Foster care

Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home (residential child care community, treatment center,...), or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a "foster parent" or with a family member approved by the state. The placement of the child is normally arranged through the government or a social service agency. The institution, group home or foster parent is compensated for expenses unless with a family member.[1]

The State, via the family court and child protective services agency, stand in loco parentis to the minor, making all legal decisions while the foster parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of the minor.

A little more than a quarter of all foster children are placed in the care of relatives.[2][3] Most kinship care is done informally, without the involvement of a court or public organization. However, in the U.S., formal kinship care is increasingly common. In 2012, a quarter of all children in formal foster care were placed with relatives instead of being placed into the system.[4]

Childrens migrant programme
Children of the United Kingdom's Child Migration Programme – many of whom were placed in foster care in Australia

By country

Australia

In Australia foster care was known as "boarding-out". Foster care had its early stages in South Australia in 1866 and stretched to the second half of the 19th century. It is said that the system was mostly run by women until the early 20th century. Then the control was centered in many state children's departments. "Although boarding-out was also implemented by nongovernment[al] child rescue organizations, many large institutions remained. These institutions assumed an increasing importance from the late 1920s when the system went into decline." The system was re-energized in the postwar era, and in the 1970s. The system is still the main structure for "out-of-home care." The system took care of both local and foreign children. "The first adoption legislation was passed in Western Australia in 1896, but the remaining states did not act until the 1920s, introducing the beginnings of the closed adoption that reached it peak in the period 1940–1975. New baby adoption dropped dramatically from the mid-1970s, with the greater tolerance of and support for single mothers".[5]

Cambodia

Foster care in Cambodia is relatively new as an official practice within the government. However, despite a later start, the practice is currently making great strides within the country. Left with a large number of official and unofficial orphanages from the 1990s, the Cambodian government conducted several research projects in 2006 and 2008, pointing to the overuse of orphanages as a solution for caring for vulnerable children within the country. Most notably, the studies found that the percentage of children within orphanages that had parents approached 80%. At the same time, local NGOs like Children In Families began offering limited foster care services within the country. In the subsequent years, the Cambodian government began implementing policies that required the closure of some orphanages and the implementation of minimum standards for residential care institutions. These actions lead to an increase in the number of NGOs providing foster care placements and helped to set the course for care reform around the country. As of 2015, the Cambodian government is working with UNICEF, USAID, several governments, and many local NGOs in continuing to build the capacity for child protection and foster care within the Kingdom.

Canada

Foster children in Canada are known as permanent wards, (crown wards in Ontario).[6] A ward is someone, in this case a child, placed under protection of a legal guardian and are the legal responsibility of the government. Census data from 2011 counted children in foster care for the first time, counting 47,885 children in care. The majority of foster children – 29,590, or about 62 per cent – were aged 14 and under.[7] The wards remain under the care of the government until they "age out of care." All ties are severed from the government and there is no longer any legal responsibility toward the youth. This age is different depending on the province.

India

Many public and private institutions

Israel

In December 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved a bill co-drafted by the Israel National Council for the Child to regulate the rights and obligations of participants in the foster care system in Israel.[8]

Japan

In Japan, foster care started around 1948, leading to the passing of the Child Welfare Law.[9] The idea of foster care or taking in abandoned children actually came about around 1392-1490s in Japan. The foster care system in Japan is similar to the Orphan Trains because Brace thought the children would be better off on farms. The people in Japan thought the children would do better on farms rather than living in the "dusty city." The families would often send their children to a farm family outside the village and only keep their oldest son. The farm families served as the foster parents and they were financially rewarded for taking in the younger siblings. "It was considered an honor to be chosen as foster parents, and selection greatly depended on the family's reputation and status within the village".[10] Around 1895 the foster care program became more like the system used in the United States because the Tokyo Metropolitan Police sent children to a hospital where they would be "settled".[11] Problems emerged in this system, such as child abuse, so the government started phasing it out and "began increasing institutional facilities". In 1948 the Child Welfare Law was passed, increasing official oversight, and creating better conditions for the children to grow up in.[12][13]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, foster care and adoption has always been an option, "in the sense of taking other people's children into their homes and looking after them on a permanent or temporary basis." Although, nothing about it had a legal foundation, until the 20th century. The UK had "wardship," the family taking in the child had custody by the Chancery Court. Wardship was not used very often because it did not give the guardian "parental rights." In the 19th century came a "series of baby farming scandals." At the end of the 19th century they started calling it "boarding-out" like they did in Australia. They started placing the children in orphanages and workhouses as well. "The First World War saw an increase in organized adoption through adoption societies and child rescue organizations, and pressure grew for adoption to be given legal status." The first laws based on adoption and foster care were passed in 1926. "The peak number of adoptions was in 1968, since when there has been an enormous decline in adoption in the United Kingdom. The main reasons for children being adopted in the United Kingdom had been unmarried mothers giving up their children for adoption and stepparents adopting their new partner's children".[14]

United States

In the United States, foster care started as a result of the efforts of Charles Loring Brace. "In the mid 19th Century, some 30,000 homeless or neglected children lived in the New York City streets and slums."[15] Brace took these children off the streets and placed them with families in most states in the country. Brace believed the children would do best with a Christian farm family. He did this to save them from "a lifetime of suffering"[16] He sent these children to families by train, which gave the name The Orphan Train Movement. "[This] lasted from 1853 to the early 1890s [1929?] and transported more than 120,000 [250,000?] children to new lives."[17] When Brace died in 1890, his sons took over his work of the Children's Aid Society until they retired.[16] The Children's Aid Society created "a foster care approach that became the basis for the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997" called Concurrent Planning. This greatly impacted the foster care system. Children's Aid works with the biological and foster parents to "achieve permanency".[15] "From the mid-1800s to the eve of the Great Depression, orphan train children were placed with families who pre-selected them with an order form, specifying age, gender, hair and eye color. In other cases, trainloads of children were assembled on stages, train platforms or town halls and examined by prospective parents. "Conjuring the image of picking the best apple from the bin. Sometimes a child would be separated from his or her brothers and sisters, or would end up in a family that only wanted them to work. Most of the time the children were chosen by a loving or childless family".[18]

Placement

Family-based foster care is generally preferred to other forms of out of home care.[19] Foster care is intended to be a short term solution until a permanent placement can be made.[20] In most states, the primary objective is to reconcile children with the biological parent(s). However, if the parent(s) is unable or unwilling to care for the child, then the first choice of adoptive parents is a relative such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent, known as kinship care. If no related family member is willing or able to adopt, the next preference is for the child to be adopted by the foster parents or by someone else involved in the child's life (such as a teacher or coach). This is to maintain continuity in the child's life. If neither above option are available, the child may be adopted by someone who is a stranger to the child.

If none of these options are viable the plan for the minor may be to enter OPPLA (Other Planned Permanent Living Arrangement). This option allows the child to stay in custody of the state and the child can stay placed in a foster home, with a relative or a long term care facility, such as a residential child care community or, for children with development disabilities, physical disabilities or mental disabilities, a treatment center.

671,000 children were served by the foster care system in the United States in 2015.[21] "After declining more than 20 percent between FY 2006 and FY 2012 to a low of 397,000, the number of children in foster care on the last day of the fiscal year increased to 428,000 in FY 2015, with a slightly higher percent change from 2014 to 2015 (3.3%) than observed from 2013 to 2014 (3.2%)."[22] In 2015, there were about 112,000 children ready for adoptive families in the nation's foster care systems.[23]

The median amount of time a child spent in foster care in the U.S. in 2015 was 13.5 months.[24] That year, 74% of children spent less than two years in foster care, while 13% were in care for three or more years.[25] Of the estimated 427,910 children in foster care on September 30, 2015: 43 percent were White, 24 percent were African-American, 21 percent were Hispanic (of any race), 10 percent were other races or multiracial, and 2 percent were unknown or unable to be determined.[25]

Children may enter foster care voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary placement may occur when a biological parent or lawful guardian is unable to care for a child. Involuntary placement occurs when a child is removed from their biological parent or lawful guardian due to the risk or actual occurrence of physical or psychological harm. In the US, most children enter foster care due to neglect.[26] If a biological parent or legal guardian is unwilling to care for a child, the child is deemed to be dependent and is placed under the care of the child protection agency. The policies regarding foster care as well as the criteria to be met in order to become a foster parent vary according to legal jurisdiction.

Especially egregious failures of child protective services often serve as a catalyst for increased removal of children from the homes of biological parents. An example is the brutal torture and murder of 17-month-old Peter Connelly, a British toddler who died in London Borough of Haringey, North London after suffering more than 50 severe injuries over an eight-month period, including eight broken ribs and a broken back. Throughout the period of time in which he was being tortured, he was repeatedly seen by Haringey Children's services and NHS health professionals.[27] Haringey Children's services already failed ten years earlier in the case of Victoria Climbié.[28] In the time since his death, in 2007, cases have reached a record rate in England surpassing 10,000 in the reporting year ending in March 2012.[29]

Abuse and negligence

From 1993 through 2002 there were 107 recorded deaths; there are approximately 400,000 children in out-of-home care, in the United States. Almost 10% of children in foster care have stayed in foster care for five or more years. Nearly half of all children in foster care have chronic medical problems. 8% of all children in foster care have serious emotional problems, 11% of children exiting foster care aged out of the system, in 2011.[30] Children in foster care experience high rates of child abuse, emotional deprivation, and physical neglect. In one study in the United Kingdom "foster children were 7–8 times, and children in residential care 6 times more likely to be assessed by a pediatrician for abuse than a child in the general population".[31] A study of foster children in Oregon and Washington State found that nearly one third reported being abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.[32]

Medical and psychiatric disorders

A higher prevalence of physical, psychological, cognitive and epigenetic disorders for children in foster care has been established in studies in various countries. The Casey Family Programs Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study was a fairly extensive study of various aspects of children who had been in foster care. It noted that 80% of ex-foster children are doing "poorly".

Individuals who were in foster care experience higher rates of physical and psychiatric morbidity than the general population and suffer from not being able to trust and that can lead to placements breaking down.[33] In the Casey study of foster children in Oregon and Washington state, they were found to have double the incidence of depression, 20% as compared to 10% and were found to have a higher rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than combat veterans with 25% of those studied having PTSD. Children in foster care have a higher probability of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and deficits in executive functioning, anxiety as well as other developmental problems.[34][35][36][37] These children experience higher degrees of incarceration, poverty, homelessness, and suicide. Studies in the U.S. have suggested that some foster care placements may be more detrimental to children than remaining in a troubled home,[38] but a more recent study suggested that these findings may have been affected by selection bias, and that foster care has little effect on behavioral problems.[39]

Neurodevelopment

Foster children have elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in comparison to children raised by their biological parents. Elevated cortisol levels can compromise the immune system. (Harden BJ, 2004).[40] Most of the processes involved in healthy neurodevelopment are predicated upon the establishment of close nurturing relationships and environmental stimulation. Negative environmental influences during this critical period of brain development can have lifelong consequences.[41][42][43][44]

Post traumatic stress disorder

PTSD stress brain
Regions of the brain associated with stress and posttraumatic stress disorder[45]

Children in foster care have a higher incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In one study,[46] 60% of children in foster care who had experienced sexual abuse had PTSD, and 42% of those who had been physically abused met the PTSD criteria. PTSD was also found in 18% of the children who were not abused. These children may have developed PTSD due to witnessing violence in the home. (Marsenich, 2002).

In a study conducted in Oregon and Washington state, the rate of PTSD in adults who were in foster care for one year between the ages of 14–18 was found to be higher than that of combat veterans, with 25 percent of those in the study meeting the diagnostic criteria as compared to 12–13 percent of Iraq war veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam war veterans, and a rate of 4% in the general population. The recovery rate for foster home alumni was 28.2% as opposed to 47% in the general population.

"More than half the study participants reported clinical levels of mental illness, compared to less than a quarter of the general population".[47][48]

Eating disorders

Foster children are at increased risk for a variety of eating disorders in comparison to the general population. In a study done in the United Kingdom, 35% of foster children experienced an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) once in care.[49] Food Maintenance Syndrome is characterized by a set of aberrant eating behaviors of children in foster care. It is "a pattern of excessive eating and food acquisition and maintenance behaviors without concurrent obesity"; it resembles "the behavioral correlates of Hyperphagic Short Stature". It is hypothesised that this syndrome is triggered by the stress and maltreatment foster children are subjected to, it was prevalent amongst 25 percent of the study group in New Zealand.[35] Bulimia nervosa is seven times more prevalent among former foster children than in the general population.[50]

Poverty and homelessness

Riischildren
New York street children in 1890

Nearly half of foster children in the U.S. become homeless when they turn 18.[51] "One of every 10 foster children stays in foster care longer than seven years, and each year about 15,000 reach the age of majority and leave foster care without a permanent family—many to join the ranks of the homeless or to commit crimes and be imprisoned.[52][53]

Three out of 10 of the United States homeless are former foster children.[54] According to the results of the Casey Family Study of Foster Care Alumni, up to 80 percent are doing poorly—with a quarter to a third of former foster children at or below the poverty line, three times the national poverty rate.[55] Very frequently, people who are homeless had multiple placements as children: some were in foster care, but others experienced "unofficial" placements in the homes of family or friends.

Individuals with a history of foster care tend to become homeless at an earlier age than those who were not in foster care. The length of time a person remains homeless is longer in individuals who were in foster care.[56]

Suicide-death rate

Children in foster care are at a greater risk of suicide.[57] The increased risk of suicide is still prevalent after leaving foster care. In a small study of twenty-two Texan youths who aged out of the system, 23 percent had a history of suicide attempts.[58]

A Swedish study utilizing the data of almost one million people including 22,305 former foster children who had been in care prior to their teens, concluded:

Former child welfare clients were in year of birth and sex standardised risk ratios (RRs) four to five times more likely than peers in the general population to have been hospitalised for suicide attempts....Individuals who had been in long-term foster care tended to have the most dismal outcome...former child welfare/protection clients should be considered a high-risk group for suicide attempts and severe psychiatric morbidity.[59]

Death rate

Children in foster care have an overall higher mortality rate than children in the general population.[60] A study conducted in Finland among current and former foster children up to age 24 found a higher mortality rate due to substance abuse, accidents, suicide and illness. The deaths due to illness were attributed to an increased incidence of acute and chronic medical conditions and developmental delays among children in foster care.[61]

Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer published a report "The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services"[62] stating:

"The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official "safety", these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population".[62]

Academic prospects

Educational outcomes of ex-foster children in the Northwest Alumni Study:[63]

  • 56% completed high school compared to 82% of the general population, although an additional 29% of former foster children received a G.E.D. compared to an additional 5% of the general population.
  • 42.7% completed some education beyond high school.
  • 20.6% completed any degree or certificate beyond high school
  • 16.1% completed a vocational degree; 21.9% for those over 25.
  • 1.8% complete a bachelor's degree, 2.7% for over 25, the completion rate for the general population in the same age group is 24%, a sizable difference.

The study reviewed case records for 659 foster care alumni in Northwest USA, and interviewed 479 of them between September 2000 and January 2002.[63]

Higher Education

Approximately 10% of foster youth make it to college and of those 10%, only about 3% actually graduate and obtain a 4-year degree.[64] Although the number of foster youth who are starting at a 4-year university after high school has increased over the years, the number of youth who graduate from college continues to remain stable. A study of 712 youth in California, the results revealed that foster care youth are fives times less likely to attend college than youth who do not go through foster care.[65] There are different resources that offer both financial and emotional support for foster youth to continue their education. Simultaneously, there are also many barriers that make getting to a college or university difficult.

Borton describes some of the barriers youth face in her article, Barriers to Post-Secondary Enrollment for Former Foster Youth. A few of those barriers include financial hurdles, navigating through the application process with little to no support, and lack of housing.[66]

Many studies have shown that there are a few factors that have seemingly played a role in the success of foster youth making it to and graduating from a college or university.  While having financial resources for foster youth is a huge help, there are other components to look at. Beginning with having support for these youth at the high school level. In order for foster youth to obtain a college degree, they must enroll at a university first.

Out of the different factors that play in increasing college enrollment such as youth participating in extended foster care, reading ability, etc., youth who received assistance or had supportive relationships from adults, were more likely than youth who did not have supportive relationships, to enroll at a university.[65]

At colleges across the nation, there are programs that are specifically put in place to help youth who have aged out of the foster care system and continued into higher education. These programs often help youth financially by giving them supplemental funds and providing support through peer mentor programs or academic counseling services. While funding is an important key in helping get through college, it hasn't been found as the only crucial component in aiding a youth's success.  

A study done by Jay and colleagues provides insight on what youth view as important in helping them thrive on a college campus. The study, which had a sample of 51 foster youth, used Conceptual Mapping to break down the different components of support that may be important for youth to receive on a college campus.[67] It is important to take in the different factors that can be helpful for youth at a university and to look beyond providing financial support.

Psychotropic medication use

Studies have revealed that youth in foster care covered by Medicaid insurance receive psychotropic medication at a rate that was 3 times higher than that of Medicaid-insured youth who qualify by low family income. In a review (September 2003 to August 2004) of the medical records of 32,135 Texas foster care 0–19 years old, 12,189 were prescribed psychotropic medication, resulting in an annual prevalence of 37.9% of these children being prescribed medication. 41.3% received 3 different classes of these drugs during July 2004, and 15.9% received 4 different classes. The most frequently used medications were antidepressants (56.8%), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs (55.9%), and antipsychotic agents (53.2%). The study also showed that youth in foster care are frequently treated with concomitant psychotropic medication, for which sufficient evidence regarding safety and effectiveness is not available.[68]

The use of expensive, brand name, patent protected medication was prevalent. In the case of SSRIs the use of the most expensive medications was noted to be 74%; in the general market only 28% are for brand name SSRI's vs generics. The average out-of-pocket expense per prescription was $34.75 for generics and $90.17 for branded products, a $55.42, difference.[69]

Therapeutic intervention

Children in the child welfare system have often experienced significant and repeated traumas and having a background in foster homes—especially in instances of sexual abuse—can be the precipitating factor in a wide variety of psychological and cognitive deficits[70] it may also serve to obfuscate the true cause of underlying issues. The foster care experience may have nothing to do with the symptoms, or on the other hand, a disorder may be exacerbated by having a history of foster care and attendant abuses. The human brain however has been shown to have a fair degree of neuroplasticity.[71][72][73] and adult neurogenesis has been shown to be an ongoing process.[74]

Cross-cultural adoption policies

George Shanti, Nico Van Oudenhoven, and Ekha Wazir, co-authors of Foster Care Beyond the Crossroads: Lessons from an International Comparative Analysis, say that there are four types of Government foster care systems. The first one is that of developing countries. These countries do not have policies implemented to take care of the basic needs of these children and these children mostly receive assistance from relatives. The second system is that of former socialist governments. The historical context of these states has not allowed for the evolution of their foster care system. NGO's have urged them to evolve; however the traditional system of institutionalizing these children is still in place. Thirdly, liberal democracies do not have the support from its political system in order to take care of these children, even though they have the resources. Finally, social democracies are the most advanced governments in regards to their foster care system. These governments have a massive infrastructure, funding, and support system in order to help foster care children.[75]

Adoption

Foster care[76] adoption is a type of domestic adoption where the child is initially placed into a foster care system and is subsequently placed for adoption. Children may be placed into foster care for a variety of reasons; including, removal from the home by a governmental agency because of maltreatment.[77] In some jurisdictions, adoptive parents are licensed as and technically considered foster parents while the adoption is being finalized.[78] According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau, there were approximately 408,425 children in foster care in 2010. Of those children, twenty-five percent had a goal of adoption. In 2015, 243,060 children exited foster care and twenty-two percent were adopted.[79] Nationwide, there are more than one hundred thousand children in the U.S. foster care system waiting for permanent families.[80]

See also

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Further reading

  • Hurley, Kendra (2002). "Almost Home" Retrieved June 27, 2006.
  • Carlson, E.A. (1998). "A prospective longitudinal study of disorganized/disoriented attachment". Child Development. 69 (4): 1107–1128. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.1998.tb06163.x. JSTOR 1132365. PMID 9768489.
  • Knowlton, Paul E. (2001). "The Original Foster Care Survival Guide"; A first person account directed to successfully aging out of foster care.
  • McCutcheon, James, 2010. "Historical Analysis and Contemporary Assessment of Foster Care in Texas: Perceptions of Social Workers in a Private, Non-Profit Foster Care Agency". Applied Research Projects. Texas State University Paper 332.

External links

Adoption and Safe Families Act

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA, Public Law 105-89) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 19, 1997, after having been approved by the United States Congress earlier in the month.

Adoption in the United States

In the United States, adoption is permanently placing a minor (a person under the age of 18) with a parent or parents other than the birth parents.

Aging out

Aging out is American popular culture vernacular used to describe anytime a youth leaves a formal system of care designed to provide services below a certain age level.

There are a variety of applications of the phrase throughout the youth development field. In respect to foster care, aging out is the process of a youth transitioning from the formal control of the foster care system towards independent living. It is used to describe anytime a foster youth leaves the varying factors of foster care, including home, school and financial systems. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services defines an "aging out" case as, "a situation referring to a person's petition to become a permanent legal resident as a child, and in the time that passes during the processing of the application, the child turns 18 and ages out.

Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services (CPS) is the name of a governmental agency in many states of the United States responsible for providing child protection, which includes responding to reports of child abuse or neglect. Some states use other names, often attempting to reflect more family-centered (as opposed to child-centered) practices, such as "Department of Children & Family Services" (DCFS). CPS is also known by the name of "Department of Social Services" (DSS) or simply "Social Services".

List of Other Names and Acronyms for CPS:

Department of Children and Families – DCF

Department of Children and Family Services – DCFS

Department of Social Services – DSS

Department of Human Services – DHS

Department of Child Safety – DCSCPS/DCF is a department under a state's Health and Human Services organization.

David Meade

David Meade (born June 22, 1976) is an American politician and a Republican member of the Kentucky House of Representatives representing District 80 since January 8, 2013. His legislative district includes Lincoln County and part of Pulaski County.

Department of Social Welfare and Development

The Philippines' Department of Social Welfare and Development (Filipino: Kagawaran ng Kagalingan at Pagpapaunlad Panlipunan, abbreviated as DSWD) is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for the protection of the social welfare of rights of Filipinos and to promote social development.

Devon Hamilton

Devon Hamilton is a fictional character from the original CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless, portrayed by Bryton James. The character made his first onscreen appearance on June 1, 2004. The character is introduced as a homeless teenager who is taken in by the Winters family, the core African-American family within the series. Drucilla Winters (Victoria Rowell) sympathizes with Devon because she too was a product of the foster care system. Drucilla and her husband Neil (Kristoff St. John) raise Devon along with their daughter Lily (Christel Khalil) and legally adopt him in 2006.

Unlike most young male characters whose stories typically centered around romance and teen angst, the character of Devon became a vehicle for social and human interest stories, focusing on the challenges of having a drug addict for a parent, being a product of the foster care system, and deafness. While Devon has a consistent love interest, the romance was rarely displayed and severely undeveloped. In 2009, the character was involved in a controversial storyline in which he had an affair with Tyra Hamilton (Eva Marcille), a woman he'd come to know as his aunt, though it was later revealed that they are not related. The foster care, meningitis and deaf story arcs received critical acclaim for their social impact and earned James multiple Daytime Emmy Award nominations and a win in 2007. James also earned several NAACP Image Award nominations and a win in 2009.

In 2011, the character would be written into more traditional soap opera plots starting with the revelation that he is the long lost grandson of the wealthy Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper). However, the plot twist would only bring him closer to his adoptive father, Neil. In 2013, Devon inherits the bulk of Katherine's billion-dollar estate which turns his life upside down. In 2014, Devon enters into an affair with Neil's young wife Hilary Curtis (Mishael Morgan). Devon's forbidden love affair with Hilary would mark the character's first major love story and would also solidify the character as a viable romantic lead. Due to the chemistry between the characters, the pairing of Devon and Hilary quickly amassed a very active fan base and as well as critical acclaim which propelled them to supercouple status. James's portrayal of Devon during Hilary's kidnapping also earned James a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2016.

Foster Care Independence Act

The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (Pub.L. 106–169, 113 Stat. 1882, enacted December 14, 1999) aims to assist youth aging out of foster care in the United States in obtaining and maintaining independent living skills. Youth aging out of foster care, or transitioning out of the formal foster care system, are one of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. As youth age out of the foster care system at age 18, they are expected to become self-sufficient immediately, even though on average youth in the United States are not expected to reach self-sufficiency until age 26.With the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999, funding was increased to enable states to design, conduct, and evaluate independent living programs with the purpose of assisting youth as they transition out of foster care. States are encouraged to create programs that support youth by addressing finances, housing, health, education, and employment. The bill also increases support to youth aging out of foster care in other ways, such as broadening the eligibility requirements to obtain Medicaid and increasing funding for adoption incentives.

The Act also included provisions relating to Social Security (OASDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and provides special cash benefits to World War II veterans.

Foster care in the United States

Foster care is the term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in an institution, group home (residential child care community, residential treatment center, ...), or private home of a state certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent". The placement of the child is usually arranged through the government or a social-service agency. The institution, group home or foster parent is provided compensation for expenses.The state via the family court and child protection agency stand in loco parentis to the minor, making all legal decisions while the foster parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of said minor. The foster parent is remunerated by the state for their services.

In the United States, foster home licensing requirements vary from state to state, but are generally overseen by each state's Department of Child Protective Services or Human Services. In some states, counties have this responsibility. Each state's services are monitored by the federal Department of Health and Human Services through reviews such as Child and Family Services Reviews, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System and Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System Assessment Reviews.The foster parent licensing process is often similar to the process to become licensed to adopt. It requires preparation classes as well as an application process. The application varies but may include: a minimum age, verification that your income allows you to meet your expenses, a criminal record check at local, state and federal levels including finger printing and no prior record of child abuse or neglect; a reference from a doctor to ensure that all household members are free from diseases that a child could catch and in sufficient health to parent a child and; letters of reference from an employer and others who know them.

Another option for placements are Residential Child Care Communities or, in case of severe behavioral or mental challenges, Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs). The focus of treatment in such facilities is often to prepare the child for a return to a foster home, to an adoptive home, or to the birth parents when applicable, however, some children also stay in long-term care. The effectiveness of these facilities is often questioned, but considerable benefits of these types of care have been found as well.There are some children in foster care who are difficult to place in permanent homes through the normal adoption process. These children are often said to require "special-needs adoption." In this context, "special needs" can include situations where children have specific chronic medical problems, mental health issues, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. In some cases, sibling groups, and older children qualify as "special needs." Governments offer a variety of incentives and services to facilitate this class of adoptions.

Fosterage

Fosterage, the practice of a family bringing up a child not their own, differs from adoption in that the child's parents, not the foster-parents, remain the acknowledged parents. In many modern western societies foster care can be organised by the state to care for children with troubled family backgrounds, usually on a temporary basis. In many pre-modern societies fosterage was a form of patronage, whereby influential families cemented political relationships by bringing up each other's children, similar to arranged marriages, also based on dynastic or alliance calculations.

This practice was once common in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) ((Pub.L. 95–608, 92 Stat. 3069, enacted November 8, 1978), codified at 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901–1963) is a Federal law that governs jurisdiction over the removal of Native American (Indian) children from their families.

Kristine Howard

Kristine Howard is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 167th legislative district. She was first elected on November 6, 2018.Howard is from Malvern, Pennsylvania and has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers Law School. She worked in New Mexico running a legal and social services organization before moving back to Pennsylvania to advocate for youth in foster care as a part of the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Howard investigated child abuse in Chester County, when she worked at the Chester County Department of Children, Youth, and Family Services.Howard has seven children.

List of Drawn Together episodes

This is a comprehensive list of episodes for the animated television comedy Drawn Together. Each episode (except "Lost in Parking Space, Part One" and "Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care") contains at least one musical number that ties into the action of the scene in which it appears. These are either original songs (some parodies of existing songs) sung by the cast (often full-blown production numbers), or outside songs that play during montages. Season 1 premiered on October 27, 2004. Season 3, which consists of fourteen episodes, began airing on October 5, 2006. After a one-year hiatus, new episodes returned October 4, 2007 with the last seven episodes of Season 3. The series finale aired on November 14, 2007. A total of 36 episodes were produced over the series' three seasons.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is a principal department of state of Michigan, headquartered in Lansing, that provides public assistance, child and family welfare services, and oversees health policy and management.

Additionally, the MDHHS oversees Michigan's child and adult protective services, foster care, adoptions, juvenile justice, domestic violence, and child support programs. The MDHHS also licenses adult foster care, child day care and child welfare facilities.

Orphanage

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton along with three other women started the first ever orphanage in New York. It is called the Graham Windham. You can find it in Greenwich Village. Historically, an orphanage was a residential institution, or group home, devoted to the care of orphans and other children who were separated from their biological families. Examples of what would cause a child to be placed in orphanages are when the biological parents were deceased, the biological family was abusive to the child, there was substance abuse or mental illness in the biological home that was detrimental to the child, or the parents had to leave to work elsewhere and were unable or unwilling to take the child. The role of legal responsibility for the support of children whose parent(s) have died or are otherwise unable to provide care differs internationally.

The use of government-run orphanages has been phased out in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and in the European Union member-states during the latter half of the 20th century but continue to operate in many other regions internationally. While the term "orphanage" is no longer typically used in the United States, nearly every US state continues to operate residential group homes for children in need of a safe place to live and in which to be supported in their educational and life-skills pursuits. Homes like the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, Mooseheart in Illinois and the Crossnore School and Children's Home in North Carolina continue to provide care and support for children in need. While a place like the Milton Hershey School houses nearly 2,000 children, each child lives in a small group-home environment with "house parents" who often live many years in that home. Children who grow up in these residential homes have higher rates of high school and college graduation than those who spend equivalent numbers of years in the US Foster Care system, wherein only 44 to 66 percent of children graduate from high school.Research from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) is often cited as demonstrating that residential institutions negatively impact the wellbeing of children. The BEIP selected orphanages in Bucharest, Romania that raised abandoned children in socially and emotionally deprived environments in order to study the changes in development of infants and children after they had been placed with specially trained foster families in the local community. This powerful study demonstrated how the lack of loving attention typically provided to children by their parents or caregivers is pivotal for optimal human development, specifically of the brain; adequate nutrition is not enough. Further research of children who were adopted from institutions in Eastern European countries to the US demonstrated that for every 3.5 months that an infant spent in the institution, they lagged behind their peers in growth by 1 month. Further, a meta-analysis of research on the IQs of children in orphanages found lower IQs among the children in many institutions, but this result was not found in the low-income country setting.Worldwide, residential institutions like orphanages can often be detrimental to the psychological development of affected children. In countries where orphanages are no longer in use, the long-term care of unwarded children by the state has been transitioned to a domestic environment, with an emphasis on replicating a family home. Many of these countries, such as the United States, utilize a system of monetary stipends paid to foster parents to incentivize and subsidize the care of state wards in private homes. A distinction must be made between foster care and adoption, as adoption would remove the child from the care of the state and transfer the legal responsibility for that child's care to the adoptive parent completely and irrevocably, whereas in the case of foster care, the child would remain a ward of the state with the foster parent acting only as caregiver.

Most children who live in orphanages are not orphans; four out of five children in orphanages have at least one living parent and most having some extended family. Developing countries and their governments rely on kinship care to aid in the orphan crisis, because it is cheaper to financially help extended families in taking in an orphaned child then it is to institutionalize them. Additionally, developing nations are lacking in child welfare and their well-being because of lack of resources. Research that is being collected in the developing world shows that these countries focus purely on survival indicators instead of a combination of their survival and other positive indicators like a developed nation would do. This speaks to the way that many developed countries treat an orphan crisis, as the only focus is to obtain a way to insure their survival. In the developed nations orphans can expect to find not only a home but also these countries will try an ensure a secure future as well. Furthermore, orphans in developing nations are seen as a problem that needs to be solved, this also makes them vulnerable to exploitation or neglect. In Pakistan, alternative care for orphans often falls on to extended families and Pakistan society as the government feels puts the burden of caring for orphans on them. Although it is very common for Pakistan citizens to take in orphans because of their culture and religion only orphans whose parents have passed away are taken in. This neglects a population of children who need alternative care either due to abuse or parents who are unable to care for their child because of poverty, mental, or physical issues.A few large international charities continue to fund orphanages, but most are still commonly founded by smaller charities and religious groups. Especially in developing countries, orphanages may prey on vulnerable families at risk of breakdown and actively recruit children to ensure continued funding. Orphanages in developing countries are rarely run by the state. However, not all orphanages that are state-run are less corrupted; the Romanian orphanages, like those in Bucharest, were founded due to the soaring population numbers catalyzed by dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who banned abortion and birth control and incentivized procreation in order to increase the Romanian workforce.Today’s residential institutions for children, also described as congregate care, include group homes, residential child care communities, children's homes, refuges, rehabilitation centers, night shelters, and youth treatment centers.

Pet adoption

Pet adoption is the process of taking responsibility for a pet that a previous owner has abandoned or released to a shelter or rescue organization. Common sources for adoptable pets are animal shelters and rescue groups. Some organizations give adopters ownership of the pet, while others use a guardianship model wherein the organization retains some control over the animal's future use or care.

Also available is online pet adoption. These sites have databases of pets being housed by thousands of animal shelters and rescue groups, and are searchable by the public. They include Petfinder.org and Adopt-a-Pet.com.

Residential care

Residential care refers to long-term care given to adults or children who stay in a residential setting rather than in their own home or family home.

There are various residential care options available, depending on the needs of the individual. People with disabilities, mental health problems, learning difficulties, Alzheimers, dementia or who are frail aged are often cared for at home by paid or voluntary caregivers, such as family and friends, with additional support from home care agencies. However, if home-based care is not available or not appropriate for the individual, residential care may be required.

Residential child care community

Residential child care communities are part of the foster care system and combine several aspects of ways and means to raise a child.

It is a type of residential care, which refers to long-term care given to children who cannot stay in their birth family home. There are two different approaches towards residential care: The family model (using married couples who live with a certain number of children) and the shift care model.

A community (origin: Latin communis, "shared in common") is a social unit of people who share e.g. norms, religion, values or identity. It is often tied to a specific geographic or virtual area. Residential child care communities operate on one or more than one campus, which connects the different units within the program. House parents/ social workers, therapists, caseworkers, teachers, management staff members as well as other staff members that contribute to the program of the specific organization cooperate to ensure a positive environment for every single child. By sharing a campus, additional aspects such as work programs, leisure activities, therapy and tutoring can be offered, which is not possible for foster parents due to a lack of resources. These communities are also well connected with their environment, their donors and other residential child care communities and keep in touch with and support their alumni.

A residential child care community might also be referred to as a group home or a form of congregate care. When using these terms one has to be careful not to confuse this concept with that of a residential treatment center (which is highly restrictive and established for children with severe behavioral issues) or an orphanage.

Special needs

In the United States, special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, mental, or psychological. For instance, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases 9th edition both give guidelines for clinical diagnosis. Special needs can range from people with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, dyslexia, blindness, ADHD, and cystic fibrosis. They can also include cleft lips and/or palates, port-wine stains, and missing limbs. The types of special needs vary in severity, and a student with a special need is classified as being a severe case when the students IQ is between 20 and 35. These students typically need assistance in school, and have different services given to them for them to succeed in a different setting.In the United Kingdom, special needs often refers to special needs within an educational context. This is also referred to as special educational needs (SEN) or special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). In the United States, 18.5 percent of all children under the age of 18 (over 13.5 million children) had special health care needs as of 2005.More narrowly, it is a legal term applying in foster care in the United States, derived from the language in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. It is a diagnosis used to classify children as needing "more" services than those children without special needs who are in the foster care system. It is a diagnosis based on behavior, childhood and family history, and is usually made by a health care professional.

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