Why the Need for Foster Parents Is Greater Than It Has Ever Been

Dr. Candice Matthews
4 min readOct 17, 2022

The number of children who need foster care is on the rise, but at the same time, there are more adults than ever choosing to work in the foster care system. A significant number of these youngsters are currently in the custody of social workers, the vast majority of whom are underpaid and overworked. While this may appear to be a great move, it is not nearly enough to ensure every kid has access to a safe and loving foster home. More people, money, and time need to be committed to this area of work if we can assist these children.

The United States government has initiated a program known as federal assistance, which provides financial incentives to the states in return for raising the number of children who are in foster care or waiting to be adopted. This financing also provides local CPS agencies with greater money to treat children with mental health difficulties, place them in foster families, and medicate them. Although the system is good for the children who have been removed from their families, many parents are disproportionately disadvantaged because they do not have the means necessary to care for their children.

These challenges are being addressed by the Center on Children and Families at Brookings, contributing to the solution by encouraging the creation of state laws that improve foster care. In addition, they are collaborating with advocates and managers of child welfare services to strengthen the capacity of state foster care organizations and recruit new foster parents. This will result in improved collaborations between foster parents and child welfare organizations and increased accountability for foster parents.

Foster care intends to reunite children with their biological families as quickly as possible. However, some foster parents may not be interested in adopting their children. In the circumstances like these, adoption may appear to be the best choice, but the system is meant to facilitate the reunification of families. Older children and teenagers who have been through traumatic experiences have the greatest and most immediate need for permanent homes. Because of this, prospective adoptive parents should get training in therapeutic and trauma-informed parenting.

Training and a flexible mindset are both prerequisites for foster care. Foster parents should never take in a kid with the intention of influencing the child’s future in any way. Instead, they require guidance so that they may be responsible parents and avoid substance abuse. They are also needed to get support and assistance with the children’s transitions.

There are a significant number of children who are placed in foster care who do not have any relatives who can care for them. Foster families are typically found for them by social service organizations. These youngsters are frequently in a highly traumatic state, and they may be resistant to the control of adults. Depression and anxiety are two conditions that can develop in a kid, both of which can result in a variety of health issues.

The mechanism for protecting children needs some changes. First, it is necessary for there to be increased openness and accountability. For example, when there is a child abuse or neglect complaint, it is unacceptable to allow the child or the foster parent to maintain their silence. These allegations ought to be taken seriously by the system that oversees child protection. In addition, prospective foster parents must be forthright about their strong and weak points. Foster families that are able to cooperate effectively with agencies and avoid having their licenses revoked as a result are likely to benefit from this.

Foster parents are extremely important to the growth and development of their charges. Foster care will benefit from increasing public and political support if foster parents are given more opportunities for public awareness. Foster parents are trained to advocate for children and do the same for the children in their care. If there is improved care for the children already in the system, foster care will benefit not just the children but also the foster families and the foster families themselves.

Children in foster care frequently struggle to adapt to their new surroundings. There is a possibility that they have a diverse range of demands, and it is challenging to cater to all of their requirements. The challenges that come with providing foster care can be taxing on the foster parents. There is a possibility of conflict arising between them and their biological parents. Foster parents may also be dealing with temporary custody issues, which can make their jobs more challenging.

Foster care workers require training on how to respond to circumstances in which there is a risk of abuse being perpetrated. Foster parents must have robust rules and practices to safeguard the children in their care. The right to confidentiality and the need for every report to be taken seriously should be included in these regulations. Foster parents could also require help from the communities in which they work and other foster parents. It is absolutely necessary to maintain professional boundaries and stay out of disagreements with other foster parents. Foster parents have a responsibility to strive toward changing governmental policy as well.

Foster parents need to be informed that children in their care may be adopted permanently or put under the custody of another adult. As a result, it is possible to lose parental rights, although this process is challenging. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the process of adopting a child can either be successful or cost-efficient.

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Dr. Candice Matthews

Dr. Candice Matthews is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of the organization’s strategic business plans in Houston, Texas.