Abstract The fostering of children has been an area of concern in America’s history since the foundational roots of our country. Thus far it is an area that has been developed exponentially through the decades by the assistance of sympathetic human beings. This research paper will cover the historical aspects of the fostering of children as well as some of the physical ailments a foster child may encounter. Foster children encounter various trials that may delay their proper development; premeditated structured planning can aid parents of children at risk into falling in the welfare system. There are areas in which there have been successful re-unification with biological parents as well as non-successful. Through the evaluation of different cases, there can be adjustments made in order to benefit the future of our welfare system. Applying resources for parents who are at-risk of placing their children in the welfare system can help prevent children entering in the welfare system as well as benefit the future of our welfare system.
Introduction to Foster Children The act of caring for a foster a child requires an adequate amount of attention and care to a child who has been through a difficult situation that consist of them to leaving their personal household. This act must be a responsibility that must be taken seriously by the foster parent, due to the fact that they will begin the phase of child rearing. A foster parent will begin new stage in the lifespan of a child that has recently suffered a traumatic phase in their early life. The primary object of the welfare system is to place the child’s needs as a paramount objective. The location of permanency is a crucial factor that the welfare system must take into account (Kimberlin, Anthony, & Austin, 471). The welfare systems primary concern is to unify the family once again with their biological parents or family members, but unfortunately this does not occur is some cases and the children face more difficult and distraught situations. The focus of this research paper is to demonstrate the history of foster care in America, as well as exhibit the difficulties that children in foster care go through. The complications that children have in their lives are at times due to the difficult living situations their biological parents placed them in. We will also explore the future of our welfare system and the impacts it will have in the future generations of children in foster care.
History of Foster Children
Children in Early America The welfare of neglected and abused children in the United States has undergone significant changes in the last several hundreds of years due to numerous factors such as urbanization, industrialization, immigration, various changes with a family system, and recent social differences within society ( e.g., divorce, single parent child rearing, rearing of same sex marriages) (Michelle, 83). We must take into account the history of children in foster care system, in order to appreciate the current status of our countries current welfare system. During early stages of America and colonial era, there were numerous severe cases of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical) happening during this time. No form of justice was present for these children and no child labor laws were established. There has been significant changes to legislative law, policies, various programs that were developed in order to better treat the children that were placed in these situations (Martin, 2013). The use of children in labor began in Colonial America. Large waves of African American children were born into the harsh realities of slavery, and others were used as indentured servants. Once slavery was ratified in 1865 by the 13th amendment, this gave birth to the use of children as artisanal apprentices. A child would learn a specific artisanal craft in order to help the child in the future to learn a specific craft.