The purpose of this study to identify a preventive notion to improve high school graduation rates among children in foster care. An innovative therapeutic mentoring program that will not only decrease the chances of foster youth dropping out of high school, but it will also increase the chances of them furthering their education. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System there are over 400,000 children in foster care (AFCARS, 2010). The high school graduation rate among youth in foster care is relatively low, and youth in foster care are less likely to graduate from high school compared to their peers (Day, et al., 2012). In a national foster care study 54% of youth that participated in the study finished high …show more content…
In addition to the lack of education attainment among youth in foster care, youth in foster care face a number of different challenges and obstacles. Research suggests that youth in foster care are more likely to be unemployed, and underemployment (Courtney, et al., 2010). In Illinois alone, 30% of former foster youth are unemployed (Harris, et al., 2009). The lack of education attainment can be problematic for youth when they try to seek employment (Courtney, et al., …show more content…
A protective factor for youth as they approach aging out of care is establishing a social support system (McDonald, 2013). Youth in foster care need mentors in their lives. Research indicates and I quote, “The consistent, enduring presence of a caring adult in a young person’s life can be the difference between staying in school or dropping out, making healthy decisions or engaging in risky behaviors, and realizing one’s potential or failing to achieve one’s dreams.” (Bruce, & Bridgeland, 2014) “Mentors can make a profound difference in the lives of their mentees, which can ultimately strengthen our communities, economy, and country.” (Bruce, & Bridgeland, 2014) According to the National Mentoring Effect, which is a national survey on the topic of mentoring for young people, the survey found that youth that had mentors in their lives set higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college compared to their peers who did not have mentors. (Bruce, & Bridgeland, 2014)
Research suggests that mentoring can have positive effects for at risk youth in foster care. (Osterling, 2006) In addition, research indicates that mentors provide youth with a vital emotional connection. (Osterling, 2006) Mentoring programs are very important, because they provide youth with not only a long lasting emotional relationship, but guidance. Mentoring
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There was the child saving efforts that happened in the United States in the 1800’s that has helped to evolve the system of child welfare (Mizrahi & Davis, 2008). The first government department that focused on the safety of children was created in 1912, the children’s bureau still remains in today’s child welfare system (Mizrahi & Davis, 2008, p. 279). Based on the practice update from 2010 social workers in the child welfare field use strength based theory to help youth aging out of foster care. One point that was in the practice update is that the social worker is able to see strengths of the child and help them to see those strengths to set goals for their future (Torrico, 2010).
Foster Youth books often expand on the complexity of psychosocial transformations and trials and tribulations children face in the process of being placed in foster care system, but authors do not incorporate testimonials from the youth. An example of such book is called To the End of June, in which the Cris Bream sheds light on the foster care policies and the meaning of family without expanding on the life history of foster children. In order to be able to understand one of the most vulnerable members within society, foster youth, it is important to have contextual evidence, such as personal testimonies from the youth. Yes, it is significant to understand the statistics and policies that play a role in the foster youth community, but it is vital for stories to be shared in order to humanize the group.
The rising deaths and DCFS cases is a testament to the disservice our nation is doing to neglected and abused youths. Once kids are placed in the foster care system, they are often moved from one placement to another which may negatively impact all aspects of their lives that are critical to success in later life such as school, social relationships, and environmental/community influences. This constant separation and loss may lead youths to feel hopeless, and resent social interactions as they feel that social relationships are extremely fragile. This affects group treatment as individuals may drop-out of treatment due to a new placement, or decline to actively participate as they feel hopeless and feels distrustful of everything around them. When children and youths cannot trust their caregivers for reassurance, they have no where to turn but the public.
Quite often, children are released from the foster care system without preparation for the outside world. “Aging out” has recently become a major area of critique. Author, Cris Beam, includes statistics backing that “20,000 youth “age out” each year” (61); a large quantity of the juveniles are unlucky to be as successful as a child with a permanent family (Beam 61). Youth that have had experience in the foster care system have larger reports of pregnancy and incarceration. Flaws within the system continue to affect children and juveniles throughout their lives.
Life skills should be taught to the children in preparation for the future. Foster care is meant to normalize the child’s life as much as possible and give help where it is needed. Although the intent of the foster care system is protecting neglected children, it may be causing
In addition to the maltreatment of children in foster care, another issue that arises is that children are moved from one foster care home to another on an average of every six weeks (NCANDS, 2012). With the changes in the caregivers of children in foster care experience, the more likely they are to exhibit oppositional behavior, crying, and clinging. With that being said, in 2012, 23,396 youth aged out of the U.S. foster care system without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed. Nearly 40% had been homeless or couch surfed, nearly 60% of young men had been convicted of a crime, and only 48% were employed. Seventy-five percent of women and 33% of men receive government benefits to meet basic needs.
The foster care system shatters like broken glass and there is no repair for broken glass. Permanent damage can only be fixed with drastic solutions, redesigning the system is the method to follow. Foster parents go through hardships and trials while trying to adopt children. Children need stability and the parents willing to give them that they cannot be with forever. A reason for a shattered system is the result of a shattered admissions process.
According to Crosson-Tower (2010), children enter foster care for causes such as but not limited to physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, domestic violence, substance abuse, and physical or mental illness of parents. In addition, she states that the death of parents can cause a child to enter foster care if no available relatives could undertake their care. Many of these causes of child maltreatment may also come from parents who are poor, uneducated, and experienced childhood trauma (Crosson-Tower, 2010). Therefore, the cycle of child abuse and neglect will continue if not provided the necessary services to prevent and treat the
The foster care system has decreased entry of children and increased the permanent placement of the child in a long term foster home. Research by Davis and O’Brien, (2012, p1918) supports that strategies used in the permanency planning lead to a high success rate of legal permanency for the child in care. That child who is placed in a legal permanency has a better chance in becoming an active member of society. From 2011-2012, which a year later showed entry of children being placed in foster care showed a slight increase, in foster care, but the outcome of legal permanency was still at a higher rate. Another factor that Davis and O’Brien (2013, p 2130) found was that age was a key factor in legal permanency placement.
The Effects of a Broken System Foster care is a system in which a child under the age of eighteen, is placed in a temporary home away from one’s parents due to physical or mental neglect. Children from as young as a few days old to teenage years are placed in foster care every day. The amount of children in the system affect how needs are met and how high these youths are placed on a need of special care for problems that were developed before and while in the system. Most of which occur because they are abused and that is why they were taken away. Foster care is an escape for those being mistreated.
Common misconceptions associated with being in foster care portray youth in the system as orphans. Youth in foster care are supposedly delinquents, and will perform poorly in academics compared to their peers who are not placed in these institutions. In society, these stereotypes are often pretended, but very little people understand the circumstances and factors the youth in the foster care system are facing. Youth in care are often juxtaposed to their community counterparts, to signify the impact of being a ward of the state, rather than being with a family member.
a. Foster parents can have an impact on the lives of a foster child by giving them a safe place to stay where they can feel loved and cared for. Foster parents can also provide the love and support that these children need especially if they came from an abused or neglected home. According to (Hasenecz, 2009) there have been several shocking stories about children being abused and neglected while in foster care or even worse reports of social workers who knew of the abuse and neglect and failed to report it or do anything about
Many children that go into the system usually do not have an education by the time that they were supposed to graduate. A lot of the children drop out. This is because many of them get into trouble, drugs and many of the girls get pregnant at a very young age. H. Robed Ayasse (1995) mentioned in his article that “These problems and the transience of their home like in the foster care system can have a powerful
According to a Child Protective Investigation, there are approximately half a million children in the U.S. foster care system, otherwise known as congregate care (group homes and institutions). Children are placed in congregate care when they are found to be in an unsafe environment. Usually children of abuse or maltreatment are placed first (Font, 2015). Out-of-home-care causes increased problems of attachment, behavioral, and psychological disorders in the developing child. Child safety is the primary goal of out-of-home-care; however, maltreatment investigations are still reported in those institutions.
Without this attachment, children can often experience varying emotional, social, and behavioral effects. In contrast to children placed in institutional care, those who were formerly in foster care “had a higher percentage of secure attachment representations and a lower percentage of insecure representations” (Nowacki & Schoelmerich, 2010, p. 556). Another study had also found a correlation between the presence of social support mental health in youth who are aging out of foster care and who were victims of maltreatment. The youths who were perceived to have higher levels of social support showed fewer symptoms of depression (Salazar, Keller & Courtney, 2011). In addition, research has examined the adult outcomes of children in foster with at least one mentoring relationship.