Programs for Children in the Research Paper

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However, from 2008 the number began to decrease slightly. The rate of increase in the number of children aging out of the United States foster care system from 1998 to 2007 is 71.7%. Whereas the rate declined by 0.71% in the year 2008. In the year 2009, there was again a decline of 0.33%. In the year 2010, the number of children aging out of foster care system declined by 5.4%. It can be concluded from the above figure that there was a significant increase in the number of children aging out of foster care system from the year 1998 to 2007. Whereas, this number started declining from the year 2008 and it is still following a declining trend. (McCoy-Roth, DeVoogh & Fletcher, 2011)

Challenges Faced by the youth aging out of Foster Care System

Children who age out of the foster care system generally face many problems in relation to education, employment, health and residence. According to different studies, the youth aging out of the foster care system faces a number of difficulties. Few of the most significant problems that they face are unemployment, lack of educational and health care facilities and residential issues. (Gardner, 2008)

Educational Problems

Although it is the basic right of all the children to get proper education; it has been indicated by a number of studies that most of the youth aging out of the foster care system face significant disparities in terms of education. According to a study conducted by Midwest, youth aging out of foster care system is two times more likely of not having a college diploma as compared to the youth in care of their families. It was also observed that 53% of the general population, living with their family, had a college diploma. In contrast to that, only 30% of the youth that has aged out of the foster care had a college diploma. The study indicated that the rate of youth completing college education was 14% less than that of general public. (Gardner, 2008)

All the above statistics clearly demonstrate that even though it is the basic right of each and every child to get educated the youth aging out of the foster care system is generally deprived of this right. It can be said that youth residing in foster care system has to face more problems in terms of education as compared to the general population residing with their biological families. (Gardner, 2008)

Residential Problems

When the children age out of the foster care system, housing is one of their immediate concerns. Most of the youth aging out of the foster care system has to realize the harsh reality of a massive gap between their salaries and the cost of housing and therefore, a large number of youth aging out of the foster care system remains homeless.

According to a study, about one third of the youth aging out of the foster care system has lived in three different housing arrangements and about forty percent of this youth has lived in four different housing arrangements. In addition to that about 18% of the youth aging out of the foster care system has been homeless more than twice and about half of the youth who has aged out of the foster care system has been homeless more than once. It was also observed that three out of every ten homeless adults of the United States of America reported that they had been in the foster care system. It was recorded by the North West study that about 25% of the youth aging out of the foster care system has been homeless for at least one year during past 2.5 to 4 years. (Gardner, 2008)

Health Care Problems

Health care issues are also prevalent in the youth who has aged out of the foster care system. It has been indicated that the about 25% of the youth aging out the foster care system suffers from post-traumatic stress whereas, the rate of general public suffering from post traumatic stress is 4%. The children in foster care system are generally being covered by Medicaid but once they age out of the system they are at a risk of losing all the medical facilities. It was reported by the Midwest study that only half of the youth aging out of the foster care system had medical insurance and only 39% of the youth had dental insurance. About one fifth of the youth aging out of the foster care system said that they have not received medical care in the last year. Unavailability of medical insurance was the main reason behind not receiving medical care. It is evident that the youth aging out the foster care system does not have proper access to the health care facilities which is a significant threat to their well being. (Gardner, 2008)


Unemployment is a prominent problem that prevails among the youth that has aged out of the foster care system. According to the Midwest study only 72% of the youth aging out of the foster care system worked for a pay and only 47% of the youth was employed at the time of the survey. The survey also indicated that about 84% of the youth aging out of the foster care system earned less than 9 dollars per hour. In addition to that, about 40% of the youth did not have sufficient amount of money to buy clothes, 20% were not able to pay their house rents and 22% got their phone services disconnected because they were not able to afford them. It was also reported that about 15% of the adults aging out of the foster care system remained hungry because they were not able to afford the food. (Gardner, 2008)

Ineffective Administration of Foster Care System

There are a number of inefficiencies that are prevalent in the foster care system. The major inefficiencies that are present in the current foster care system are the high employee turnover rate and absence of skilled staff and lack of support to foster families. (Chipungu & Bent-Goodley)

High Employee Turnover Rate and Absence of Skilled Staff

The major problem that the foster care system of United States of America is facing these days is the unavailability of skilled and professional staff. The foster care system is not able to recruit, train and retain highly skilled staff. Ninety percent of these organizations face problems in getting and retaining skilled staff. There are many factors that cause hiring problems for these welfare agencies. First of all, the number of cases handled in a given time period is very high which repels the committed staff. Secondly, working conditions in these agencies are poor. In addition to that, the resignation of former employees at a high rate and the poor perception of child welfare organizations in the minds of people inhibit the recruitment process significantly. (Chipungu & Bent-Goodley)

In addition to that, general public is demanding better performance from the foster care system and this demand is evident in the changes that are being made in the policies regarding adoption. As a result of these policy changes, employees of the foster care system are required to spend a lot of time in doing paper work rather than counseling, training and monitoring foster parents. Moreover, only one third of the total workforce employed in the foster care system consists of socially trained people. A study also indicated that the foster care system lacks the funds that are required for the recruitment of professional and trained staff. Proper training, support and compensation of employees can help the foster care system of the United States of America in eliminating this problem from the system. (Chipungu & Bent-Goodley)

Lack of Support to Foster Families

Most of the parents want to adopt foster children because they want to make a difference in the lives of these children. But they are unaware of the biasedness and bureaucracy that prevails in the current system. Their effort to make the lives of these children better makes their own life very difficult because of regular phone calls to government agencies, visits to courts and lengthy paper work. In addition to that, whenever these foster families approach the system to get the support that they need, they are confronted with the fact that the current foster care system is not equipped with proper resources to provide them with the required support and as a result of this environment, about forty to sixty percent of the foster families leave the foster care system within one year. This problem not only weakens the system but it also effects the foster children who were placed with these families and who are now to be placed with new families. (Hancock, 2009)

Inefficiencies in the Bringing up of Children under the Foster Care System

Institutional or foster care has a number of negative effects on the physical and psychological development of the children. (Browne, 2009)

Physical Effects

Most of the foster care…[continue]

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