Currently, over 400,000 children are in the foster care system. Children are usually put into foster care when their guardians cannot provide the bare necessities such as shelter, food, or water. Children are also put into foster care when they have been orphaned, abandoned, abused, or neglected. Children can be in foster care for a couple of hours or until they age out of the program at the age of 18. The goal of foster care is either family reunification or adoption. The more attention brought to foster care, the more care unfortunate children can receive.
Foster care has been around since the mid-16th century, regulated under the English Poor Law, which was when children were placed to work bound by a contract. Without a suitable guardian, poor children were put on “orphan trains” and were sent to farm families that could take care of them; in exchange for hospitality, the children would usually have to work. In 1980, the federal government started to support the idea of foster care and got involved by giving the states financial assistance for foster care and adoption programs. With more support of the foster care system, perhaps more children can receive the proper care they deserve.
Foster care is still going through changes today with federal government check-ups. The federal government will check up on states with assessment reviews, covering the topics of compliance with child protective services, foster care, adoption, and support services. They also check on safety, permanence, and the well-being of the child and family. However, not everyone agrees with the foster care system. Advocates of foster care believe that the system provides stability, is making changes, and presents more opportunities with adoption and reunification. Critics of foster care think that the foster care system needs to be reformed because of the lack of funding and the treatment of teenagers in the system. Either way both points of views can agree that all they want is what is best for the children..