Studies analysing the foster care system often indicate that the experience can have a significant impact on a state ward’s psychological and emotional health and wellbeing. Frequently, research has shown that growing up in foster care is associated with feelings of loneliness and abandonment.
One of the most important things in building confidence is the feeling that you are accepted and understood by the rest of the world. Those who were raised in foster care have experienced growing up in a way that is difficult for those who were privileged with a stable and loving home life to understand. We need to make more of an effort to not only improve the standards of foster homes, but also embrace and understand those who have come through the system.
Children and young people enter the care system for a wide variety of reasons, but ultimately it is due to their birth family being unable to provide satisfactory care. They may or may not have experienced trauma before entering care but each looked after child is likely to be affected by the loss of their family. This is often correlated with feelings of abandonment and loneliness, with over 80% of foster care children requiring some form of mental health support. (NCSL)
In most countries around the world, there are not enough foster carers to cope with the demand. For example, in America in 2016, 117,000 children were waiting for adoption but there were only 57,000 placements available. On average, most children wait around 3 years to be adopted and more than 20,000 state wards age out of the system without finding a permanent home every year. (Adoption.org)
Question How can we improve the experiences of children in care?
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