"In The System"- Part II

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

Children are put into the foster care system for several different reasons: neglect, abuse, or even the parent just not wanting the responsibility of having a child.

Two years ago, Rita and Dan Stratton decided to take in foster children, and over time saw a major difference in their behavior.

"They spoke very little when they came. They were one and two years old when they came to our house and you couldn't understand anything that they said and now you can't get them to hush", says Rita Stratton.

For many children, being able to adjust to a new family or home takes time, and during this time of separation from the biological parent, the foster child can be affected.

"Most frequently they're depressed. They're depressed because their family has in a way been divided", says Psychologist Bruce Fane.

"They have an attatchment to these parents and they love their parents no matter what has happened to them, so there is definitely some attatchment issues when they are removed from their parents home", says Health & Family Services employee, Fonda Walker.

When children are put into the foster care system and taken from their biological parents, the children aren't the only ones affected however.

"It's the adults that have the burden and the adults, the proposed parent, who will suffer if the child is returned home, and the parent who suffers if the child remains in the foster home", says Warren County Family Court Judge, Margaret Huddleston.

"It's very hard on the birth parents to try to factor in their problems they're having, whether it's alcohol abuse, drug abuse, cleaning up their home, getting a job, or attending parenting classes. They have alot of issues going on that they have to successfully manage", says Walker.

The primary goal of foster care is to reunite these families within a year, but that doesn't always happen.

By law, after a year of the foster children not being reunited with their biological parent, a termination of parental rights can occur and the children are then either put up for adoption, or left in the system.


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