This paper examines the current debate concerning the hardships that young people encounter after foster care. It also evaluates the need for alternative measures for easing the difficulties that young people face after leaving foster care…
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It is evident from the study that since the inception of foster care in the United States, over half a million children have been placed in these homes from the end of the year 2000. The authors continue to state that these numbers have been decreasing in the recent past with 423,773 children being in this care in the year 2009. This represents a 20% drop in their numbers during that decade, and the number of African American children in this care accounts for 40% of the children, whereas Whites account for 20% of children under foster care. The remaining percentage of children in foster care is composed of children from the Hispanic community. Other reports by Krebs and Pitcoff indicate that most of the children who enter this care do so involuntarily. This occurs when the children encounter neglect from their guardians, and are bound to encounter many physical or psychosomatic problems. However, the placement of children in foster care could also be voluntary, and could occur when their guardians are unable to cater for their needs. A survey carried out in the state of Missouri on 325 children to ascertain the differences that existed after foster care found out that their mental abilities decreased by about 60% after a month of leaving this care. Many of the persons leaving foster care withdraw from taking medication for their mental problems out of their own consent. The mental abilities of the young people leaving the care centers decrease because of various circumstances. These circumstances include the absence of managers for controlling them, the aging out from the pediatric systems and shifts in decision-making as the child matures. Shifts in the care for the young people from foster homes to insurance companies who are responsible for covering the expenses incurred on their care is another cause of reduced mental abilities, and this is because the children are no longer funded (Meltzer, 2003). The problem identified is that most states do not continue offering foster care services for children who have left the foster homes (Stott, 2007). For this reason, governments are urged to continue providing Medicare through the Medicaid scheme, which guarantees medical attention for the vulnerable youth leaving foster care (Ward, Henderson and Pearson, 2003). There are several states in America, which offer the Medicaid option including Missouri, Michigan, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Minnesota among others (Stott, 2007). The inability of various foster care homes to account for many of the children who leave their homes arises from the fact that most are incarcerated, die or join the military and dropout of these systems (Meltzer, 2003). Reports by Ward, Henderson and Pearson (2003) in their book “One Problem among Many: Drug Use among Care Leavers in Transition to Independent Living” indicate that many youths encounter problems in their access and use of medication. There is a decline in
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