoption because they cannot provide enough food, a home and education. Other reasons that children have to be given up for adoption are not always an option for parents. The parents may have been deemed ‘unfit’ to take care of their child by the court due to decisions the parents made while the child was under their supervision. Sarah B. Greenblatt also states that “the

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As structure changes in the family, children have to pay the price of it. Children in the home may lose the comfort of a balanced household, or even a school to call theirs when the parents decide they are no longer in the picture. This is an issue that is not looked at often, and ignored quite a bit from society and the government. Without a foster care system, children would be left with nothing, not even hope that a family would adopt them or the possibility to be reunited with their family of origin. These children would be abandoned and forgotten by most. In the foster care system, children tend to stay in the system for almost three year before they are reunited with their families or adopted (ABC, 2006). However, the foster care system in America is lacking for all American foster children. Changes must be made now before problems continue in the foster care system. Improvements are crucial in bettering foster care systems, improvements such as strengthening the family of origin, and how to properly screen foster parents.

One of the most important ways in fixing the foster care system is to first strengthen the family of origin. A good start would begin with better funding. According to Sarah B. Greenblatt “The way that the federal government has funded services has made it more possible for states to get funding for placement services than for family-strengthening services” (Hasenecz, 2009). If we really want to help, we need to develop and assist families who want their children back. Some parents give their children up for adoption because they cannot provide enough food, a home and education. Other reasons that children have to be given up for adoption are not always an option for parents. The parents may have been deemed ‘unfit’ to take care of their child by the court due to decisions the parents made while the child was under their supervision. Sarah B. Greenblatt also states that “the law requires that every reasonable effort be made to preserve and strengthen a family while solving family problems that put a child at risk” (Hasenecz, 2009). Any social worker in a foster care system who discusses family preservation and reunification has to stress that reuniting a child to an abusive family situation is never, and will never be an option. States are beginning to work with families including family engagement, connecting families to evidence-based services, frequent visits with their child and parent education (Child, 2016). Placing foster children back into their family of origin can help to ease the trauma of removal, including having a sense of belonging, the opportunity to recognize their family heritage, and most importantly having that feeling of being a family again.

The second most important way to fix the foster care system is to properly screen foster parents. Currently, too many adoptive and foster homes fail, causing children to be placed back into foster care. This is a cycle that, “once started, can stretch to six, eight, ten, or even twenty placements, each taking a ruinous emotional toll on the child” (NASW, 2015). A reason why children are going in and out of homes is because of ill-prepared screeners. According to Hasenecz, very few screeners in the foster care system have taken college-level courses on the subject, or have had adequate in-service training by experts in the field. This should not come as a surprise to most since there are only a handful of social work based schools in the United States that offer courses on adoptive and foster parent screening (NASW, 2015). Besides schooling, screeners are also failing to approach foster or adoptive applicants as a “mystery to be solved” (NASW, 2015). As a screener, the first goal is to evaluate the potential applicant’s possibility for abuse towards a child. You then want evaluate the applicant’s emotional stability, “the applicant’s relationship with his or her spouse and family members, and the applicant’s relationship with society as a whole” (NASW, 2015). Preforming these tests require a lot of thought. However, from time to time, issues arise that cause this work to become more difficult. “Because there is no regulation of foster or adoption homes at the national level, there are no uniform statures for home studies and the requirements vary widely from agency to agency, even within the same state” (NASW, 2015). This means that screeners who do studies for agencies that allow the applicant to look at their study have to second-guess themselves because of the information that was provided on the study that could get them sued. If a screener is second-guessing themselves, they need to talk to peers from their agency. This could potentially save them from being sued, and can cause an overall improvement in the screening process of foster parents.

So many factors that need fixing have a lasting impact on a child in foster care, but the two most important factors to fix are strengthening the family of origin, and how to properly screen foster parents. Just by giving children the chance to reunite with their family of origin has so many good benefits on the child, and well as the parents. Also, the more skilled the screeners are in the screening process, the fewer failures such as multiple placements in the adoptive and foster homes that children have to face.

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Fixing Foster Care System. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/fixing-foster-care-system/
“Fixing Foster Care System.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/fixing-foster-care-system/
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Fixing Foster Care System [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/fixing-foster-care-system/
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