The Foster System Fails Kids

Alexia Machado, Editor in Chief/student-journalist

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The foster care system is currently failing children in the United States when they are constantly getting moved from home to home affecting them both mentally and academically.

The foster system first began in 1853 when Charles Brece started his free foster movement and Benjamin Eaton became the nation’s first foster kid in 1636. Intentions were good when this started by wanting to give those who were underprivileged homes and foster parents.

Foster homes are an opportunity for orphans to have a normal life with a caring family and not having to think that they do not know their biological parents. Though often times it is not the same experience for many children.

An online advocacy group Children’s Rights reports that in 2017 more than 690,000 kids were placed in the U.S foster system.

Kids get placed in abusive homes where they are not respected and are treated horribly rather than well. reports, 15 percent of children placed in the system experience abuse and other harmful conditions in only one year.

NBC News reports that in 2012 the Calizaire sisters who were placed with many families and abused by some of their foster parents. They were first placed in the system at four and seven years old when found abandoned at a motel by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The Calizaire sisters lived in countless families and said they were abused by some of their foster care parents.

“She took the belt, she started beating me with it, she took the hanger, she started beating me with it, she took her heel and started beating me with it too. Or the boy that would try to rape me every night before I went to sleep,” one of the sisters said.

“Another foster parent would make us sleep in a dog house and would feed us dog food. They would put a lock on the refrigerator and starve us as a form of punishment,” the Calizaire’s added.

Kids who have been in foster care show higher rates of difficulties either with themselves or with their personal lives.

UCI News reports that “Kids who’d been in foster care were most likely to experience depression, six times as likely to exhibit behavioral problems, 5 times as likely to feel anxiety, and twice as likely to suffer from learning disabilities, development delays, and speech problems.”

Adolescents that are a part of this system are also being affected significantly mentally and physically. They show less effort and get bad grades in school when not having good living conditions.

Students apart of the system often times get placed in multiple foster homes and move from school to school. This can cause them to be set back in grade levels or feel out of place on campus.

Foster homes can be beneficial to some children. But others continue to live with the struggle of school and their future allowing the system to interfere with their education and achievement, reports Miami University.

Such experiences are critical for the long-term development for a child’s brain and its ability to intake and process information. Children in the foster system have shown to have higher rates of physical, mental and developmental problems and have mental health care needs.

Adolescents who are apart of the system are more open to the risk of mental disturbances than kids who are not in the foster care system.

“Depression, poor social skills and negative behaviors like anger and aggression all occur more commonly in children who have spent time in the foster-care-system. Foster children also use a larger portion of mental health resources than children not in the system,” reports online parent support group

Kids who do not live in a caring and loving environment also have a lower sense of humor which then leads them to become aggressive in school. But when students do live in a good environment then they will be good adolescence and experience a great life.