Foster Children Essay

2130 Words 9 Pages
Around the world, the total number of children living without families they can call their own recently surpassed 160 million (Brown). In the United States alone, around four hundred thousand kids live in a foster care house or other type of nonpermanent home (Bynes). Each year, close to half of these children reunite with their biological families, which, although believed to be the ideal solution, does not always make the child’s safety and well-being the top priority. A smaller amount of the children in foster homes leave their biological parents permanently and have the chance of finding happiness with their new adoptive families. Unfortunately, the number of kids living without any parents is only increasing; thus, foster homes will always …show more content…
According to one report on the system’s origins, caring for children without families has always been considered a duty of society. Benjamin Ulitus, a foster care advocate and historian, explains that “several fifteenth century-Christian churches kept records of payments made by congregations to the worthy widows who decided to take in a dependent child,” and until England and Wales passed the English Poor Laws, this method was how towns took care of orphaned children (qtd. in Eviatar). The English Poor Laws were passed in the late sixteenth century with an objective of providing relief and aid to the poor citizens of these countries. These laws created the idea of indentured servitude in England, and the institution quickly spread to the United States of America as a way to deal with not only poor citizens but also orphaned children. Although the kids were placed as indentured servants with sometimes abusive and exploitive owners, the servitude was considered a step up because the kids could now learn a particular skill that they could use to find a job once they became adults. In its beginning years, the foster care system placed a large emphasis on helping children better their lives, so they could grow up to be adults with promising …show more content…
In the past, both federal and state governments have passed legislative acts to increase the rights of foster children, but these acts rarely perform as well as legislators hope they will. Many believe the government’s involvement benefitted the foster care system. By involving the government, however, state and federal agencies began their century-long debate over whose jurisdiction regulating the system fell under; this argument still continues today. As a result of this debate, both governments rarely pass effective legislative acts since they cannot agree on which aspects of the foster care system should be decided on at the state level and which at the federal level. Additionally, foster care agencies often follow their own rules and ignore legislation they do not support, knowing the government will do little to enforce the acts they pass. For example, Former President Bill Clinton passed one of the first acts to place the needs of the child as a top priority. His Adoption and Safe Families Act sped up the placement of severely abused foster children on the path to adoption. Many foster care agencies strongly believe in preserving families and create programs in order to help biological parents regain rights to any of their children that have been placed in foster homes. These

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