Family Preservation in Child Welfare
The role of family preservation in child welfare is so that the family does not have the added stress of being separated from one another. While family preservation alleviates the stress of being separated it allows for empowerment and stability to the whole family. The family gains empowerment through support services and provides service to keep the children safe throughout the time being (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d.).
Foster Care Harmful?
Foster care has not been proven to be harmful to children as far as abuse goes because abuse can still occur in their biological home. However, statistics say otherwise as far as the future outcomes for children who go through the foster care system. To support the theory that foster care is harmful, it was “…found kids reunited with families after a brief stay in foster care were more likely to abuse drugs, get arrested, drop out of school and have lower grades than those who stayed in foster care” (Koch, 2007). Now, that does not necessarily insist that is what will happen to all foster care kids and it definitely does not define family preservation is better. The topic is actually lacking in quite a bit of research to help support and define both sides.
I do not agree with the assumption that foster care is harmful, to an extent. I believe that it is only harmful if the child has other family that could help care for the child. I think children are better off with family members at least if not with their parents. However, if there are no other family members besides the parent(s) then the child might be better off depending on the severity of the abuse/neglect. Sometimes even family members are not ideal because it could turn into a similar situation with the child as it was with the child and the parents. Foster care truly becomes harmful when abuse occurs, just the same as in the child’s home. Foster care and family preservation each have the good and the bad.
Georgia Foster Care
“Statistics indicate children entering foster care are at increased risk of developmental delays and disabilities due to a variety of factors. Sadly, they often also suffer emotional distress due to the trauma of being removed from their home” (Division of Family and Children Services, n.d.). A gap that seems to be present is the lack in support for the child in the initial transition. Georgia states there are several programs that support the child and the foster care family; however, statistics and reports say otherwise in how children are transitioning into foster care (Division of Family and Children Services, n.d.). Foster care can also be seen as harmful due to the homeless rate of foster care children when transferring out of the homes as adults. The lack in support especially in programs to assist these young adults in transition such as work skills, stable home or financial means to attend college. “Nearly one in four foster kids will become homeless…” (Scott, 2012).
Permanency Planning and Family Preservation
Permanency planning allows for the agency to follow up with distant relatives of the child to help care for the child until reunification can occur with the parents and the child. Family Preservation encourages the family to work through their issues and gain support and services that will empower them to be reliant and self-sufficient (Georgia Department of Human Services, n.d.). The shortfalls of permanency planning are there might not be extended family that is available or that has the abilities to help. However, the benefit of permanency planning is it allows the child to be in the comfort of family while the parent(s) get assistance. The shortfalls of family preservation are that the abuse that had occurred may continue throughout the entirety of everything. Yet the benefit of family preservation is that it keeps the family together which alleviates stress that if the family was separated.
I prefer permanency planning because biological relatives can comfort the child. It is an option that keeps the child still somewhat close to home. The environment is still fairly the same with the exception of the parent(s) in the day-to-day activities.