Abuse in Foster Homes
Children are to be put into foster care so that they can get away from home abuse, not so they can move closer towards it. Children are usually placed in foster care when their own parents struggle to overcome an addiction to alcohol, drugs, illness, financial hardship or other difficulties. However, the widespread of intensive abuse in foster homes occurs so frequently and these children have no way out. According to Foster Care Statistics, there are 427,910 children that are in child care in the United States. Children suffer from physical, mental, and emotional pain with being under foster care units. The greater part of these kids has been the casualties of rehashed mistreated and delayed disregard and have not encountered a supporting, stable condition during the early years of life. The negative effect is that these children are immune to commit criminal behavior or become suicidal. Depression and mental abuse can contribute to long term stations of posttraumatic stress disorder. Like the feeling of being alone and unloved. Children in foster care experience multiple forms of abuse, for example, having multiple placement, neglect, and physical abuse for all that, these children should not have to be put through a system that is not functioning the way it should.
The mental abuse of children may be the most damaging form of maltreatment. Most children are switched from one foster home to the next. Noting that not all foster homes are abusive, but some families create lifetime bonds. This causes one to have temperamental beliefs of trust. Trust is hard to gain, but easy to lose. A child is expecting to be placed somewhere they will be comfortable, loved, and acknowledged. Those children who were taken from their parents, have to struggle with keeping attachment with their biological parent and gaining the attachment to their foster parent. Not only could it be insulting, but it is also mental abuse. The mental feelings that occur are more of feelings that they are not loved or they have only themselves. According to Foster Care Statistics studies for 2015, their research shows that 45% of foster children are White, 24% is African-American, and 20% are Hispanic. In each foster home they are transferred to, the kids experience a tremendous amount of different forms of abuse in each home or if not yet the same. The size of the household can change as well; they can be transferred to a home with a few kids or to a huge home with tons of kids. In some cases, children are no longer allowed to be under custody of their biological parents for safety reasons. If the system or the foster parents feel the need to keep them away, they’ll move the children around from one house to another. It’s especially harder for kids who already grew an attachment to their parents
Neglect in foster homes have a high percentage rate of children who all experience some form of abuse. Neglect is the failure to care for properly. This can cause developmental issues for the child. According to an article on healthcare.uiowa, “ The more changes in caregivers young children in foster care experience the more likely they are to exhibit oppositional behavior, crying, and clinging (Gean, Gillmore, & Dowler, 1985). These behavioral and emotional difficulties can lead to further disruptions in care as children’s behavioral and emotional difficulties are one of the major reasons for disruption of a foster care placement.” More prominent quantities of youthful kids with complicated, genuine physical wellbeing, mental health, or formative issues are entering child care during the early years when brain development is generally dynamic. There are changes in the children that they develop after traumatizing abuse. Kids eating habits will change, socialism, moods, sleeping habits, and so many more little things that can affect almost everything. Also, being a foster child to a family that has biological kids can be dreadful as well. Sometimes the foster child will get treated less than what they are. Even the biological family members will even bully or make them feel as if they are not wanted. Name calling, taking away items, being mean, and even telling them that they mean nothing is a form of neglect. The state of being alone is neglect. This makes them not trust anybody or encounter some friends. All they are expecting is to be loved, nurtured, and treated the same. In reality, neglect can be any type of form that can cause one to feel left out or alone.
Physically abused children are one of the biggest issues facing America today. Physical abuse occurs commonly then all. Things to be considered physically abusive is starving them, beating them, make them sleep with no bed, chaining them to objects for what they consider “bad” behavior, manipulating them, and so much more. This teaches them that violence is accepted in society when things don’t go their way. Physical abuse can have created experienced criminals. Basically, an abuser teaches them that hurting another person in anyway or form is acceptable. In adolescent years it’s easier to teach because they are gullible to everything. Also, sexual abuse can also be a form of physical abuse. According to a lifting the evil.org, there was a case in Missouri where “a 1981 study found that 57 percent of the sample children were placed in foster care settings that put them “at the very least at a high risk of abuse or neglect.” Molesting, raping, or even telling them to perform an act can be penetrating to the mind and body. This lowers their self-esteem and confidence levels. If the abuse is so serious, it can eat the body. Meaning they can be killed accidently or purposely. In most times, it is considered purposeful. Even siblings will beat on one another. Considering what someone does; they were taught to do that. In society, people don’t realize that kids pick up on everything. Some children hide the fact that they are being abused, because they are scared that if they tell they’ll serve consequences. More so, that would be considered fear. Being physically abused causes fear and low self-esteem. Some of these foster parents are not equipped enough to take care of children. Even family members can be a child foster parent, not necessarily a person that they don’t know.
Children should not have to be put through a system that does not function as well as it should, especially when they experience multiple forms of abuse like having multiple placement, neglect, and physical abuse. Foster care is not always necessarily the best choice. Some foster parents can be as intimidating and dangerous as a child’s biological parents. The effects that these situations leave on the kids can be life threatening. Especially at young ages, because some are forced to be away from their families. Young children are supposed to be nurtured, supported, and living in stable conditions under foster care help. However, that is not always the case, some kids are bullied, abused, and traumatized. What they see and what they are taught can play a significant part in how they are when they are grown up. They could be helpless criminals in the making, or even they’ll think that the way to discipline children. The goal is to give them the treatment that they deserve to have a better future.
There are kids who are suffering deeply due to the abuse they experience within foster homes. Even after leaving foster homes, children may struggle with a lot of things in their life because of what they’ve gone through in foster homes. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, children suffer from psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences after being under these foster care units. Because of the abuse a child has faced while living in foster care, that abuse may play a huge role in a child’s future. Especially if they’re at a young age. Usually as they get older, they might start to form insecure attachments or may struggle with emotional development later in life also. Children are struggling and failing to be successful because they lack the support and connection that comes from a family.
Child abuse and neglect can have a multitude of long term effects on psychological health. There was evidence that shown how foster care decreases the risk for physical harm and substance-abusing parents. However, nothing ever shows the effects of children being abused while in the care of foster homes. Young children placed in foster care homes at young ages has a significantly elevated risk for mental health and psychological problems. According to childwelfare.gov, “Physical consequences, such as damage to a child’s growing brain, can have psychological implications, such as cognitive delays or emotional difficulties.” Alternations as such in the brain maturation have long term consequences for cognitive, language, and academic abilities. The emotional effects that comes from abuse a child experiences changes into lifelong psychological consequences for cognitive, language, and academic abilities.
Antisocial behavior and physical aggression are among the most consistently reported childhood outcomes of physical child abuse and neglect. The consequences of abusive range from mild to very violent behaviors. Young children usually exhibit oppositional behaviors such as crying or clinging which leads to further disruptions in care. The child’s behavioral issues causes the child to be replaced into a different foster unit, and this causes the child to become distraught and to have similar disruptions later in their life. According to childwelfare.gov, “more than half of youth reported for maltreatment are at risk for an emotional or behavioral problem.” Children who experience child abuse and neglect appears more likely to have difficulties during adolescence, abusive behavior, and juvenile misbehavior and adult criminality.
The consequences of neglectful behavior can be especially severe and powerful in early stages of child development affecting the neglected child’s expectations of adult availability, problem solving, social relationships, and the ability to cope with new or stressful situations. Consequences of child abuse in foster care includes the lack of development of stable attachments. According to childwelfare.gov, “The immediate emotional effects of abuse and neglect—isolation, fear, and an inability to trust—can translate into lifelong societal consequences, including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties.” Children who experience poor attachments in foster homes are at risk for diminished self esteem and usually view themselves more negatively than non maltreatment children.
Children struggle and fail to be successful because they lack the support and connection that comes from a family. Even with children being removed from the care of an abusive or substance-abusing parent. It is still difficult for a child to be removed from their primary caregiver. However, children still expects to be placed somewhere they will be comfortable, loved, and acknowledged. Instead, children are taken away from their biological parents to be placed into an even harmful environment where they are abused and left to deal with psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences even after leaving foster care. That is abuse.
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.
Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care. “Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care.” Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 Nov. 2000, pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/5/1145.
Cross, Theodore P. “Why Do Children Experience Multiple Placement Changes in Foster Care? Content Analysis on Reasons for Instability.” Taylor & Francis, 14 Feb. 2013, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15548732.2013.751300.
Troutman, Beth. “The Effects of Foster Care Placement on Young Children’s Mental Health: Risks and Opportunities.”
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2017). Foster care statistics 2015. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/foster.pdf.
McFadden, Emily Jean|Ryan Patricia. “Abuse in Family Foster Homes: Characteristics of the Vulnerable Child.” ERIC – Education Resources Information Center, 31 July 1986, eric.ed.gov/?id=ED277460.
“A Critical Look at Foster Care: How Widespread a Problem?” A Critical Look at Foster Care: How Widespread a Problem?, 1 Dec. 2005, http://www.liftingtheveil.org/foster04.htm.
Teo, Dawn. “The 10 Most Surprising Things About Foster Care.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.Works Cited
“Abuse in Foster Care: The Denial Runs Deep.” The Chronicle of Social Change, 5 Nov