Friday, October 25, 2013

Increase in Foster Child Deaths Promps Safety Plan

Article #1

Ball, Andrea. Increase in Foster Child Deaths Prompts Safety Plan. (25 October 2013) Austin American Statesman.

1. Category of problem: Children; Abuse; Health/Medical

2. Level of problem: Local

3. The article concerns: The recent increase in the amount of deaths of foster children in Austin. New rules and policies are being written to help prevent the neglect and abuse that these kids are subject to.

4. Why is this important to families/individuals OR how does it affect individuals/families?

            a. Forcing new policies will help out many individuals and families that are enrolled in, or know someone who is in foster care. These policies will help to prevent and hopefully omit the abuse and fatalities that these children are victim to.

5. What are your views on the issue/policy?

a. I feel that with this recent increase in fatalities of children, something needs to be done. Losing eight foster children in one year due to neglect and abuse is just sad. If one cannot care for the child, something needs to be done. Children should not have to face abuse from anyone, let alone the person/people that have taken this child in. The amount of physical and emotional abuse that this child will have to undergo will be immense and stressful. I feel that if someone is willing to take in a child and says that they will care for them, that child should have the right to feel safe and comfortable in their own home. The article described a case that occurred recently in Cedar Park. An 11- month old child was found dead in her aunt’s home. The article then explains how the child’s cause of death was due to abuse; the young child was injured so brutally that she could not survive the struggle. The article then describes the changes they plan on making in the Child Protective Services (CSP).  They now plan on checking up all foster homes by catching them off guard with an unannounced visit. This will hopefully catch them in the act of wrongdoing, or at least show signs or clues of neglect or abuse. This can help to prevent future mistreatment and violence in the house. They also plan on limiting the number of foster children that need medical attention under one roof. I feel that this will help foster parents to be less stressed (though this is not an excuse) and could help them to not feel like they need to inflict pain on a child. The final thing that they plan on doing is to more closely monitor and examine foster parents and their current children before accepting them into the program. I think that with these new rules in effect, at the least, this will help to prevent the abuse that is currently taking place in foster care. With more constant monitoring, children will feel and be safer in their foster homes.

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