A look into the Foster Care System

Essay by guest123University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2008

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A look into the Foster 1


A look into the Foster Care System

Desiree Broyles

Ashford University

A look into the Foster 2

Child Welfare or Children's services for profit began in England in 1562, and was soon imported into the American colonies. Foster Care is defined as temporary shelters for children removed from their homes for various reasons including abuse, neglect, adoption, death and illness. The central goal of the foster care system is to provide abused and neglected children with safety, permanency, and well-being. One of the most significant organizations in setting standards for child welfare services is the Child Welfare League of America, started in 1920.

According to CWLA (Child Welfare League of America), 513,000 children were in the foster care system in America on September 30, 2005. Of those 513,000, 6% were ages one or younger, 26% were ages 1-5, 20% were ages 6-10, 28% were ages 11-15, 18% were ages 16-18 and 2% were over the age of 18.

The average amount of time spent in the foster care system for children in the year 2005 was 28.6 months. For that same year over 50% of children were reunified with their birth parents or primary caregivers.

In the state of Virginia in 2005, there were 53,792 referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of those, 27,937 cases required more investigation. Twenty-six of the 53,792 died because of abuse or neglect. In my opinion, 26 dead children are too many when there are simple things that can be implemented or changed to improve the foster care system.

Research suggests that children not reunified with their birth parents within a short period tend to experience multiple placements in foster care. Subsequently children who experience multiple placements are more...