Children in foster care is a topic that many individuals are opinionated about but do not have much research on in order to form their belief. In society, every individual looks at the system that are brought about by government differently due to the problems of the system; this is the same with the foster care system. The foster care system is takes on way more than they can handle but still cannot help all the children that need it. The caseworkers in the foster care system are overloaded with the cases they must handle which causes the caseworkers to quit, children stuck in the system for a longer amount of time and the life of the children to be effected. Some people may think then why are we taking them out of their homes or why are the caseworkers not doing their jobs. Which when people ask these questions is where the information gathered by a social scientist should come in. With social science research by looking more directly into what is effect on the children they can help work with the Foster care system to begin to fix the problem. Why listen to social scientist some may ask. Well social scientist conduct research on the individuals within different institutions like family life, school life, work, religion, etc. The research that is gathered by social scientist can began to open communication about what is really lacking in the foster care system.
Media today is what most individuals view as news or the real problem. When looking at the media around children in foster care or child abuse or family violence in general you get meme or videos that are photo shopped making the child look like the problem and describing what some random individual thinks is what the life of a child in foster care is. One video that I personally like is Removed which is on YouTube, but the problem with this video is that it does not explain what the little girl is struggling with or how we can help her. By adding more attention to the sociological aspect of popular media the society can become to better understand and help in the causes they wish to improve. Being better informed cannot happen without letting social scientist talk.
Some sociologist has begun to start researching the problems with caseworker turnover and the mental and physical health of those in the foster care system. The research specifically looks at what the children and foster parent feel about their relationship with their caseworkers and based on where the children in foster care system what effect does it have on the child’s health. When talking to the foster parents that have worked with different caseworkers the explained that they felt most of the time the caseworkers were too busy to pay attention to the factors in the child’s case, because of this the foster families felt that the foster care system needs more caseworkers so that each case would receive greater attention and communication (Geiger et al 2017). The children were also asked about what they see as problems in the system and what could make their childhood better if they were able to change something. The majority of the children expressed that when they were in the foster homes and their caseworker changed the chance of them being adopted no longer was in the short further. The reason for this is that when a caseworker on a case quits a new caseworker must take over the case in which they know nothing about and the case pretty much starts from the beginning. The children expressed that the one aspect they hated most when the caseworker changed is that in many cases they would have to switch home and try to trust another person (Sage 2010).
When children are placed in foster care they can be placed in care with another family member, in a foster family, or in a group home. Depending on which the child is placed in to is the experiences the child will have. When a child in placed in care with another family member their chances of having a shorter stay and less mental and physical health problems than if a child is placed in group home care (Leslie et al. 2000). Living with a foster family is a close second to living with a family member in most cases. When living with a foster home depending on what the child has already been through is the chance that they will be able to have a low number of different foster homes, but this does not always just rely on the children, sometimes it depends on if the caseworkers knows the child well enough to place them in a home (Twigg et al. 2007). Group homes are where the most mental and physical health problems are viewed because the child is not getting the individual attention that he/she needs to develop in to their own personality. Instead the child is stuck with a group of other children around their age range to follow the bad behavior (Hyde et al. 2009).
The foster care system is setup to help the children, not hurt them so why are we failing them when it comes to getting them back with their parents or adopted. The caseworkers are working to make the best childhood for the children as they can but it is not possible if the system keeps working the caseworkers to quitting because there are too many cases to handle. Reading this many of you probably are wondering how can we do anything to fix the problem we do not control the foster care system, well you can help. The way that everyone in the society can help is to speak out about what needs to be changed and I do not mean be rude to those trying to help. I mean speak out and say we do not want to see the system fail another child, what can I do to help? Another way you can help is be a foster parent and focus on the child you have in your home and make the caseworker talk to you and you talk to the caseworker. Volunteer to help the foster care agency find more foster care workers or help set up a training program for foster parent to take in order to educate them. Any little way other than just forming an opinion can help. Do not leave the change to the children we can help them.