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Principle 1: Family support and responsibilities
Support and supplement parents? And other family members? ability to carry out their responsibilities?
The Act (2006) provides for parents who are attempting to take good care of their families, even if they are sometimes unsure about how they should go about doing that. Because it is vital that parents are able to work with their children and care for them safely and properly if children are to stay in the home, it is clear that parenting classes and other methods are needed to ensure that family members treat children appropriately (Edwards, 2010). Not all children come from "good" homes, and some of those homes include parents who also did not come from "good" homes, meaning that the cycle is continuing and should be broken (Goodman, 2006). If the cycle of abuse or other family difficulties cannot be broken, children and their parents and other family members will continue to struggle in order to relate to one another, which can cause health and safety issues in the children if they are not removed from the home and placed into foster care.
Of course, it is not necessary to imply that all "dysfunctional" parents should have their children removed from their home (McCutcheon, 2010). There are many families that have difficulties, and one of the things about the Act (2006) is that there is a genuine concern for keeping families together and for helping parents better understand their children and how they can care for them as well as possible. All parents will make mistakes, and it is the seriousness of those mistakes that affect whether children will be removed from the home or whether the parent might just need some extra help in order to ensure that his or her children grow up as happy and healthy as possible. The goal of the Act (2006) is not to take children from parents, but to avoid it if possible and make it less traumatic if it becomes necessary.
The family policy analysis shows that there are still issues that need to be faced and addressed where adoption and other family issues are concerned. While most of the family problems that are seen can be adjusted for, there are still some issues that have not been properly addressed. With The Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act (2006), a strong effort was made to help families and children get what they need and find ways to be comfortable and safe as they move through the system. Helping not just children who are in foster placement but also the families that take them in - and the families from which the children have been taken - is a big part of the Act and what it has to offer for everyone who utilizes it. As a part of social security, the Act has a strong placement in the law and can be adjusted to better meet the needs of children and families who are struggling with issues that can lead to foster placement.
One of the best things that is offered by The Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act (2006) is the ability to travel from one state to another in order to place a child with a foster family. In the past, children could only be placed in the state in which they were removed from a home. Now, it is possible to move them to other states with foster families who are looking for children and who need and want to have a child in their lives. Because of the interstate option that was created by the Act, children who need help will get that help, families can be worked with and eventually reunited, and children who must remain in foster care long-term have a better chance of getting a family that really cares for them and that will want to take care of them as they grow up. Many children "age out" of the system at 18, and if they have had good families taking care of them during their formative years, they will be more likely to do well on their own when they become adults.
Avery, R.J., Butler, J.S., Schmidt, E.B., & Holtan, B.A. (2009). AdoptUsKids national photolisting service: Characteristics of listed children and length of time to placement. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(1): 140-154.
Bruskas, D. (2008). Children in Foster Care: A Vulnerable Population at Risk. 21 Journal of Children & Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 70, 71.
Davidson, H. (2008-2009). Federal law and state intervention when parents fail: Has national guidance of our child welfare system been successful? 42 Family Law Quarterly 481.
Edwards, J.L. (2010). Relative Placement in Child Protection Cases: A Judicial Perspective. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 61: 1 -- 44.
Goodman, G.S., et al. (2006). Predictors of Number of Out-of-Home Placements for Maltreated Children. University of California Davis, Center for Public Policy Research.
Hawkins-Leon, C.G., & Worthy, A. (2008). 10 years out of step & (and) out of line: Florida's statutory ban of lesbi-gay adoption violates the adoption and safe families act of 1997 (ASFA). 8 University of Maryland Law Journal Race, Religion, Gender, & Class 71.
McCutcheon, J. (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.
Sankaran, V. (2009). Wells conference on adoption law: Judicial oversight over the interstate placement of foster children: the missing element in current efforts to reform the interstate compact on the placement of children. 38 Capital University Law Review 385
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