What Is the Impact of Foster Care on Child Development?

Not all children have the opportunity to grow up in a loving home. Whether it’s due to their parents dying following a tragic occurrence or the parents themselves perpetuating abuse, many kids can end up with terrible home lives. Things can get so bad that some kids have to be removed from the only home they’ve ever known and be placed inside the foster care system.

But how can foster care affect a child? Feel free to read through the rest of this article if you wish to better understand what life is like for children in foster care.

What Is the Impact That Foster Care Has on Children?

The foster care system in the United States is far from perfect. How can we make that determination? Unfortunately, all it takes is a quick look at the average child that comes from the system.

Many issues affect the children that have to go through foster care.

First off, being in that flawed system has a significant impact on the mental health of children. According to this post from the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, kids in the system were more likely to be referred to psychiatrists compared to the rest of the population. Many of these kids also show symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Opportunities are also harder to come by for children that come from foster care. Studies have shown that kids coming from the system are less likely to enroll in college. Even the kids who manage to enter college still have lower odds of graduating.

The problems that plague children from foster care can follow them into adulthood. Around 25 to 35 percent of male foster kids will end up arrested at some point and many of them are subsequently convicted.

Money can also be an issue for many foster kids after they become adults. The statistics indicate that around 25 percent of them seek public financial assistance eventually.

The foster care system is clearly failing many of the kids that enter it. That needs to change because those kids deserve so much better.

A Reason for Optimism

Given the statistics we just discussed, it’s hard to deny the foster care system’s negative impact on many children. These kids are coming from tough places and things aren’t getting any easier for them.

However, some organizations are trying to bring about positive change. These organizations focus primarily on families. They want to develop better foster parents by working closely with the families who have an interest in helping out these troubled children.

By educating foster parents, these organizations are effectively creating better homes for the kids who are going through the system. The chances of a foster child ending up in a loving home are going up thanks to the efforts of these organizations and their partner parents.

Contact a similar organization in your area if you wish to help out.