The Unspoken Truth About the Foster-Care System 

Jenny Nguyen , Staff Writer

Conversations about the foster-care system are not normally brought up in our daily life. Although it is a sensitive topic, we must be aware of the damaging and ineffective system.  

First, what is a foster care-system? A foster-care system in the U.S. is a temporary home, which is provided by the state for children who cannot live with their biological families. Most of these children put into the system come from diverse backgrounds and stories. Some children come from parents who are not mentally and/or financially ready to sustain a child, parents who are put into prison or jail, or parents who are not providing the safest home for a child. The foster-care system was meant to put children into a system that gives them a brighter future, but the truth is the system is failing to give these bright futures they promised.  

The foster-care system is known for being only temporary homes for foster children, but the problem with the idea of a temporary home is it gives the sense that foster-care children don’t have a true home. As many children get to have a place to call home and a majority find safety in their homes, foster children don’t have the privilege to have a truly comforting home. In fact, a large majority of foster children are forced to live in many different houses in a short amount of time. The problem with jumping around many different houses at a young age is living in many different living environments, making everything feel foreign and/or overwhelming.  

Simply put, as foster-care children jump around to different houses, a large majority of children are also forced to transfer to different schools often. Forcing them to be unable to make long-term friends and/or have a stable education, leaving many foster children to cut their education short, forcing a lot of opportunities and resources yanked away from these children that could provide a brighter future for them. 

Many of these foster homes provided by the foster-care system are not known for providing the best conditions, considering these homes are provided by the government and volunteers. The government does not put many requirements for foster homes; a volunteer just needs to at least provide a roof over the children’s heads and put food on the table, which the government provides money for these expenses. Unfortunately, many of these volunteers only volunteer for the money, using the large majority of the money on themselves and only a fraction for the actual child.  

The hard truth about the foster-care system is the amount of abuse and instability inside the system. Due to the rise of drug abuse and homelessness, there is an unfortunate rise in children put into the system. There are not enough homes for these children, leaving a large majority of children to be in shelters. These shelters have a reputation for not being the most comforting home, and we can see a large rise in runaway children from these shelters and homelessness. Even for the children inside volunteer foster homes, there is still no guarantee of safety inside the homes, with reports of neglect and abuse inside. 

This topic of the foster-care system is a sensitive topic for some, but it’s an important topic to talk about. The foster-care system needs some major improvements, without recognition of this topic, nothing will be done. This system is damaging foster children’s futures and putting foster children at risk overall.