Do They Need To Be Foster Care Children?

A young child is sexually abused and removed from the home by the child welfare system. This is good. A baby is chronically malnourished and left alone for hours in a cold apartment. The child welfare system puts the baby into foster care. This is also good. A single parent is working hard at a part-time job but cannot afford school books, clothing and food for her child. The child is placed into foster care. Is this good?
Children in foster care have lost a lot, and it is usually for no fault of their own. There are many reasons why children end up in foster care and why they remain in foster care.
Foster care is related to the child welfare system. There is no doubt that some corruption exists in the system. Any system which involves spending large sums of money will attract corrupt people. Still, needy children must be provided remedies for the incredible situations in which they find themselves. They are, after all, still children and lack the skills and understanding to fend for themselves. Foster care children desperately need the oversight and assistance of adults in order to mature into good citizens.
In the USA alone, over a half million children are removed from their home environments and from the parents by child welfare courts. Some of the removals are for abuse or neglect by parents. It seems sensible to remove such children and put them into homes where abuse or neglect are not experienced. The children often do not understand the full picture of their situations and tend to resent the removal. Living with a good foster family can benefit their outlook and understanding of the problems which caused their removal from home.
Some of the children are taken from their homes and families because of poverty of the parents. In such cases, the child does not understand the rationale for being moved into foster care. These foster care children can easily see the system as being unjust. They tend to rebel against the strangers who are caring for their needs and for the entire child welfare system.
It is hard to know how many of the children in foster care could have remained with their parents and lived safe and relatively happy lives. Such forces as poverty in the home can be challenged. There are ways to diminish the poverty, ways to bring more funds into the lives of these families. It seems that poverty is not a good reason to remove the children. If the parents are unaware of programs to which to turn, some information and guidance can help them. If it can keep the families from being torn apart by the sending of the children to foster care, it is a good move. Foster care costs more money than some of the programs which bring funds into the homes of poor families. Children are happier if they can live with their parents. It seems that foster care children, who are there because their parents have too little income, should remain with their own families.
Of course, there are benefits to having needy children live in good foster homes. They see a family which functions well on a daily basis. They even get to become a part of such a family, even if only for a limited time. They can observe the give and take which is involved in healthy family life. They can learn to understand others’ points of view.
It seems that many parents are becoming victims in the child welfare system. Instead of looking for people to blame for poverty, for having trouble making both ends meet, they should seek to educate the salvageable parents. Rather than having so many foster care children on the court records, there could be efforts to educate families so they can avoid the foster care intrusion into their lives.
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