Psychological Trauma In Foster Care

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Introduction
Children in foster care have been legally removed from their birth families and placed under the care and control of state-run child welfare agencies. Every year, almost 30,000 kids age out of the foster care system after childhoods when many moves from house to house and school to school (NPR). For most foster kids, as soon as they turn 18, they're cut off from a place to live and financial support. They're suddenly on their own, suddenly responsible to find housing, money, clothing, and food; while trying to continue their education, and in most cases, they give up pursuing the latter path. While other kids their age are still getting help from a parent or guardian. As a result, these adolescents experience psychological trauma, financial instability, which both combined to yield a vicious cycle of foster care.
Psychological Trauma
Before turning 18, kids in the foster care system already experience a plethora of traumatic instances. As a result, a significant mental health risk among kids in foster care is PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
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In the foster care system, they’re reported higher levels of mental distress as compared to non-foster care peers (Baker 2007). According to Erin Kim Hazen, psychologist at New York University, “61% of adolescents in the foster care system meet diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder during their lifetime, including major depression, separation anxiety disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder”. To deal with their psychiatric issues, they’re prescribed drugs, which in many cases are abused. As a result, adolescents involved with foster care are about five times more likely to receive a drug dependence diagnosis, in the same statistic as being four times more likely to have attempted suicide in 12 months (Journal of Adolescent Health). Being dependent on drugs to suppress their childhood trauma leads to an economic issues of drug

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