For the past eight years of my life I have lived with a family that isn’t my own. Over time they have become to feel more like my family but in a sense they are not. They receive money on a monthly basis for both my sister and I when most people have to work to support their children.Most days I know I don’t belong here. It especially gets harder when my foster mom’s bipolar disorder disrupts our daily lives. Due to my experiences in foster care and with bipolar disorder I have an interest in how both affect people on a larger scale.
To begin my research, I browsed the internet by typing in “psychological effects of foster care” into the Google search engine. Out of thelinks available I opened the article “Foster Care: A Psychological War” written by Charlotte Weldon in 2001. It was helpful in beginning to answer my question and also led me to another useful source. One of the most helpful things the article does is address the psychological issues that occur within foster care. Weldon states “many foster children are left to grow up without the abilities necessaryto become successful in the adult world” (Weldon). The foster care system is so overloaded with children that they don’t always receive the information needed to be a successful adult. Most of the time these children don’t even receive the necessary psychological help needed for adulthood.
In my experience I find it to be quite true that foster children don‘t usually have assistance intotheir adulthood lives. The foster family doesn’t know or can’t always help teach the child skills for adulthood which is why the state assigns the child a social worker who is suppose to help them adjust to their new situation. However, in mine and my sister’s case our social worker didn’t do much for us except supervise visits with our parents, as she didn’t have time for much else.
Weldon also goeson to say that mental health professionals “have not been adequately prepared to respond optimally to the complex needs of children in placement” (Weldon). This information wasn’t very surprising to me because every person that I’ve known who has been in foster care has had some sort of psychological issue. However, it did surprise me that sometimes foster children’s psychological conditions areso complex that psychologists are not properly trained to assist them. After realizing this I wondered what psychological problems, specifically, foster children develop and what causes the condition to develop.
For my next source I glanced over the works cited page on my first source’s website. Through this process I found the article “Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care”written by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2000. This article clarified a few aspects of foster care that I had previously overlooked which helped add to the process of answering my question. The article also addresses a solution to the psychological instability of foster care which could prove useful in further research.
The aspect that I overlooked that was addressed in the article was howmost children in foster care already have psychological problems due to abuse or neglect in their previous homes. I disregarded this because as a foster child myself my psychological problems weren’t noticeable until I was placed within the system, which I believe occurs with most children. However, I assumed the source of the problems is being in foster care, but that isn’t always the case. Forexample, American Academy of Pediatrics states that “Physical and mental abuse during the first few years of life tends to fix the brain in an acute stress response mode . . . children respond in a hyper vigilant, fearful manner” (AAP). When a child is in a home where abuse is occurring these mannerisms are generally ignored. Then when the child is placed in foster care these acts are noticed and...