Monday, 21 September 2015

Study shows foster care is not always best for children

"One in every six foster children in Scotland moves home two or more times a year, according to new figures."

"Action for Children said that 971 out of 6415 children in Scotland were in two or more placements between April 2014 and March 2015."

"The charity, which obtained the figures under the Freedom of Information Act, is now calling for more people to come forward to help provide stable homes for foster children in Scotland."

"It said that children and young people who regularly move between foster care homes are more likely to have poor social skills, reduced education outcomes and limited future employment prospects which may impact on their mental health and exacerbate any existing behavioural and emotional issues."

"Carol Iddon, director of children's services across Scotland, said: "

`For children in care, moving home is not just about leaving a house. It means leaving a family, friends, school and everything that's familiar to start all over again...`"

"The charity said that lots of people can foster, whether older, single, co-habiting or married, male or female or in a heterosexual or same sex relationship, but foster carers must have a spare room and the ability to stand alongside children and young people to help them recover."

Help them recover ?

We`re not comparing like with like, exactly, but there is evidence from the US to show that, in general, foster care provides worse outcomes for children than leaving them with their inadequate families.

"NCCPR long has argued that many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they had remained with their own families and those families had been given the right kinds of help."

"Turns out that’s not quite right."

"In fact, many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they remained with their own families even if those families got only the typical help (which tends to be little help, wrong help, or no help) commonly offered by child welfare agencies."

"That’s the message from the largest studies ever undertaken to compare the impact on children of foster care versus keeping comparably maltreated children with their own families. The study was the subject of a front-page story in USA Today."

"The first study, published in 2007, looked at outcomes for more than 15,000 children. It compared foster children not to the general population but to comparably-maltreated children left in their own homes. The result: On measure after measure the children left in their own homes do better."

"In fact, it’s not even close."

"Children left in their own homes are far less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, far less likely to wind up in the juvenile justice system and far more likely to hold a job for at least three months than comparably maltreated children who were placed in foster care. "

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