Kelly M. Michigan

Foster Care Reform

Today, there are many children who are being left behind and not cared for in the Foster Care system.

Dear Future President,

There is a serious need for foster care reform in America. In 2014, there were 415,129 children in foster care, which is a 4% increase from 2012. 238,230 children exited foster care in 2014 which leaves 176,899 children still waiting to be adopted. Today there are many organizations such as Children’s Rights and Fostering Rights who help protect rights of children In foster care but there are two problems with the foster care system. One is the high cost from a legislative bureaucratic perspective, and second is that the foster care system does not effectively serve the youth.

There is a major concern regarding the cost of providing for children in foster care which is that bureaucrats and legislators are hesitant to pay for it. In September 30th, 2012 The California Department of Social Services passed CCR-AB 403 (California's Continuum of Care Reform) which was made as a comprehensive reform to make sure children in foster care had daily emotional, physical and mental needs met, but according to Jim Roberts, CEO of Family Care Networks Inc. states that “..the purpose of CCR was to save money because they lost a lawsuit which caused them to significantly increase reimbursement to group homes in order to comply with federal regulations.”I think that if bureaucrats and legislators were forced to pay for foster care,little by little that is would drastically improve the foster care system and allow them to meet their needs even beyond teenage years.

The second concern with foster care today is lack of support for the children's needs such has possible phychriactic care,therapy,rehabilitation, and other basics while and after they’re in the foster care system.In 2012, U.S. authorities received more than 3.3 million reports of abuse, representing about 6 million children,or 8% of the child population. From those reports, after investigation and intervention, about 400,000 children were placed in foster care, and of those, nearly 60,000 were permanently taken away from their families of origin.That year, 23,439 children aged out of foster care.Somes states are trying to extend foster care to 21, but still resources for teens and young adults are scarce and limited, as a Health and Human Services report found that the federal Foster Care Independence program meant to help foster children make the transition to adulthood is inconsistent from state to state and provides too little for troubled young people.There are also scary statistics for children who have gone into foster care, and aged out never having a family or any support.Conservative studies find one in five will become homeless after 18; at 24, only half will be employed; less than 3% will have earned a college degree; 71% of women will be pregnant by 21; and one in four will have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of United States war veterans.This problem could be solved by creating more employment in the foster care system which would allow the workers to care for students more intimately, such as checking up on them and making sure that they’re not struggling to survive through adulthood.This would also make no room for children to be neglected while in their adoptive and foster care homes if they know someone is always going to be checking up on the child.

Foster care reform has definitely come a long way during the last few years but there is still a lot that has to be aggressively done in order to ensure that children in foster care grow up to be as happy, healthy, and successful as they can be.I think that it’s unfair for them to be put in a situation where they are neglected in a place that’s supposed to keep them safe.I hope that you can help truly change foster care in order to create happier and healthier generations in America to come, and also ensure that America is obligated to provide for it’s children.

Avondale High School

AP Lang

Rick Kreinbring's 2016-17 AP Language and Composition students

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