LAWS ON FOSTER CARE IN AMERICA 11
Lawson Foster Care in America
Fostercare is full-time substitute care for the young children beyond theconfines of their homes by the people besides the adoptive guardiansor biological guardians. Children who are removed from their adoptiveor the biological parents are placed in foster care in differentsettings. For example, they may be placed in the care of theirrelatives besides the family members involved in the abuse (kinplacement) or the neglect, therapeutic or foster care treatment,group of home or in an institution. Children may come under fostercare treatment under different reasons some may be neglected,suffered sexual abuse and thus essential to important to place themin a secure environment. A percentage of children are under thefoster care, as a result since their parents cannot control them andfinally harm to others. Another percentage may be neglected orguardians or they may have parents or guardians who are unable totake good care of them because of incarceration, substance abuse orhave mental health problems. These children are placed in custodialcare while the parents receive counseling, fulfill their sentence orreceive treatment.
Lawson Foster Care in America
Inthe recent studies, 114,000 children in America foster care systemwere waiting to be adopted. The children came to foster care systemas a result of neglect. As a result, the public children welfareagencies have stipulated that the most viable means are to adoptthem. Nevertheless, 51,000 children were adopted from the foster care(Department of Health in U.S. services). This paper aims to look atthe foster laws in America and provide recommendations for the issuesselected(Kay, 2008)
Whothe law impacts
Inall the cases involving foster care, the child’s adoptive or thebiological parents or legal guardians, either permanent or temporarybasis give up the legal custody of the child. The guardians usuallygive only the custody but not the guardianship. A child can be infoster care placement but not without the consent of the guardian orthe parent. Foster care is not necessarily presented to define careinvested by strangers. If it happens by chances that the state`sagencies decide that a child must be removed, the child in turn maybe placed with the relatives or a family friend. In a similarrespect, children may be placed in a group home that has many fosterchildren living together under the care of staffs or caregivers.Treatment can be invested in a group home with a particular treatmentand structural focus. Foster homes are the well known option in theUnited States of America. The child on a temporal basis becomes partof another family either with family’s adoptive or biologicalchildren, other foster children or alone. Any state county agenciesoversee the decision concerning foster care although, in a similarrespect, they may work with private institutions and well wishers(Yong,2007).
Thefoster parents must be licensed by companies handling specificregions’ foster care. Foster home must pass an inspection forsafety and health and in most cases the parents must attend trainingsessions coupled with issues of dealing with the problem. In fostercare, the foster family takes the responsibilities of feeding,educating and doing everything concerning the child. The fosterparent might also meet the Childs therapist and child`s caseworker,as well. The foster parent main purpose is to assist the foster childto develop normally in a safe family environment. Foster parentsreceive money that, in turning, theyare taken to foster children. The foster responsibilities of the parents are well defined on thelegal contract. Foster placement may be in a single day or for weekssome even continue for many years. If the parents give up the rightsof guardianship permanently, or rights to the child are severed bycourt, foster family may at that point adopt the child or the childmay be placed for adoption by strangers. The parenting of foster careis usually an in-between stage, while placement on a permanent basisfor child is settled (Yong,2007)..
Historyof strategies to address foster care by legal policies
Federalmoney usually supports foster care groups while the federal lawgoverns the foster policy. The “Adoption Assistance and ChildWelfare Reform Act of 1980" put emphasis on two main aims oneis child family preservation at all means. Children are placed infoster care after all the other options have failed and the socialagencies work in unison with the family to solve the setbacks in away that the child can return home. Another goal of "ChildWelfare Reform Act" is in support of permanency planning Itstipulates that a child ought to be removed from home, the agencyhandling the case then quickly decides whether the child we beaccepted or returned. If it happens that a parent fails to take careof the child, parental rights in that case may be terminated in a waythat the child is adopted (James,2004).
Thepolicy is resonated in the law to prevent children from staying inunstable and certain family situations. The goal inherent in fostercaregivers is caring the child within the confines of the child`swelfare system. Nevertheless, the child is also placed in availableand appropriate services at the parent`s disposal in order to createa safe environment for a reunion with their children. In the welfaresystem, children are overseen by various companies. Caseworker fromstate social services makes child`s placement reports to the court.Other organizations involved in the child welfare are the privateservice providers, substance and abuse treatment centers, welfareagencies, Medicaid, and mental health counselors (James,2004).
Approximately300,000 children by 1980 in America spent time in foster careplacement. 21 years later, they were about 800,000 children were infoster care treatment with about 540,000 of them in the system at aparticular time. Most of the children were victims of abuse. Theemergence of widespread substance abuse (methamphetamines and crack),homelessness, increased incarceration rates, unemployment, HIV/AIDSand street violence have impacted the communities that are poor.Children from families that are coupled with multiple problems camein large numbers to the child welfare system. Young generation withmental impairment, physical handicap, complex medications and mentalillness has become been on the rise among the foster carepopulations. The foster care is still young. About 25% of all thechildren coming to foster care are infants. Another 60% of thechildren are under four year’s age gap (Kay,2008).
Teensare about 33% of foster care`s community. A minority of the childrencomprise the better part of foster care community with the largestgroup being American Indian and African American children. Poorchildren have higher chances of being in the foster care than thosechildren from the middle-income earning families since their familieshave fewer resources. Loss of job or illness may serve as adevastating ground to the poor people with little savings and fewrelatives who can have the ability to help them. The children, as aresult, tend to stay longer in foster care since infancy. In the samevein, children of the drug abusers and the alcoholics have higherchances for abuse or neglect and from statistics they constitute 75%of the entire foster care placement (Henderson& Mcwey, 2006).
Morethan 50% of the children under the foster care are returned to theirformer homes. Nevertheless, the rates of reunion have declined since1990 and the early 21stcentury. The average length of a child is two years and 9 months.Nevertheless, some may spend a shorter time in foster homes whereothers for the better part of their childhood years and then at 18when they become legal adults. Instead of reunion, a large number ofchildren are adopted from foster care. Much foster care doubled ortripled cases of adoption from 1997. The steady increase in“ASFA-Adoption and Safe Families Act) OF 1997 recommendstermination of parental rights at the same time encouraging adoptionif a child has been under the care for 15 out of past 22 months. Thecourt in essence can waive this move if the parent makes substantiveprogress that believes legal guardianship, but not adoption being thechild`s best interest (Elrod,Preston, & Ryder, 2011).
Meanwhile,50% of the children without relatives caregivers about 25% live withthe relatives and their numbers are growing. ASFA recognized kinshipcaregivers as the sole legitimate placement. It was customary formany poor families o informally take a child when the legal guardiansor the parents of the child were in treatment, incarcerated, or died.However, ASFA gave the relatives permission to take care of the childlegally and in a similar respect, allowed financial aid. In addition,they also opened doors to many companies and services that could notbe afforded by the families.
At the beginning of 19thcentury people were cared for without distinction. Agencies caringfor children acted as a representative of the wider community. In1868, Massachusetts State started paying for children to board inprivate homes. Pennsylvania in 1885 became the first person in U.S.to pass a law. About 50 percent of the foster children spend morethan two years under care placement are moved three times. However,the placements may be sometimes inappropriate for the particularcircumstances of the child. It is often due to void in licensed,qualified foster caregivers though sometimes it may occur due tooverload or inexperience of caseworkers trying to get off the load.Foster can sometimes be difficult to foster parents, as well. A childthat has been abused or neglected suffers psychological trauma. As aresult, the child may be withdrawn, aggressive, immature or adifficult person to handle in later years. Children with severemental and medical problems can tax the caregivers. Sometimes, fosterplacement fails since the surrogate guardian parents cannot handlethe demands of a foster child (Henderson &Mcwey, 2006).
Nevertheless,the number of caregivers has been on the decline from 1980s with anincrease in demand for placements. The state has responded throughlicensing responsible adults not married inclusive of divorced menand women and reaching the elders and the relatives of the children.In some instances, single mother make a large proportion of fosterparents. About 405,000 children in 2005 were placed in courtappointed care. Caseworker placed about 140, 000 in the hands of therelatives without the intervention of the court. Many of thecaregivers are elderly aunts and grandparents and uncles. Kinshipoffers family stability and support, and more frequent contact withlegal guardians or the parents(Mose, 2004).
However,the caregivers are met with many challenges. Most informal and formalkinship caregivers meet economic hardship as a result of taking oneor more children. About 66% of these placements are families that arefinancially strapped without essentials such as cars, toys or crib.They may also fail to have adequate medical insurance covernevertheless, Medicaid often fosters child in formal kinshipsettings. In today`s world, Grandparents may not have the ability toraise the children as a result of the freedom that has been showeredto the young generation. Many social agencies offers homework help,counseling, and home tutoring for the caregiver and the child sincethe grandparents may not have the ability to help the foster childrenwith homework(Claudia, 2003)
Onesetback inherent in child welfare system is the teens that age out tolive independently. Teenagers mark time within the confines of thesystem without a little preparation to adulthood. Less than 25% ofthe social service provides employment to teens. About 17% providecareer assessment and employment while 16% provide job training,while another 25% offers vocational training. Many children atdifferent often never advance to college, fail to get a job and ifthey get one, it is not a good one. As a result, they become prey ofbad street peer influence. In addition, if they get children, theoffspring falls back to the child welfare system. Adequate trainingcounseling, training and viable preparations can break this cycle. Inaddition, in 2004, children in foster systems face emotional,financial, and developmental challenges. A study conducted by “ChildWelfare League of America” showed that children under thehealthcare system met developmentally and health problems as comparedto children with a similar economic symmetry but lived with theirlegal guardians or the parents. Foster children are prone to neglect,family dysfunction, abuse, emotional problems and poverty. It may bedirect reason results for the initial placement. However, theseconditions persist throughout the foster care (Robertson,2006).
Thebasic standards recognize that all foster homes should have corestandards such as running water, toilet flushes and smoke detectorsso that transferring of the foster children will be limited. Thestandards are would be within the confines foster care homes. In somestates, treating residential foster should be made separately(Russell & Summers, 2013).
The state department should recognize homes as a private residence and establish and regulations to certified family homes and foster family homes as a separate regulation package for all health facilities.
Toreduce African-American proportions in foster care, HHS secretaryshould assist the state in comprehending the disproportionalitynature and extent in the child welfare system.
They should encourage the state to track regularly of children inherent in foster care system and come up with strategies that help in preventing the entry of children in foster care and speed the exit to their permanent homes. HHs in a similar regard should increase state to make use of HHHs resource centers nationally for technical assistance.
Making and completion available information publicly on the disproportionality that the agency is under competent culturally practice of knowledge for easier access to strategies and tools in addressing the issue.
Thebest environment for the children`s growth both emotionally andsocially, the developmental growth of children is void in today`sworld. Units of the family have been separated as a result ofbehavioral and family problems that often contribute to delays. Toimprove continuity in emotional, developmental and social growth whohas been victims of disruption, they are removed from homes andplaced in health care. In America, foster care system affectschildren in an individual unique way(Anderson & Smith., 2012).The effects of the care for the children by those who are not thecustodians, though subjective, have basic parameters that must beexamined and addressed. Foster Care placement comprehension isessential to look at the merits and the demerits.
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