Does foster care decrease the risk of physical harm for children?
The foster care system is a system in which a child (under the age of 18) whose biological parents have abandoned them, or they simply cannot take care of them due to reasons like a financial burden. The child is then placed into private homes, wards, or group homes and when placed in homes with a family who are their “foster parents” that family then sometimes adopts them. Adoption is a complex process and so much goes into trying to get guardianship of a child. While in foster homes, their safety is supposed to be number one, and they’re always in the safest positions. Some children sadly get abused by their foster parents, which then makes these homes unsafe.
In my essay I have come across articles that try to rebut my opinion on the harm of children in foster homes, saying that foster care decreases the risk of physical harm. In an article written by Richard Wexler, on chronicles of change.org, he talks about a story where 2 children were starved by their foster parents and once they notified their caseworkers, it was overlooked even though they physically showed what was happening. Case workers have a huge load of work; therefore, they aren’t able to take on every case which then makes these homes unsafe since nothing is ever done. In terms of the foster care system, it was put in place to ensure the safety of children and to keep them comfortable, but in simpler terms to ensure the wellbeing of children.
In my opinion I think that the case worker is the first part of ensuring safety for a child in foster care. According to the Huffington Post, there is little you can do about a bad social worker. If you come across a social worker who you feel isn’t looking out for the best interest of the child, there isn’t really anything you can do to change that no matter the situation, which truly fails to ensure the wellbeing of the child since they are the ones mostly affected. In that same article, a foster parent spoke about a caseworker getting so angry at a child that they demanded the foster parents to remove the doors from the girl’s bedroom and bathroom. This doesn’t seem like a way to keep a child happy, or comfortable. In fact, this is the total opposite. The Caseworker also told the family that she would not leave the house until her request was put into action, which is another example of how the foster care system doesn’t hold up to the definition of the word well-being. I feel as though that this a huge problem within the system because the Caseworker who is an adult portraying this act of spitefulness towards a child whose life is already unstable isn’t fair at all and it goes to show how much the children of the state are cared for. Which there is none.
I think that abuse in foster homes can be physical, mental, or emotional. Anything someone does affects a child and their well-being. There is no way that anyone could possible say that foster homes decrease the risk of physical harm because we have seen it from time to time with so many cases across America. To fix this problem, we need to one: hire many more case workers so that one case worker doesn’t have an entire caseload of children to look after, and two: begin to believe these children when they say that something has happened to them, they’ve been through enough.