The Foster Care System: Exposed and Resolved
Picture this: there is a young girl around 12 years old. She is a beautiful, smart girl with hopes and dreams. This girl’s dream is to get out of her house, where she is constantly abused by her drunken father and ignored by her mother whom is a drug addict. One-day the girl’s future seems to be a brighter as a social worker rescues her from the clutches of her biological parents. The girl is immediately taken in to a foster home, which could not seem more perfect. Upon arriving she is greeted by a middle-aged couple, who appear to be the nicest of people. All seems well, until one year later, the social workers comes back to do a routine check up on the girl when she notices that the girl has even more bruises on her body that when she got there and she appeared to be very fragile. The social workers begins to confront the foster parents but are smothered with lies; what would appear to be a great living environment for any child is really not what it seems. The social worker leaves and nothing is done to further look into the bruises of this girl.
It turns out that these foster parents were no improvement from the girl’s biological parents. Foster parents take in as many foster children as they can as a means to control them in order to obtain monthly checks for themselves that were meant the children. How does behavior like this go un-noticed, un-punished, and worse - how is it accepted? When these children are taken from there homes by the government they are supposed to be looked after and taken care of, saving these kids and seeing to it that they would not have to be put in those horrible situations again.
Most Americans do not trouble themselves with issues that do not directly concern them or their families; it is this narrow-minded blindness that has lead to so many problems and issues in our country. One issue that people just do not seem to care about is foster care and the children that are placed within the system. People are not looking into it because they do not see the problem or how it will affect them. The truth is, the problems with the U.S. foster care system do affect everyone because the children in the system are American and are the future adults of our country; what happens to them now will affect us as a nation in the long run.
“Approximately 800,000 [children] every year come into contact with the foster care system.”(ABCnews) That is a large number and one that should be taken seriously. About 20,000 of these kids are never adopted and grow up in foster homes until they reach the age of 18, a legal adult. (ABCnews) But has anyone ever bothered to ask what happens to these kids after their eighteenth birthday? The answer is a cold and scary fact. They are given a check worth a small amount of money, usually around six hundred dollars, and turned out into the streets to fend for themselves and start their own lives. How many eighteen year olds do you know are given a small amount of cash and a pat on the back for good luck on their birthday before being pushed into the real world? Not many, most likely.
There is a growing problem in the foster care system that currently stands in the United States. Systems that are supposed to be saving these children are, in many cases, putting them into more dangerous situations. All across America there are foster homes being exposed for being abusive and taking advantage of these kids. “In Louisiana, a study conducted in conjunction with a civil suit found that 21 percent of abuse or neglect cases involved foster homes.” (Lifting the Evil; 2007) In states like Kansas City, Missouri, Baltimore, Louisiana, Arizona, Maryland and Kentucky, there have been numerous cases of both physical abuse and sexual abuse within the foster homes. The truth is that there are not many precautions taken in picking adequate foster parents. The current situation with foster homes has many flaws that should be fixed for the...
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