The Foster Care Program

December 16, 2009
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The Foster Program

There has never been a time in my life that I have wanted kids. Well that is until recently, when I met two little boys by the names of Craig J.R. and James. These two little boys showed me the unconditional love that a child is willing to give. Craig and James were taken away from their family and were placed in a foster home. There were eight kids total in the family and all of them were placed into different homes. Both Craig and James were placed in the home of a family friend, and upon our first meeting, I fell in love with the two of them.

The kids were taken from their family due to neglect. The children never received nutritional food, but know the name of every fast food chain in St. Louis. Their parents never sent them to school, and most of the children were grades behind their age group. Two of the eight children had to have their front teeth removed due to malnutrition and at the age of three Craig was found at a Quik Trip miles away from his home all alone. There were lice in the children’s hair and home numerous times. The police also suspected that the father had beaten some of the older children before leaving for a job as a truck driver. Hearing all these harsh tings that had happened to the young ones made me question the foster care system as a whole. Is foster care really the best thing for a child who is put in harms way by living with their biological parents?

More than 800,000 children and families are affected by foster care each year. Three are 510,000 children currently living in foster care across the United States (Foster Club). Most kids are placed into foster care after being abused or neglected by parents. Children can be taken away from their parents at any age, but foster care is only a temporary solution. Kids move from foster home to foster home leaving behind friends, family, school, and everything they have gotten used to. After a certain amount of time living in foster homes some kids are able to reunite with their birth families and others become eligible for adoption. However, on average, the kids eligible for adoption wait an average of 39.4 months to find a permanent adoptive family (Foster Club).

When most think of foster kids they see wounded kids who are unable to hide their depression and usability. Yet, when meeting Craig and James’ family, the only thing I could see was pure joy to be together again. Talking with the older children, I saw how hard their life had been but they were still grateful for the life they had and the family they were with. These kids were some of the happiest kids I have ever met. I felt the most pain for the second oldest of the children, Lloyd. He had just turned sixteen, and in two short years he will age out of the foster care program. At eighteen, foster children are allowed to leave, but at twenty-one they become ineligible for foster services and most are kicked out of the homes (Bosman). Every year there are 18,000 young adults that are left, not quite prepared for life on their own. Most struggle to find housing, food, and a quality education after aging out (Foster Club).

The majority of federal funding for the foster services goes to placing and keeping children in foster care, and there is not enough money to help with prevention of abuse and neglect (Bosman). Every day that I see Craig and James, I wonder where they are going to be in seven years. I wonder how the experiences they have faced will shape them as they grow. I hope for the best for these two young boys because they deserve to be happy and prosper. In the end I think foster care is a good program for children. Although, some parts of the system are flawed, foster care gives kids in bad situations a good home and a chance to live a healthy life. Even though Craig and James have been through some really terrible adventures, I pray that the two of them become successful people in whatever they decide to do with their lives.

Works Cited & Consulted
Bosman, Julie “Too Old for Foster Care, and Facing the Recession”

The New York Times 7 April 2009 28 October 2009 Web
Foster Club “Foster Care Statistics” 2006

Fosterclub.com, website





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