Article #1: Complex Patterns: On the Characteristics of Children who Experience High and Low Degrees of Foster Care Drift
Will Hunting, the main character in Good Will Hunting was placed in foster care at the age of three. It was not clear why Hunting was placed in foster care but he did experience abuse by the hands of a foster parent and had several foster homes until he became of age. Hunting experienced issues with trust and had difficulty developing healthy relationships outside of his close circle of friends. This article highlights some of the common characteristics of children who experience foster care drift, the lengthy placement away from the biological family without a plan in place to return the child or place them in permanent homes. This study was conducted in Denmark and included children born between 1982 and 1987. (Anderson, 2014) The study investigated the extent of the complexities created through multiple placements. Unfortunately, foster care does not always mean stability for all children. Shorter placements create more complexity for the child. This study found that some of the children experience as many as fifty five different placements and that 30% experience over ten placements through their childhood. (Anderson, 2014) Complex placements place the child's well being and identity at a greater risk with each placement and they experience poor outcomes later in life. (Anderson, 2014) Based on the findings in this article, one could speculate that Will Hunting's issues with mistrust and developing healthy relationships was a direct result of his traumatic experience in foster homes and ultimately the result of foster care drift. This article could be beneficial to a social worker in a variety of ways. On a macro level, the social worker could advocate for stricter policies regarding foster care and advocate for more safeguards to be in place in order ot prevent the foster care drift from occurring.
Anderson, S. H. (2014). Complex Patterns: On the Characteristics of Children who Experience High and Low Degrees of Foster Care Drift . British Journal of Social Work , 1545-1562.
Article #2: After Foster Care and Juvenile Justice: A Preview of the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation
Will Hunting, the main character in Good Will Hunting was placed in foster care at the age of three. It was not clear why Hunting was placed in foster care but he did experience abuse by the hands of a foster parent and had several foster homes until he "aged out" of the foster care system at 18 years old. Hunting experienced issues with trust and had difficulty developing healthy relationships outside of his close circle of friends. Hunting also had a criminal record to include charges of grand theft auto, assault, impersonating an officer and resisting arrest. This article discusses the common correlation of adolescents in foster care and juvenile delinquency. These children often experience low levels of education attainment and employment (Jacobs, 2012). Like Hunting, these children leave foster care or the juvenile justice system and often struggle with the transition to adulthood and independent living. These children are less likely to graduate high school or obtain a GED and are more likely to encounter mental health problems, substance abuse, criminal justice involvement, unemployment and poverty. The Youth Villages Transitional Living Model, outlined in this article, offer the young adults who have aged out of foster care, effective assessments in a variety of areas; create safety plans; assist in developing healthy relationships; and aid in obtaining and maintaining affordable housing. Participants began enrolling in this program in 2010, they were followed for two years and the results found that this type of program were very effective