Corruption within the foster care system

A major problem in the United States that children are victims of every day is the corrupt foster care system. This is a topic that has appeared in far too many news headlines, most all of them being negative. Being someone that has never had to experience the foster care personally, I decided to read a few stories written by foster children in order to understand and empathize better. The traumatic incidents other kids had to go through led me to doing more research on the subject and learning just how much we need to bring more attention to this.

There are many reasons why kids are put into foster care, some more innocent than others. A common case is that parents simply can’t afford to support their children and are either forced to give them up or see them as being better off in foster care. Then there are those cases where parents have been reported for abusing or neglecting their children. Along with this goes reasons why people decide to become foster parents. Of course, some people do have good hearts and simply want to help/care for children with no home. But, there are also those who see fostering as a chance of self-benefit. If someone decides to be a foster parent, they will receive anywhere from $400-$800 per month (depending on the circumstances and state) while the child is in their care. This money is meant to pay for the child’s basic needs, yet many decide to use it for themselves.

Just like everything else, money is what runs the foster care system. Although in this case, it has led to the neglect of innocent children.

Along with neglect, abuse is commonly mentioned when discussing foster care. When looking at state-funded studies on the percentages of abuse found within foster care, low percentages are almost always the result. This only makes sense considering states also get money for running said foster care systems. Turning down cases of a child getting abused or even encouraging them to not speak up is a successful way to do this. But there are some patterns in other reports that are impossible to ignore. For example, a study in Baltimore the rate of sexual abuse of four times higher than that in the general population. Another study in Indiana found three times more physical abuse and twice the rate of sexual abuse is found in foster homes than in the general population. There is a continuous stream of disturbing statistics that you can find on nearly any foster care related website, yet many still refuse to acknowledge them.

Group homes are another problem in foster care. They are state-run facilities that children are put into as a result of not finding a standard foster home or getting removed from one and not having anywhere else to go. They range from highly secured to hardly monitored depending on the backgrounds of the children staying in them. Members are usually required to complete a certain amount of chores, as well as attended school, tutoring, and therapy. The only worrying factor of group homes, just as standard foster care, is when you begin to look at the statistics. In group homes, there is more than ten times the rate of physical abuse and more than 28 times the rate of sexual abuse as in the general population. Granted, part of the abuse done by another child in the group home, but this does not make it any more excusable. The fact still stands, yet states have made no move to fix it.

There is no denying that the foster care system needs to be reevaluated. Children are moved from home to home with no say or voice. They are constantly victims of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse yet hardly ever get the chance to testify against their abusers. The government is funding a system that is a playground for those looking to make money off of children who have no control over anything. Despite the endless stories coming directly from foster children about how they have been abused, nothing has changed. The longer this continues, the more children that get hurt.

Source : http://affinitymagazine.us/2017/04/23/corruption-within-the-foster-care-system/

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