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Foster Care Research

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This paper is a summary of what research has been done in the field of foster care. It will focus on foster care social workers, foster care parents, children in foster care, etc. In this work there will also be reference to aspects of adoption and foster care together.

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This paper will encompass all parties affected by foster care and will ultimately talk about what qualities are expected of social workers who work in foster care. ?America is facing daily challenges when it comes to abortion, children with no place to go, the foster care system, adoption agencies, social services department, and just ultimately not knowing how to continue to better such a large amount a people who continue to multiply. Foster Care Social Workers are a unique group of people who try to help these children with no place to go and helps mothers to be to make the right choice in regards to having their baby and considering foster care and adoption rather than abortion. It is these individuals that some others look up to and may hope to be.These workers have the behind the scenes jobs by mentoring children and foster families. The sad fact is that most of the time these workers are overlooked and not seen as the gracious and helpful people they are. In hopes of working in this field in the future one should do research on foster care social workers, foster families, adoption since they are linked, children aging out of the foster care system, etc.

As a foster care social worker there are qualities that one should possess such as having an interest in not only the child but also how the foster family they go to are managing.When a social worker helps the child get into a home and drops out of the situation without following up the child feels abandoned once again in life and the families that take those children in can get overwhelmed with challenges yet to come. Social workers, who work with foster care, should also be easy to contact and responsive when contacted. By being easy to contact the child or family can feel secure in the relationship they have with that social worker and have a trust in the social worker to be helpful and be there for them as a whole.A very important quality when it comes to a social worker following through is that they should always do what they say they are going to do, when this is not done insecurity rises in the relationship between the social worker, child, and foster family that is hard to fix. When working with children in the foster care this is also very important because a social worker should never become like all the rest of the people in that child’s past that didn’t follow through. Another important asset a social worker should have is being prepared to listen and offer encouragement.

Encouragement is a gift that is given to particular people as a spiritual gift, but this does not mean other who may not “have” this gift can’t encourage another; it may just be harder for them to find the words. A social worker must choose to be an encouragement and not the opposite. The social worker must also take account of the family’s needs and circumstances, he or she cannot just place a child in a home without seeing what the family’s needs are. For the child, the social worker must attend to interests and needs and involve the foster family in this whenever it is appropriate.By doing this both the child and foster family will see that the child is your first concern, but by adding in the families when possible it shows that the social worker wants to work together with all parties. Some other important qualities would be ensuring that all payments, complaints, etc. will be processed as soon as possible and the social worker keeping the family informed and included in the planning.

All of these qualities are those that foster families brought forth in an article written by Terry Fisher, Ian Gibbs, Ian Sinclair, and Kate Wilson titled “Sharing the care: the qualities sought of social workers by foster carers. “To meet these criteria social workers will no doubt need to have the qualities described by Sellick (1999). He suggests that foster carers seek social workers who are ` . . . energetic, reliable and flexible, in addition to being friendly on the one hand and knowledgeable on the other. ” (Sharing the care.

231. ) By being a social worker with the above qualities will help direct the child in a positive way and will stir them from the possible negative aspects that Lita Linzer Schwartz writes about in her article “Aspects of adoption and foster care. In her article she writes that there are many positive possible settings and outcomes for children in foster care but she stresses what negative can come from it also. “The emphasis herein is on the effects on the child involved in terms of positive and negative factors, such as inept social services, emotional attachment to the new ‘parents’ in foster placements, legal rights of the adults vs. the child’s well-being, and the possibility of PTSD in the child as an adult as an outcome of adverse experiences in foster care of adoptive situations. This statement comes from the conclusion of her article and these negative factors can be deferred by simply showing interest in the child and the foster family. In another one of Schwartz’s articles, titled “Foster Care and Social Services,” she states that social workers should be personally involved with the child in foster care and their foster families.

In “Growing up in foster care: providing a secure base through adolescence” Gillian Schofield and Mary Beek come with five important dimensions that make up a secure base for a child in foster care; they include this visual in their article.The first dimension discussed is availability and this is helping the child to trust the social worker. The second dimension is sensitivity and just like availability is helping a child to trust sensitivity is about helping the child to manage his or her feelings and behavior. The third dimension written is acceptance and this is all about the social worker building up the child’s self-esteem. The fourth dimension is cooperation and this is about helping the child to feel effective in everything in his or her life. The fifth and final dimension is family membership, this is a big one.This dimension is all about helping the child to belong and feel like they belong.

All five of these dimensions are very helpful apart from each other, but in order to have the best possible secure base for the child a social worker must work on all five. One of the final big helps a social worker can give a child in foster care is educating them on what happens when he or she ages out. This does not mean that the social worker will not be involved anymore; it will just be a different relationship after the child ages out.In the article “Pathways to and from homelessness and associated psychosocial outcomes among adolescents Leaving the Foster Care System” Patrick Fowler, Paul Toro, and Bart Miles do a study about housing for foster children when they age out of the system and conclude that the “Foster Care Independence Act funding should be increased, and incentives should be built into funding procedures to encourage states to use available funds on housing programs” in order to ensure that those exiting the system complete a “stable transition to adulthood. After researching into a field of interest such as social work one must think about how they would impact others such on different levels such as individuals, families, society, and globally. When it comes to social work, especially when working with those children who may not feel wanted, an impact is made and there is a lot of work that goes into it to make it a positive impact. Individuals are impacting through social work through being one that is helped and had needs met.

Families are affected in the same way when they are in need, but when they are not the one in need and someone living with them is they are affected in a way of being able to see it and learn from it. This also goes for society and globally, if more people just wanted to help others in need the world would be affected, it already is. How amazing would it be if was so much more than it was right now, though? ? Bibliography Fisher, Terry; Gibbs, Ian; Sinclair, Ian; Wilson, Kate . (2000). Sharing the Care: The Qualities Sought of Social Workers by Foster Carers. Child and Family Social Work. Vol.

5. 225- 233. Fowler, Patrick J. Toro, Paul A. ; Miles, Bart W. (2009). Pathways To and From Homelessness and Associated Psychosocial Outcomes Among Adolescents Leaving the Foster Care System.

American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 99, Issue 8. Page 1453-1458. Schofield, Gillian; Beek, Mary. (2009). Growing up in Foster Care: Providing a Secure Base Through Adolescence.

Child & Family Social Work. Vol. 14, 255-266. Schwartz, Lita Linzer. (2008) Aspects of Adoption and Foster Care. The Journal of Psychiatry & Law. Vol.

36. 153-169. Schwartz, Lita Linzer. (2008) Foster Care and Social Services. The Journal of Psychiatry & Law. Vol. 36.

609-615.

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