Dear Future President,
Imagine that you're a foster child, taken away from your real family because they're not financially stable or because they abuse you. Constantly moved from foster home to foster home, never able to truly make any friends or trust any adults. Sadly, many children live in these conditions with no choice. Foster children already don't have their parents and foster care just makes it worse.
Some children have it worse than others; many come from homes of abuse or poverty. Without even looking for any relatives, they can live with, they get put into a home of strangers. This was the case for one child, he was forced to walk past his grandparents house to school and back knowing he would never be able to live with them. This just shows how little care is put into placing the children. They have no say as to where they go or who they stay with. With an unfamiliar new environment children can have a hard time adapting. The foster care system needs to put more time into placing these children, the system is so quick to just put these kids into foster homes without any checks of safe family homes they can stay at. This can be fixed easily. Before putting a child into a foster home, they should look for a close and safe relative to stay with.
If they come from a family of abuse, you would think the foster care system would put them in a better environment, but in foster homes studies show that 28% of the children get abused while in the system. The care these children are getting is not what it should be. If you come from a home of abuse and get put directly into another home of abuse, that can cause serious trust issues with adults and even the start of mental illness. Not to mention how 10-15% of foster children commit suicide while in the system. 25% of foster children have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and 43% have anxiety. The way they check up on the children and their foster homes couldn’t be worse. They check the houses monthly, notifying the foster parents before they come, giving the parents enough time to pretend like they're actually caring properly for the children.
Foster children move from home to home so frequently it’s very hard for them to keep up with their classes. 42% of children changed schools within 30 days of entering foster care. With this much change in the classroom and so many different subjects and teaching styles, it can be very hard to adapt to a new school every few months. It is very obvious why children placed in foster care scored 16% to 20% below non-foster children on state standardized tests. With so much change in schools some may have they simply just given up; why try in school when you’ll just get put in a new one. Numerous foster children end up dropping out of school. This can be fixed by just looking for the closest safe relative or foster home.
Additionally, foster care is meant for children not adults. Have you ever wondered what happens to the kids who don't find permanent homes? They get a terrible present for their 18th birthday, thrown out onto the streets and forgotten. They get nothing for this transition either, as soon as they're 18, they will be alone without food, shelter and water. They already are separated from their parents and family so they are truly alone. “One in five young people who age out of the system will become homeless.” says Katie Dupere. This fact is horrible and means there needs to be a smoother transition from foster care child to adult.
The foster care system is trying with what it has. It needs more devotion and government funding to improve upon. It isn't that bad when you think of the lack of funding and amount of people willing to take in children that aren't theirs. With the right amount of funding, the foster care system can be fixed.
Foster children get treated like a hassle, very little care is put into placing them with their family or homes that are safe. After they can't stay in foster care at 18, they just get thrown onto the streets with no transition into a job or home. The only way this can change is with the attention this issue needs.
Dupere, Katie. ”6 problems with the foster care system — and what you can do to help”. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiev4nJgJfQAhVo6oMKHcXwCbQQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmashable.com%2F2016%2F06%2F04%2Ffoster-care-problems%2F&usg=AFQjCNF3Jte5-GsBhrK3VCAMEb5mJ88Xeg&sig2=UZfQ2wV-hCfS88bs8bIT9g
Stone, Deb. “U.S. Foster Care: A Flawed Solution That Leads To Long-Term Problems?”. http://www.stirjournal.com/2014/05/12/u-s-foster-care-a-flawed-solution-that-leads-to-more-long-term-problems/
Lips, Dan. “Foster Care Children Need Better Educational Opportunities”.
Babble, Susanne. “The Foster Care System And Its Victims: Part 2”. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201201/the-foster-care-system-and-its-victims-part-2