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Protecting The Rights in The Foster Care System

  • Subject: Life
  • Category: Family
  • Essay Topic: Foster Care
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 3393
  • Published: 29 April 2022
  • Downloads: 23
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Abstract

Policies and laws are created to protect the rights of tykes in the foster care system. The Foster Child’s Bill of Rights tries to prevent children from being subjected to maltreatment and it describes the rights that each child has that cannot be taken away. Social workers can impact the lives of foster care youth by teaching them how to become self-sufficient adults through interventions and decision-making processes. Since millions of families are disrupted by poverty, social workers can help them find financial resources and advocate for more policies and services to be created that will benefit struggling families. Premier Therapeutic Foster Care wants to reduce mental health disorders among youth by providing emotional and behavioral treatments for them.

It is a harsh reality that children in foster care live a different life from those living with their parents. Unfortunately, things do not change even when there is the presence of sufficient attention. There will always be that underlying factor resulting from the absentee biological parents. Although the children who grow up in foster care often grow into responsible members of society, the fact that they grow up without parents negatively impacts them. At the core of these effects are mental health complications that children suffer from. As a result of psychological challenges, there is a need for those responsible for child care in foster systems to introduce measures that promise the child continuous growth and development.

The social problem regards mental ailments that plague children in foster care. According to Ferarra et al., foster care refers to a social system that provides homes for children who are orphaned, neglected, and mistreated. Presently, there is an alarming increase of children in foster care throughout the United States. The case is similar globally with millions of children ending up in these establishments. Growth for children is not only physical but also mental. Ferarra et al., further indicates that children in foster care develop new mental problems when they join the system. Being in a foster care establishment negatively affects a child’s mentality. If anything, the last thing foster care homes should be doing is increasing mental health disorders.

Typically, there is an insurmountable problem of children placed under foster care suffering mental health complications. Unfortunately, the majority of the children come from unstable homes, abuse, and even the death of parents. Arguably, the risk of a child who grows up at home becoming mentally challenged is lower than a foster care child. The argument is in concurrence with Turney and Wildeman who suggest that the risk for foster care children suffering from mental health issues is higher than for those who stay at home. Based on this observation, it illustrates a critical social concern that is both troubling and saddening.

Aside from the risk and potential for mental problems, research indicates that foster care children suffer psychological and physical problems more than their peers living at home. Cases such as learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression are more prevalent among this group of children. The reality that children placed in foster care suffer more and that they have higher risks of developing mental health issues points to a social problem. Essentially, it is a classic case of inequality in child upbringing. A child who grows up in the face of these psychological challenges can hardly compete for similar opportunities with children that grew up uninhibited.

Notably, children in foster care require assistance to manage their mental health. This aligns with the system’s goal of fostering wholesome care for the child. Therefore, while provisions for physical growth and development are critical, Pridgen reiterates that the introduction of cognitive-behavioral support is handy. Primarily, the initiative emerges from the idea that a bulk of these children have endured substantial trauma that could potentially affect them their entire lives. Therefore, the development of interventions that alleviate/ mitigate these problems is the right thing to do.

Although medicine is usable in the treatment and management of psychological problems in foster care, the use of therapeutic measures is a viable alternative. With the therapy’s widespread utilization, it can significantly inform interventions for children in foster care at risk of developing mental health complications. Regarding its benefits, it enables the child to develop coping strategies. Through the sessions with therapists, children learn how to confront life’s challenges that would jeopardize their mental health. Accordingly, therapy builds resilience and a strong will capable of fighting against adverse stressors.

Additionally, therapy offers the children a strong support system. Furthermore, therapists become confidants and pillars of strength to the children. As a result, the children grow dependent on them and can freely share their concerns. Communication is a crucial concept of foster care therapy hence a useful tool for dealing with mental health problems. It follows in the spirit of a problem shared is half-solved.

Moreover, therapy equips children with the strength and confidence to express themselves about issues that disturb them. Therapy empowers kids to open up and talk about their challenges as opposed to burying their emotions. Expression is a critical mental health management tool. The idea that therapy reinforces it makes it an excellent intervention tool.

Therapy poses the challenge of cost. Typically, therapy sessions are charged on an hourly basis. It becomes challenging when there are many children which require long hours of meetings in order for them to make progress towards recovering. With many foster care units operating on strict budgets, having an effective therapy system is often unobtainable. Therefore, the high costs of contracting professionals hinder the application of therapy in low-funded foster care homes.

Another disadvantage to therapy is the recovery process. Although therapy has been proven to be successful in many instances, it suffers from its requirement of a long time of interactions to achieve progress. The case is more problematic for introverted children with acute cases of anxiety. In order to see a breakthrough for the children, it may require a considerable amount of time and effort on the behalf of the therapist and the child. Unfortunately, some cases depict children experiencing worse symptoms before beginning to recover. Consequently, therapy is a long-term intervention that may see the child suffer before the process seeks its solutions.

Impact on social work practice

Some of the children may have been exposed to substance abuse by their mothers when they were pregnant. After the child is exposed to substance abuse, the child may get diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Social workers help the children get the medicine that they need, so the child will be able to regulate some of the emotional and behavioral problems they are having because of the drug exposure. Social workers try to teach the children how to control their behavioral problems because they want to prevent children from ending up in the criminal justice system.

Families may get torn apart because the parents do not have enough money to take care of the children, and they end up losing their rights. Without having the resources that they need, they may not be able to feed their children or clothe them. Sometimes it takes a long time for them to become financially stable again but once a child is placed in foster care a parent has fifteen months to meet the requirements and get their child back. It might not be enough time for the parent to find a job and pay their bills off so that they can be able to provide for their child. Foster care systems should focus more on keeping families united especially if the parents of the children are not abusing them, using substances, or neglecting them.

Parents should have at least three years to meet the requirements to petition for their rights again, and the parent should be required to attend seven out of eight family assessment meetings for the child. The agency should try to determine if being reunited with the parent or parents will be a good choice for the child after all of the requirements are met. The parents who are petitioning to get the rights back should stay in contact with the child’s therapist, psychiatrist, and foster family so that they can give their input on whether the child will be safe with their biological parents again.

Unfortunately, some of the children’s parents did not have parental guidance so they had to raise themselves. As a result, the parents do not know how to raise their children. As time goes on, the dysfunctional cycle becomes worse. If a mother does not possess any skills related to raising a child, her child will not know how to do basic everyday activities. The children will not develop at the rate that they should for their age level. Based on a home visit, certain children who were living in project housing were allowed to stay awake all night, which resulted in them falling asleep at school the next day.

Allowing the children to stay awake all night, it can cause the child to not perform well at school the next day and to become sleep deprived. Oftentimes, the children are influenced by bad role models. However, social workers can have a lasting positive impact on children by giving them the proper guidance. The social worker can teach children proper hygiene, ensure that the child attends school regularly, and find them a foster care home that will suit their needs. A social worker can help the child improve their behavior by counseling them and establishing goals for the child to complete.

According to Williams, state legislators are implementing more programs for tykes that are leaving the foster care system. Children should obtain a driver’s license and have a bank account once they leave the foster care system. If adolescent has their driver’s license, they will not have to rely on public transportation. In addition to this, the program will teach adolescents about car insurance. The program encourages foster youth to advocate for themselves by voicing their opinions on different policies and services that impact foster care youth. Adolescents can benefit from advocating for the policies for foster care because it can encourage legislators to create laws that will help decrease their homelessness rate, unplanned pregnancies, and substance abuse. 20 % of foster care children attend college after they graduate high school. Foster care impacts the social work field because social workers advocate for resources and use treatment plans to alleviate the behavioral, mental, and emotional issues children have.

History

Ella Langford, founded Premier Therapeutic Foster Care in 2009 to provide homes for tykes in Virginia. She is devoted to helping kids who have experienced trauma. Premier ensures that the kids will be cared for by excellent foster care parents. Mrs. Langford and the foster care parents show the kids that they believe in them and encourage them to make good decisions that will impact their lives in a positive way.

Mission

The mission of the agency is to ensure the well-being of the tykes who cannot live with their families. The agency is determined to provide a healthy environment for children that will allow them to reach their full potential. Premier is committed to providing counseling services for foster youth who have behavioral and emotional issues.

Services

Services at the agency include pre-placement assessment, advocacy for youth, case management, supportive counseling, and supporting youth with their recreational activities. Pre-placement assessments let foster care agencies interview families who are trying to adopt tykes and determine whether they are eligible or not. Premier advocates for children by ensuring that their needs are met. In addition to this, social workers at the agency attend court to provide the best interest of the child regarding the visitation rights of their biological parents and child maltreatment. By informing the judge, the judge will be able to determine how to effectively help the tyke and where the tyke should live.

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a document that is created to provide specially designed instruction to meet the academic and/or behavioral needs in a school setting for students with disabilities. The agency ensures that kids are treated fairly while they are in school regardless of their behavioral issues and learning disabilities. Caseworkers make sure the IEP is being followed correctly and they make sure that it is appropriate for the tykes’. Overall, the goal of the IEP is to improve the tyke’s school performance and their behavior.

Case management at the agency requires the caseworkers to receive foster care training at the agency. The caseworkers assess and create action plans for the tykes. Caseworkers provide the children and the foster care parents with the services that they need. Caseworkers talk to the tyke’s biological parents, foster care parents, judges, and teachers about the best interest of the tyke. If the foster care parent is concerned about their foster care child’s behavior, the caseworker is required to meet with the foster family once a month. In addition to this, the caseworker is required to meet with the foster parents once a month. Children who are experiencing crises are required to be seen by the caseworker weekly because of the level of care that they need. Overall, the caseworker is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the progress of the tykes.

Tykes at the agency participate in various cultural, recreational, and religious activities. Premier shows cultural diversity because the agency is knowledgeable about different traditions and cultural norms. In addition to this, foster parents encourage youth to attend cultural, religious, and recreational activities by taking their foster care child to participate in the activity. Encouraging children to practice their religion will allow them to feel comfortable about their personal beliefs and morals.

Funding

Ninety-five percent of foster care funding is provided by the local Department of Social Services. The other five percent is provided by Magellan Behavioral Health Case Management for children approved through Medicaid. Policies for funding the agency are based on state-level regulations. The CEO determines her own prices for supporting the children and supervising them annually.

Positive impacts

Premier Therapeutic Foster Care provides laws and policies to ensure the well-being of foster care children. The agency abides by the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights. The Foster Children’s Bill of Rights guarantees that tykes have the right to be placed in a home where the youngster will be protected from malicious actions and receive the respect and privacy that they need. Giving the juvenile rights, it allows the child to feel safe in the foster care home they are living in.

The agency has made it their mission to find safe and stable homes for vulnerable kids. Foster care children at the agency are expected to be treated like the foster parent’s biological children. Twenty-seven hours of foster care training is provided to foster care parents at Premier Therapeutic Foster Care. In addition to this, foster care parents discuss foster care on a national scale with the owner of the agency. Premier’s CEO discusses how every foster care agency is supposed to do things the same way. The foster parents and the CEO discuss the child’s development, the importance of developmental milestones, losses that children suffer, trauma, and how foster parents should work with the child.

Premier provides effective services for kids by ensuring quality over quantity. The agency takes three referrals a month from other agencies for foster care children. It is better to have fewer children when you do quality services than have a lot of children and not be able to devote enough time to them. Foster youth need a lot of guidance in order to develop at the rates that they should. Treatment plans have to address the needs for each of the children at the agency.

Negative impacts

Three disadvantages that therapeutic foster care faces are the policies and regulations that they have to follow, possibly re-traumatizing children, and not allowing children under fourteen years old to decide who they want to live with. The agency addresses the issue by using a program called KalaidCare, which is a software program for treatment foster care. Caseworkers put their notes in the program, and it helps them keep their notes organized. Premier keeps the records on the tykes up to date. The agency has to ensure that they have received all of the medical, psychiatric, and social history records for each of the children. The agency is also responsible for getting the records of children that have been in residential treatment facilities. After the agency receives the records, the agency collects all of the information that they have along with the information that social service agencies have from when the child was removed out of the home until the present day.

Removing children out of their biological parent’s homes can re-traumatize them. During a recent home visit, a child was observed on the connection that he has with his foster parents and his mental health. The tyke has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since he was six years old. The child gets bullied at school because he wears glasses and because of the way that he dresses. After the tyke’s aunt decided that she could not take care of him, the tyke was referred to a foster care agency. He was placed into a foster care family that has two other foster care children living with them. The caseworker and the foster care family noticed that the tyke did not seem interested in interacting with his foster care parents. Whenever the tyke’s foster parents tried to talk to him, he would respond with vague answers.

Although the tyke receives mixed signals from his aunt about when she wants to visit him, he still gets excited about having the chance to visit her. It is likely that the child is having a hard time bonding with his foster parents because he misses his aunt and he wants to live with her. In addition to this, the tyke might have a difficult time building a trusting relationship with his foster parents because he does not think he can trust them and rely on them. The foster care agency wants to get the tyke to accept his goal of being adopted because he does not have any relatives who can take care of him. Unfortunately, the tyke is having a difficult time accepting his adoption goal because he wants to be reunited with his aunt.

Laws in Virginia require tykes to get adopted after being in foster care for over one year. Tykes who are fourteen years old have the right to choose the foster family that they want to be adopted by. The law can cause problems for tykes who are under fourteen years old because they are not allowed to choose the family that they want to live with. Children under fourteen years old should be allowed to choose where they want to live because they should be able to live with a family that they will feel comfortable with. In addition to this, some children are mature enough to decide who they should live with. Lastly, preventing children from being able to choose where they want to live takes away the rights that they should have.

Conclusion

In conclusion, foster care can impact the mental health of tykes in a negative or positive way. Tykes in the foster care system have many policies that protect their safety. In addition to this, the children receive funding to pay for their counseling sessions. New policies and services need to be created that will provide financial assistance for families that are living in destitute areas. Lastly, more policies should be created to prevent children from being moved from foster home to foster home.

References

  1. Ferrara et al. (2013). The physical and mental health of children in foster care. Iranian journal of public health, Vol. 42(4), 368-73
  2. Find Law. (2019). Virginia Adoption Laws. Retrieved from https:// statelaws.findlaw.com/Virginia-adoption-laws-.html
  3. Lagasse, L., & Lester, B. (2010). Children of Addicted Women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4451952/
  4. National Center for Children in Poverty. (2014). Ten Important Questions About Child Poverty and Family Economic Hardship. Retrieved from http://www.nccp.org/faq.html
  5. National Conference of State Legislators. (2016). Foster Care Bill of Rights. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/reseacrch/human-services/foster-care-bill-of-rights.aspx
  6. Premier Therapeutic Foster Care. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.premiertfc.com/
  7. Pridgen, K. (2014). Mental health care for children and youth in foster care. Student Research Journal, Spring issue. Retrieved from https://www.athens.edu/business-journal/spring-2014/kpridgen-mental-health-care-in-foster-care/
  8. Turney, K., & Wildeman, C. (2016). Mental and physical health of children in foster care. Pediatrics, 138(5), e20161118. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1118
  9. Williams, N. (2018). Ready or not: Preparing Young people to be on their own is essential as they transition out of foster care. State Legislators. Vol. 44 (3), 10-13.

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Protecting The Rights In The Foster Care System. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/protecting-the-rights-in-the-foster-care-system/
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