Guest Author - Kelli Deister
Children are put into foster care when they are being abused and neglected by their legal guardians, as well as when their parent is in the midst of a medical emergency and there is no one else to care for the child. Recently, I have noticed an increase in cases where foster parents have further abused the foster children in their care. Without the help of professionals, in the childís life, the child can be further traumatized and victimized.
This is very traumatic for the foster child that finds themselves in this situation, because not only were they victimized by their biological parents, but by their foster parents as well. This might cause the child to be even more withdrawn than they already were. It could also create a sense that the abuse is their fault, since it happened with both sets of parents, biological and foster. A child does not know it isnít their fault. It is as though they might convince themselves that they are a bad child because so many in their life abuse them.
Foster care should be a place of safety and healing. While that is the case in some homes, it is not the case in other homes. There are children that enter a foster home, expecting gentleness and acceptance, and find further abuse. Our society truly needs to tighten the reins in regards to foster care. There must be a system in place in which the past of the foster parent, as well as their present, are probed. Doing so will help to assure that the child is safe and well cared for.
Having addressed the above truths, it is imperative that I address the fact that there are foster care homes that take the precious little ones and embrace them in tenderness, with words of compassion and acts of kindness. Those foster parents that cradle their foster children in their loving arms and welcome them into their homes, are to be commended and congratulated. A child that is cared for in this type of environment will greatly benefit by it, for their self-confidence and self-esteem will soar on wings of hope. These types of foster parents are such that they accept the child in and do all that they can to provide a stable home environment.