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Effectiveness Of Kinship Foster Care

Effectiveness Of Kinship Foster Care






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  • This presentation explores the effectiveness of kinship foster care as opposed to non-kinship foster care. We examine the characteristics of foster care necessary to children’s well being and further development as a productive citizen. Inappropriate foster care options can have a negative effect on children which can lead to delinquency, a detachment from society and an inability to relate to others.
  • “Family foster care in the United States is regarded as a time- limited form of care where preparations are made for the child’s permanent placement” (Strijker, 2008). Approximately 750,000 a year are in foster care (Unknown Author, 2007). About 70% of the children in foster care are put there by child protective services because the child has been abused or neglected (Unknown Author, 2007). Most of the remaining 30% are adolescents placed in care by the juvenile justice system (Unknown Author, 2007). Approximately 46 percent of children in foster care are in non-relative homes while 24 percent are in kinship foster care homes (Unknown Author, 2007). Many of the children in foster care come from poverty level families (Unknown Author, 2007). Over half of the children in foster care eventually return to their families (Unknown Author, 2007).
  • The psychological results of foster care can be varied. According to Persi (2008) “…children and adolescents in foster care are more likely to have mental health problems and be hospitalized.” By the age of 17, “94% of youth in foster care had used a mental health service, 77% a residential service, and 42% had been admitted for inpatient care” (Persi, 2008). “Children and adolescents in the larger foster care group are known to experience multiple placements, placement breakdowns, abuse, poverty, neglect, and prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, which explain, at least in part, these children’s greater vulnerability for development of psychiatric disorders” (Persi, 2008). Children in foster care are more likely to “externalize problems and disorders relative to the general population” (Persi, 2008). This may include disruptive behaviors such as “aggression, destruction of property, and delinquency” (Persi, 2008). Children in foster care are also likely to experience a lack of empowerment (Kaplan, 2009). This means that they may feel like they do not have a choice in their situation and they may feel a lack of control over their life.
  • The psychosocial results of being in foster care can also be dramatic. According to White (2009) children in non-kinship foster care placements can possibly experience a detachment to ethnic identity due to being placed with non-relatives. This can result in a lack of cultural identity as well as having long lasting effects on ethnic identity. Children also have experiences with being moved from one foster care home to another. If a child is moved from place to place they will have difficulty maintaining social relationships (Strijker, 2009). They may also be less likely to be able to resolve the issues with their family that caused them to be placed in foster care (Strijker, 2009). This will result in a difficulty with having the children returned to their families. Children that are in foster care, especially children that are moved from place to place may experience a lose of the ability to form positive attachments with adults (Strijker, 2009). Along with this may come a sense of detachment from their ‘real’ life (Strijker, 2009). They may have been removed from their home without warning and taken to strangers. They don’t know or trust these people which makes it all feel unreal to them. If they did want to be removed from their home they may experience such joy at their new placement that they do not want to think about why they are there.
  • Attachment …”is the foundation for the provision of quality care and is an important predictor of healthy psychological development” (Ryan, 2008). If a child does not feel a sense of attachment both to the world around him/her and to their caregiver they will have difficulties participating in normal society. They may also be at an increased risk for participating in delinquent behavior (Ryan, 2008). A positive attachment to foster families can help children cope with the separation from their home in a healthier manner.
  • Commitment …“refers to an individuals' investment in society or stake in conventional institutions” (Ryan, 2008). This can include institutions such as the child’s school or church and the foster care facility. If they feel invested in these places they are more likely to show respect for these places. This could mean that the child tries harder to follow the rules associated with these institutions.
  • Ryan (2008) states “Placement instability is important and relevant…” If the child has been moved from placement to placement they will not feel a connection with their environment. The concept of permanency is important to fostering children’s sense of self as well as their mental health. Children in foster care may develop an attachment disorder if moved frequently (Strijker, 2009).
  • Empowering people in foster care could feasibly lead to less reliance on federal assistance programs as they age (Kaplan, 2009). Giving the children a choice in their options for placement as well as their educational options will teach them how to make wise decisions. If they are allowed this foundation and the ability to learn from their mistakes they will be more likely to make wise decisions as they age.

Effectiveness Of Kinship Foster Care Effectiveness Of Kinship Foster Care Presentation Transcript