Foster Care


Paris Fry, Writer

A foster care system is a place where minors are put to find state-given guardians to take care of them when the kids’ parents cannot. There are about 424,000 foster kids nationwide. There are many positive and negative things about the foster system. Although some kids may benefit from the care of a different guardian, a lot of them suffer. Most of the youth in foster care need some sort of assistance.

One of the biggest problems with the foster care system is the homelessness that usually follows. 1 out of every 4 youth in the foster care system will end up homeless within 4 years of aging out of the system. 50% of our homeless population spent some time in the foster system. Most foster youths are in immediate need of housing upon discharge. This could be helped if the kids were encouraged to get jobs, their drivers’ licenses, and were provided with rides.

Another issue with the foster care system would be mental health, and the lack of mental support in the system. Up to 80% of foster youth suffer from mental health issues as compared to 22% of non-foster youth. One-quarter of youth in the foster system have attempted suicide at least once. Not just mental illness on its own, but all the abuse some kids face in the system can affect the kids. 90% of foster youth alumni have reported a history of abuse or neglect.

There are many good and bad effects the foster care system has on our youth. With proper background checks on the foster parents, volunteers to take the kids where they need to go, and paying closer to them, our foster system will be a better place for young people who need help.