OPINION: The foster care system needs to be modernized

Lindsay Gill, Staff Reporter

The foster care system is a broken system, and it has been for several years now. Not enough resources are going into this system. There are too many kids that are going into the system than are able to provide for. Most children that are in foster care are aging out of the system without ever finding a home. 

Who is there to blame? The whole organization? A certain person? The system itself really. Social workers have little choice other than to work within this broken system. What needs to be done is to modernize the foster care system.

With more kids having to go into the foster care system, more is needed to be done to provide for them. There is not enough space for all these children and not enough families that are willing to home children. Also, some of the families that are willing might not be the best homes. 

When fostering a child, the state will pay the foster parents an amount of money for having them in their house. That money that the state will send to foster parents will differ per child. In some cases more money will be added to the original amount, such as situations if the child has a disability. When fostering more than one kid, the amount of money received will be divided differently for every child, whether they are in the same foster home or not. 

Due to foster parents receiving money for having children in their homes, particular people could be fostering for all the wrong reasons. Certain foster parents that are currently fostering kids are doing it solely for the money. The children will end up being neglected by that foster parent or worse abused and they are right back into the place that they were originally saved from. 

With not enough resources and the system being under staffed, monthly visits, which are social workers coming into a foster home to ensure that a child is being taken care of properly, that should be happening are not happening and that is a systemic issue. 

Not all foster parents are abusing the money, some have good intentions and are working with the system for the right reasons. But there are not enough of these responsible foster parents for a better-working system. 

Generally kids in the foster care system with disabilities or older kids are more likely to age out of the system without ever finding a forever home. Then those children will age out on their own with nowhere to go and no idea what the world ahead of them is like. 

The foster care is systematic and needs to be reformed in a way that can benefit all the children in the system, no matter the age difference or the disabilities that one may have.