Charles Zastrow 2000 defines foster care as "the temporary provision of substitute care for children whose parents are unable or unwilling to meet the child's needs in their own home." The Child Care Board notes that foster care is basically caring for children in your own home, as a part of your family and this arrangement is made possible after an interested person or persons have been assessed and approved by the Child Care Board.
Foster care can be divided into short- term foster care, which involves caring for a child for a period as short as a few days to six months and a long- term foster care which involves caring for a child for periods longer than six months. Therefore, the goals of foster are to protect children and rehabilitate parents with the view of reuniting them as soon as it is possible. In light of this, Crosson- Tower 2002, emphasize that finally foster care is usually the first choice after all efforts have failed in allowing the child to remain their home environment.
The provision of family foster care has been significantly influenced by two concepts. These are namely child abuse and neglect. Child abuse consists of any mistreatment of a child that results in non-accidental injury or harm to a child and which cannot be easily explained (Child abuse Act). This act recognizes a child as an individual under the age of sixteen. Abuse takes the form of physical, emotional/psychological and sexual.
Neglect is the failure to provide the needed, age appropriate care such ad food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care, supervision and other basic necessities needed for the development of a child. Recent times have seen an increase in the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. The psychological and emotional effects have also impacted on...