Presentation on theme: "Maltreatment of children in Foster care Fordham University -Social Work In Law ManoucheKa Elmine."— Presentation transcript:
Maltreatment of children in Foster care Fordham University -Social Work In Law ManoucheKa Elmine
About 496,000 children currently in foster care In New York City, nearly 13,000 (Children Administration for Children’s Services, 2013). More than 24,000 children age out of the foster care system every year nationwide, and more than 1, 200 in New York City alone. In 2011, Queens, NY, had the second highest rate of foster care placements in New York City ( Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, 2011). In the US in 2012, the average age of a child entering the foster care system is 9 years old. (Center for Family Representation Children will remain in foster care on average of 2 ½ years 40 percent chance of experiencing three or more placements High incidences of abuse Some are broken up from their family and they never see them again- siblings are separated 25,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year with little/no family/community Source: National Governors Association (2011)
Working as a service provider in the Bridges to Health Program, my goal is to provide concrete services in a holistic manner to ensure that children in foster care receive adequate services to meet their needs. Many of the children I service have been in foster care for the over 5 years, and many have been traumatized due to multiple foster home placements. The foster care system fails to address the underlining cause of families’ dysfunctions and continues to foster maladaptive and disruptive behaviors in our youths.
Nationally, 56% of the children and youth in care are children and youth of color: African American children represent 29% of the children in foster care, but only 14% of the U.S child population( Casey Family Programs) 21 %Latino(AFCARS, 2011); Indian Children are at 3% 2 % are Asian
Foster care rate is increasing Most of these children have been the victims of repeated abuse and prolonged neglect and have not experienced nurturing, stable environment during the early years life. For every $6 spent on children in foster care, just $1 is available to fund services for families that will prevent foster care placements (Center for the family representation). Such experiences are critical in the short and long term development of a child’s brain and the ability to subsequently participate fully in society Children in foster care have extremely higher rate of physical developmental, and mental health problem and often have many unmet medical and mental health care needs. Children who spend time in foster care face serious life challenges later in life. They are more likely to experience teen pregnancy, homelessness, Incarceration, mental health mental issues, and less likely to complete their education or find employment. A recent study in of the California foster care system found that just 45% of foster youth completed high school, compared with 79% of the general population (Frerer, Sosenko and Henke, 2013). A program evaluation of a transition program for foster youth in Los Angeles found that that teens had spent an average of 8 years in the foster care system, during which they experienced an average of 6 different placement (Moore et al. 2012). In New York City, nearly half of foster youth face unemployment upon aging out of the system. ( Center for an Urban future) Former foster youth experience more than 7 times the rate of drug dependence and nearly 2 times the rate of alcohol dependence experienced in the general population. (the Casey National Alumni Study). Male former foster youth are more than 4 times as likely to be arrested than the general population, and females are 10 times more likely. (Cutler Consulting ) Foster care alumni experienced PTSD at a rate nearly 5 times that of the general population ( Center for the family representation).
Systems Theory Systems theory is use to understand family dynamics and to educate and promote healthy family structures. Service Providers try to understand how hierarchies and parental responsibility in family structures work, and determine when those hierarchies or responsibilities are not functioning properly, as well as when physical intervention may be necessary to protect members of the family. When one member of the family system experiences difficulties, the stress reverberates to all members of the family, as children and their families are interdependent (Webb, 2011). Systems theory can also be use to understand how public policy can be used to improve living conditions and help bring about social equality for those living within large social systems, such as cities, nations or even the world Systems theory can be use to promote racial equality, to understand how racism functions on a structural level throughout the foster care system and determine ways to end racism.
Article 4 (Protection of rights): Article 4 (Protection of rights): Society is responsibility to take all available measures to make sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. When countries ratify the Convention, they agree to review their laws relating to children. This involves assessing their social services, legal, health and educational systems, as well as levels of funding for these services. Governments are then obliged to take all necessary steps to ensure that the minimum standards set are being met. They must help families protect children’s rights and create an environment where they can grow and reach their potential. Article 10(Family reunification): "Families whose members live in different countries should be allowed to move between those countries so that parents and children can stay in contact, or get back together as a family”. Source: UNICEF, 2007
The Adoptions and Safe Families Act (ASFA) was signed by President Clinton and passed by Congress in 1997, with goals of safety and permanency for children in foster care. This amends the 1980 Child Welfare Act, clarifies that the health and safety of children served by child welfare agencies must be their paramount concern and aims to move children in foster care more quickly into permanent homes. Set shortens the time-frame for a child’s first permanency hearing; Offers states financial incentives for increasing the number of adoptions. Sets new requirements for states to petition for termination of parental rights; reauthorizes the Family Preservation and Support Program. These laws require child protection agencies also known as child welfare agencies to preserve families if it is reasonable to do so, given the risk to the child; to reunite children with parents, if it can be reasonably done, given the risks; or find a permanent home for the children. Federal and state laws require that non-emergency removal of a child from the home be reviewed by a court. Courts must also regularly review the cases of every child who is in out-of-home care.
Salvador Minchin's theory of structural family therapy seems to echo with the presenting problem and family context outlined foster care, in the cornerstone to understand any presenting problem is to establish the structure of the entire family, identify the subsystems with multi-generational family and define interpersonal boundaries (Nicholas, 2006). Structural family therapy as well as solution-based casework was chosen to address the families presenting problems. As Todal Christensen and Barrett (2008) stated "solution-based casework assumes that human problems can only be accurately understood in light of the context in which they occur and that case planning must take into consideration environmental factors, client competencies, family development, and relapse prevention strategies, (p.3). Solution based casework not only allowed one to understand the family dynamics, The approach also helps the family to focus on everyday life events, which helps the family build the skills needed to manage situations that are difficult for them and cause harm to them. It provides families with the skills and strategies to manage life stressors, which prevents them from entering /re-entering the system.
Work to increase the capacity of existing providers and identify more community-based supports and services. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of community needs and an analysis to find gaps between the need for services and their availability. Do comprehensive safety and risk assessments to evaluate family strengths and needs. Another priority is the support, development, and nurturing of case workers who serve in the foster care system. Reduce the caseloads of Case workers/social workers to ensure that they have time to address their clients' individuals’ needs Ensure that Foster Parents are fully trained and random home visits to ensure that the children placed in their care are safe. Children need stability to recover from the effects of early abuse or neglect, and to avoid further damage.
Children's Rights.com http://www.childrensrights.org/issues-resources/foster-care/role-of-child-welfare- systems/ Princeton.com http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/journals/article/index.xml?jo urnalid=40&articleid=135§ionid=888 Childwelfare.gov https://www.childwelfare.gov/permanency/reunification/ Children's bureau http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research Office of children and Family Services http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/fostercare/