Foster care is a temporary home for children who cannot live with their family’s. It sometimes does good and helps kids find a good and healthy home to live in with a supportive family. It also has many flaws. Foster care needs to change because kids age out of foster care with no support, children’s needs go unheard, and there are many abusive and neglected foster homes.
One of the worst things about foster care is that the children’s needs go unheard. Eighty percent of foster kids end up having mental health issues because of the situation they are in. Most of the time they don’t get the help they need when they have these issues. They don’t have a trusted adult they can talk to and trust to get advice from. We all have someone like our parents to go to if we need help with something but these kids don’t have that. These kids deserve at least help and guidance through these problems. Kids in foster care are highly mistreated and they can’t do anything about it. One half of the country does not meet the standard for keeping kids safe during foster care and do not take care of the kids properly.
Another issue with the foster care system is that kids age out of foster care with no support. About 15,000 kids have been waiting five years to be adopted. Once they leave the system studies show that most kids don’t graduate high school, are unemployed, and they end up being dependent on the public. Around 20% of children who age out of foster care become homeless. Kids aging out of foster care happens too often and they deserve a chance at a good childhood. On the cite adoption.org it states “Over 23,000 children age out of the foster care system each year in the United States.” In 2015 twenty four million young adults between the ages of 18-34 lived in their parents house, foster kids don’t have any parents to go live with if they don’t have the finances to get an apartment or a house. That is another reason why these kids need support if they never find a home. When these kids enter foster care they are promised that they will get taken care of but we are clearly not living up to our promises.
The last issue it’s foster care is the abusive and neglected foster homes. 28% of kids are abused in the foster care system and most of them can’t speak up about it. ABC News stated “Each week, nearly 60,000 children in the United States are reported as abused or neglected.” It also stated “About 520,000 of those children end up in foster care each year.” Kids now suffer from behavioral disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, or other mental or physical issues as a result of the abuse they get when they are at home. Children who are being victimized by abuse who live in unstable foster homes do poorly in school, develop a distrust towards authority, and they are more likely to be involved in drugs and alcohol. Some of the time the homes the kids are getting put in are bad or even worse than the homes they were taken out of. We are trying to get these kids out of terrible situations but we are just putting them back into one. The staff that help with foster care overlook kids who are getting abused because they have so many kids they have to pay attention to. They get handed loads of paperwork for these kids but the paperwork shouldnt be what they are paying attention to it should be the actual kid.
The Catholic Social Teaching Theme that relates to my social justice issue is that “God wants us to help make sure everyone is safe and healthy and can have a good life.” This Catholic Social Teaching means that he wants us to watch out for everyone and to make sure they are doing good. He doesn’t want us to suffer and have a bad life, instead he wants us to succeed and have the best life possible. The SLE my social justice issue relates to is “respecting diversity and standing up for what is just” because you have to respect what foster kids need and stand up for them when they can’t stand up for themselves. My social justice issue connects to the Catholic Social Teaching Theme because God wants us to make sure foster kids are getting a good life and not getting passed around like objects. It also connects because he wants us to check on them and make sure they are getting put in a safe environment and and having a good and healthy life.
The catholic church has spoken out about foster care many times. The pope has spoken about it and talked about how as Catholics we should let kids into our home with an open heart. These kids are children of God and still need to be taken care of. Some things society is doing is trying to strengthen the bonds between the birth parents if it is possible. People are also trying to give foster kids people who they can trust and get advice from. I have been impacted by this social issue because it really makes me think about my family and how much they give up to help me through life and support me. Most of these kids have no one to go to if they need something. I have learned that not everyone’s life is perfect and that some kids don’t have an amazing childhood with supportive and healthy lifes. I can help impact others lives by spreading awareness so that people know these kids are not getting treated how they say they are.
Foster care needs to change because it is doing more bad than good. Kids are now getting passed around to different houses and not getting properly cared for. We can help spread awareness by talking about this issue and letting people know how badly these innocent kids are getting treated so that they might open up their homes and give more kids the life they deserve. If you have the space or the heart to get these kids out of a terrible situation please consider helping them.