Definition: Foster care is defined as care for delinquents or neglected children usually in an institution or substitute home. Children in our foster care system receive long lasting effects of abuse and neglect but in some cases the foster care system has been proven to minimize the negative results of inappropriate use of child care. Mission: To educate society and families on the long lasting effects of foster care, both positive and negative, thus creating a more positive view of the foster care system and the families in these unfortunate predicaments. Goal: To promote awareness of empathy towards children with unfamiliar family structures.

Foster care is defined as care for delinquents or neglected children usually in an institute or substitute home. To fully understand the topic being debated this definition can be broken down further, starting with the term delinquent. Juvenile delinquency is a common term used to describe a child struggling with abandonment, abuse or neglect. For their safety this child may be removed from their home and placed in a new type of environment. This now brings us to the term institution. Our government defines a child care institution as a private or public care facility that is licensed by the state to meet the standards needed for a specific child’s care.

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Foster care has a variety of views. Some view it as having positive outcomes and negative outcomes. In order to make an educated decision on the results of foster care it is important to compare the pros and cons of this system. A pro of foster care is that a family and child will have a chance to acclimate themselves to one another and if the child does become available for adoption, then he or she may be adopted by the foster family.

As there are many pros to foster care unfortunately we must also observe the negative effects it has on children in our society. Research shows that young people in foster care are far more likely to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment and incarceration after they leave the foster care system. There are three main flaws in this system. The first is that is it overcrowded. There are so few families willing to provide care and yet so many neglected children that are in need of it. Secondly, too many children do not survive this system. According to data collected by The Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law and The San Diego Union-Tribune, at least 30 children died in foster care in our county between 2000 and 2007. Lastly, their health is not a priority. Studies from the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics raise many concerns about children entering foster care with chronic health, developmental, and psychiatric disorders. The high numbers reflect the neglect and abuse they experienced, in addition to the trauma of being separated from their parents.

After comparing the pros and cons of foster care it is important to realize that there are flaws in our system. These flaws allow room for improvement. The first step to fixing these flaws is to strengthen families of origin. Yes it is important to supply a child with better circumstances when needed but it would be extremely influential to fix this problem at its roots. More funding from the government should be put towards prevention instead of supporting the problems by creating an automatic solution. Another possible step to fix the flaws in our system is to support case workers. Another priority is the support, development, and nurturing of case workers who serve in the foster care system. These low paid and underappreciated employees are the caretakers for the future generations of our country. A third possible step to fix these flaws would be to educate the public. Very few people are aware of the specifics in our foster care system. Every day children suffer from neglect and the continued abuse that can occur in foster care. If the public were better educated perhaps there would be a higher concern for this issue with the intents to better our system.

In continuance, there are any flaws that remain in our system. There are many different steps that could be taken to better our system. The most important would be to hekp children deal with unresolved grief and loss. Yes our system does offer these children a new family that can fill the void of the one they have lost but unfortunately these children go through an individual type of grief, one that can only be understood by the children who have gone through this intense chapter of their life. Another crucial step towards bettering our foster care system is to guide children in building connections. When children feel anxiety about what’s going to happen to them and who’s going to be there for them—in essence, when they feel they don’t belong—it’s of the utmost importance to guide them in building connections. Unfortunately these children have lost the common skill to build solid and trustworthy relationships. It is important to help these children however possible.

There are many pros and cons to the foster care system. I do believe that it is a positive system in place that does help many children. This system however does still have room for improvement. I chose this topic because I have experienced this system first hand. I was fortunate enough to be adopted by my step dad but not all children are as lucky. My childhood life was not easy and it was not helpful that other children around me did not understand what I was going through. My goal in picking this topic is to educate society and families on the long lasting effects of foster care, both positive and negative, thus creating a more positive view of the foster care system and the families in these unfortunate predicaments.