Child welfare systems are essential in promoting wellbeing. They ensure safety, facilitate permanency and strengthen families to successfully caring for children. Much of the child welfare services are managed by the, but the national government also play a critical role in supporting the states to deliver the required services through funding and setting rules and regulations. Suspected cases of child abuse or neglect by the parents are the major causes of many children ending up in welfare services. There is interdependency between organizations in the child welfare system, working together to strengthen families and keep children safe. Despite the growing importance of child welfare and foster care, research provides evidence on how the system can harm the children.
Fowler et al. (2017) traced the case of homelessness in adolescents to the children exposed to child welfare. The study tested whether aging out of foster care is a contributing factor to homelessness risk in emerging adulthood. A survey was conducted in a sample of adolescents which showed that some experienced housing problems. An analysis of latent class illustrated subtypes of housing problems among them being housing instability, literal homelessness, and stable housing. Results showed that youths reunified after out-of-home placement in adolescence had minimal chance of experiencing literal homelessness while those that aged out experienced similar rates of literal homelessness as those examined by child welfare but never went out of the home. Those exposed to independent living services and extended foster care did not have incidences of homelessness prevention. According to the article, emphasis on developing families is necessary to enhance housing stability during adulthood transition.
It is estimated that about 1% of children in America spend their time in foster care and about 6 percent get placed in a foster care at least once between birth and the time they hit 18 years of age. Some studies have focused on examining the consequences of foster care placement on the wellbeing of children, but only a few have investigated the mental and physical health of children under foster care. Turney & Wildeman (2016) compared the psychological and physical health of children in foster care with those not placed in foster care. They used a sample of a national representative of noninstitutionalized children in America. They used a logistic regression model to compare the parent-reported mental and physical health outcomes of children from the two groups. The results showed that children subjected to foster care had poor psychological and physical health compared to those derived from the general population and economically disadvantaged families. Those from foster care have higher chances of developing health problems compared to their counterparts. From the study, it is evident that children in foster care are vulnerable to poor health due to their early life circumstances.
The academic outcomes of children schooling from out-of-home placements raise questions on the adequacy of child welfare in promoting education for that vulnerable population. Bergeret al (2015) analyzed the relations between out of home placement and academic achievement. Results indicated that children in out-of-home placement setting had scores below the average. However, there were similar deficits across those with current, past and future exposure to such out of home placement. There was no discernible relation, statistically to indicate any association with reading or math achievement. According to the stud, out of home placement, a lot is not
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