Download PDF Abstract Greater numbers of young children with complicated, serious physical health, mental health, or developmental problems are entering foster care during the early years when brain growth is most active. Every effort should be made to make foster care a positive experience and a healing process for the child. The developmental issues important for young children in foster care are reviewed, including: More than children are in foster care in the United States.
See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Although homeless youth with and without foster care histories both face adverse life circumstances, little is known about how these two groups compare in terms of their early histories and whether they face similar outcomes.
As such, we compared those with and without a history of foster care placement to determine if the associations between a history of poor parenting and negative outcomes including depression, delinquency, physical and sexual victimization, and substance use, are similar for these two groups. The sample consisted of homeless young adults from the Midwestern United States.
Multivariate results revealed that among those previously in foster care, a history of physical abuse and neglect were positively associated with more depressive symptoms whereas sexual abuse and neglect were related to delinquency and physical victimization.
Additionally, lower caretaker monitoring was linked to greater delinquent participation. Among those without a history of foster care, physical abuse was related to more depressive symptoms whereas sexual abuse was positively correlated with delinquency, sexual victimization, and substance use.
Furthermore, lower monitoring was related to more substance use. Our findings are discussed in terms of a social stress framework and we review the implications of foster care placement for homeless young adults.
Abuse does not always cease once youth are removed from their homes as many continue to experience child maltreatment while in foster care Courtney et al.
Additionally, numerous children in foster care have developmental and mental health problems Garland et al. These young people are also at risk for the same types of negative outcomes as their foster care counterparts. Previous foster care experiences are also common among homeless individuals: Although both those formerly in foster care but now on the streets and homeless youth have faced adverse life circumstances, little is known about how these two groups compare with one another in terms of their early family histories and whether their outcomes are similar.
As such, the purpose of our study is to determine whether homeless young adults with a history of foster care placement significantly differ from those without such a history in terms of poor parenting and depression, delinquency, physical and sexual victimization, and substance use.
There are three possible scenarios that may account for the differences or similarities among former foster and non-foster care homeless young adults.
First, the early experiences of homeless adolescents formerly in foster care will be more detrimental and put them at higher risk for negative outcomes because these individuals experienced such extreme forms of abuse that they came to the attention of state authorities.
Second, because these adolescents were removed from their homes and placed in alternative care, they are likely to fare better and receive appropriate services and treatment compared to those who are not removed. Third, these groups are not significantly different from one another because they both come from unfavorable backgrounds and are thus likely to have similar early experiences and outcomes.
Although all three of these are plausible outcomes, we believe that the third scenario is a better description of the circumstances encountered by these two groups. Previous research has compared foster care to non-foster care youth; however, there is little research on youth who are in similar social circumstances but have unique pathways to the street.
The stressors associated with disadvantaged social status create pressures toward engaging in negative behavior e. Our study is guided by a social stress framework, which is useful for understanding the process that links numerous stressors experienced by many homeless young people with negative outcomes such as substance use and depression.
Although a majority of people adapt to stress, those with unique social circumstances such as those with foster care histories and homeless individuals may experience more negative outcomes compared with the general population due to the additional stressors associated with their social situation.
The location of individuals within the social system influences their chances of encountering stressors, increasing the likelihood of them becoming emotionally distraught Aneshensel Foster care placement is a unique social circumstance rife with individual level stressors that may be important in understanding the prevalence of depression and other negative outcomes.
Although males and females tend to be equally represented in foster care, racial and ethnic minorities tend to be overrepresented US Department of Health and Human Serviceswhich may be accounted for by the lack of available services in their community. For example, one study found that although African American families were rated at lower risk than Anglo families, children were more likely to be removed from Black families if the problems found required immediate action and no services were available in their community Rivaux et al.
Others report that this over representation is likely due to institutional discrimination and the way service agencies view maltreatment within the homes of minority families Lau et al. For example, Lau et al. Because of a lack of services, individuals emancipated from the foster care system may find themselves ill equipped for their emergence into society and some may become homeless within the first year after being discharged Pecora et al.
Foster care youth are also much more likely to experience negative outcomes Taussig ; Unrau and Grinnell ; Vaughn et al.Social workers should use social media to challenge public perceptions Rebecca Joy Novell Presenting an honest picture of what we do is essential for restoring confidence in our profession, says.
Why Foster Children Need Better Educational Opportunities Understanding the need to improve educational opportunities for children in foster care begins by understanding the foster care system. The developmental issues important for young children in foster care are reviewed, including: 1) the implications and consequences of abuse, neglect, and placement in foster care on early brain development; 2) the importance and challenges of establishing a child's attachment to caregivers; 3) the importance of considering a child's changing sense of time in all aspects of the foster care experience; .
Social media sites can facilitate contact between a teen in or adopted from foster care and his or her birth family in instances where it is not in the teen’s best interest. Bullying. Social media can intensify bullying by expanding its reach and audience.
Many studies have affirmed that media have negative social effects and help reproduce a number of social problems, while other studies assert skepticism toward claims of negative media effects or attempt to confirm positive aspects of the media.
1 Empirical. NFCC, and its broad-based, national constituency of individuals, organizations, foundations, and associations, focuses exclusively on issues that define and impact the foster care system and vulnerable children, youth, and families.