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Social Welfare Services for Children and Youth

Social work 303


Chaquana Izzard
Ernest MCClerkin
USC College of Social Work
University of South Carolina
April 7, 2016

Effects of Children in Foster Care 2

Abstract
This paper will talk about children in foster care It will discuss the long
and short term effects of the children. It will also talk about policies
and the process of the children going into foster care . Along with the
services that are provided in foster care for children . Children are a
very vulnerable population and foster care can have either a good or a
bad outcome. It all depends on the family the child is placed with and
the child itself. The caseworker is also a factor and how involved and
informative they are with the family and the child . The age and reason
a child goes into foster care is also a factor. There are many various
factors that affect children in foster care and the adults that are in
involved with the child are the most important because they are the
voice of the children. Their dedication or lack of dedication can make a
world of difference

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Effects of Children in Foster Care


The foster care system is designed to take children out of bad
and sometimes dangerous situations and place them in loving and
caring homes. The placements in these new homes should be uplifting.
The children should be given better lives and the environments should
be safer than the ones they were taken from. Often times that is the
case but other times it is not and the child is placed in multiple homes .
That could be traumatizing or they are not placed in homes at all they
are sent to group homes. The process of removing a child from their
home is already a very devastating process. It does not make it easier
when they have to move from foster home to foster home .
Responsibilities of Social Worker to child
There are various things a social worker should do when they are
the case worker for a foster child and the new foster parents . An
unknown author stated the following:
The Social Worker shall:
Develop a relationship with the child through visits, telephone calls and
private conversations, as age appropriate. Explain the purpose of the
Service Plan and planned activities to the child, as appropriate for the
childs level of understanding. Help the child understand the reasons

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for and the realities of placement without violating the positive aspects
of the childs feelings about his/her parents Keep the child informed
about the his/her case planning, family situation and siblings. Ensure
the childs visitation with parents, siblings and significant persons
according to the Service Plan. Ensure that family photographs and
other mementos of the child's life are gathered and preserved . These
items shall reflect the various family and life experiences of the child
and should be maintained in a Life Book format. Ensure that
arrangements are made for the child to attend church and receive
religious instruction in his/her own faith. Allow the child the opportunity
to express his/her anxieties, fears and other feelings, including
conflicted loyalties. Ensure through observation and direct inquiry that
all the child's basic needs are met. Arrange for any special services the
child may require including health, mental health and educational. Aid
in preparing the child for any life transitions, adoption, reunification,
adulthood. Ensure that a full array of adolescent services are provided
to all youth over the age of sixteen (16). Document the child's progress
by maintaining the uniform case record and LINK computer record .
All of these duties are very necessary they could be the
difference between a positive and a negative experience in foster care .

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It can also be the difference between a great acceptance to the new


foster parents and a dislike for the parents. Children should be
informed during the entire process of what is going on since it is their
lives that are being disrupted.

Role of Foster Parent


Foster parents have to be loving and caring in order to be good
foster parents. They also have to be willing to want to take care of the
kids. They are now the providers for these kids and the nurturers . They
provide shelter, food, and all other basic necessities for these kids.
Foster parents are often required to give extra care and attention to
address foster children's needs (Chipungu & Bent-Goodley, 2013).
Psychological Effects
Being in foster care can cause some major issues in children .
They often times are in unstable environments being moved around
many times. The American Academy of Pediatrics found:
The emotional consequences of multiple placements or disruptions are
likely to be harmful at any age, and the premature return of a child to
the biologic parents often results in return to foster care or ongoing
emotional trauma to the child. Children with attachment disorders and

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an inability to trust and love often grow up to vent their rage and pain
on society.
Foster Care is molding children to become adults with attachment
issues. These children do not have the love and care they need
because they are being moved from placement to placement . They go
into foster care at such young ages when they are still developing and
they are not able to fully develop If possible these kids need a stable
placement so that they can receive the love and care they need . Social
workers can advocate for better incentives for foster parents so that
they can recruit more.
Educational Effects
According to the National Center Brief (2010):
Students in foster care score 1620 percentile points below their peers
in state standardized testing. Less than 60 percent of students in foster
care finish high school. Only 3 percent of children who have been in
foster care attend post-secondary education after high school
graduation. Forty-two percent of children do not begin school
immediately after entering foster care, often because of missing
records and gaps in school attendance .
This shows that although foster care is supposed to provide
better opportunities for children that is not always the case in school

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settings. Foster care can delay a child's educational needs. When a


child enters foster care they can sometimes miss multiple days and or
months of school which will put them behind their peers. Sometimes
because they are moved from home to home they fall through the
cracks because they are also moving from school to school. Social
workers in the foster care program need to come up with a way to
ensure that although the children are moving from home to home they
are still attending school. There also needs to be a program
implemented to try to keep children in the same schools they are
already attending so that they do not have such great levels of change
in all aspects of their lives.
Effects of Reunification
According to Bellamy (2008):
Results based on a study conducted by Taussig et al. (2001), arguably
the most recent and rigorous study of reunification to date, suggested
that children who return home actually experience a myriad of
problems as compared to children who remain in foster care , even
when controlling for age and gender. After prospectively following a
sample of 149 San Diego children for 6 years , children who were
reunified after an average of 2 years in foster care had statistically
significantly more problems on 9 of the 14 outcome indicators used in

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the study. Problems included more legal involvement, substance


abuse, self destructive behaviors, as well as CBCL-measured
internalizing and externalizing behavior problems.
Although going home to their parents may seem like the best
thing for foster children that is not always the case. The children in
foster care as stated previously may be sent to multiple home
placements. This again causes issues down the line for these children .
Although they are home with their parents they still have to live with
the memories and other long term effects that foster care has caused
them. They also have to deal with the issues of being with a parent
they have been away from for an extended period . It is necessary to
provide these children with therapy so that they can express their
emotions. Therapy should be required during and after foster care
placement. This way we are nurturing the psychological part of the
child.
Help After Aging Out of Foster Care
When a child ages out of foster care because they often times do
not have family members they need all of the help they can get . They
need to know how to survive in the real world. There have been
policies made just for this time in a foster child's life.

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According to Independent Living:


The Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 made
it a requirement that, beginning at age 17, a youth in foster care must
begin to develop and implement a transition plan . The South Carolina
Department of Social Services uses the Providing Assistance to
Transitioning Youth (P.A.T.T.Y.) form 30206 for this purpose. This plan
must be formalized at age 17. This form is used again at the formal
transition planning meeting that must take place 90 days prior to a
youth turning 18 and/or leaving care. The Life Skills Assessment is
used to identify areas in which services and skills are needed in order
to make a successful Engaging Youth in transition to independence .
Independent living helps these kids get a head start on life. They
provide a numerous amount of services and they ensure that they can
make it on their own. Services provided by Independent living include:
Daily living skills, Adult Education, Educational Support Services,
Graduate Awards, Pre-College Expenses, Transportation, Employment
Services, and Housing and Transition. Without these services a lot of
these youth would be on the side of the road and homeless . They are
given a better opportunity to succeed in life.
Foster care was meant to be a positive solution for children that
were taken away from their parents . Although not all foster homes live

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up to the expectancy the ones that do are doing a great job . They are
providing children with the love and care that they need . It is the job of
the social worker to ensure that we find more great foster homes . We
also need to make sure that we are always advocating for the children .
When they are in foster care we are their voices.

References
American Academy of Pediatrics (2000, November 01) Developmental
Issues for Young Children in Foster Care Retrieved April 05 , 2016, from
http://pediatricsaappublicationsorg/content/106/5/1145

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Bellamy, J L (2008, February) Behavioral Problems Following


Reunification of Children in Long Term Foster Care Retrieved April 07 ,
2016, from http://wwwncbinlmnihgov/pmc/articles/PMC2344153/

Chipungu, S, & Bent-Goodley, T (2013) Meeting the Challenges of


Contemporary Foster Care Retrieved April 05, 2016, from
https://wwwprincetonedu/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/i
ndexxml?journalid=40

Foster Care Bill of Rights (2015, October 21) Retrieved April 05, 2016,
from http://wwwncslorg/research/human-services/foster-care-bill-ofrightsaspx#Parents

Foster Care-Social Worker Responsibilities (nd) Retrieved April 05 ,


2016, from http://wwwdirctgov/dcf/Policy/Trmt36/36-55-1-2htm

LAWRENCE, C, CARLSON, E, & EGELAND, B (2006) The Impact of Foster


Care on Development Retrieved April 05, 2016, from The impact of
foster care on development

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The South Carolina Chafee Independent Living Program (2016)


Pathways to Success: Independent Livivng [Brochure] Author Retrieved
April 05, 2016, from
https://dssscgov/content/customers/protection/fcs/ilgpdf

N (2010, March) The Role of Schools in Supporting Children in Foster


Care Retrieved April 05, 2016, from
http://wwwpromotepreventorg/sites/wwwpromotepreventorg/files/resou
rces/The Role of Schoolsdocxpdf