Foster care is an alternative that is used for those children who cannot stay with their parents because of abuse and neglect from their biological parents. The foster parents can be either their relatives or organizations that take care of the children. The intention and purpose of foster care are to save children from abusive families and offer them education and life skills. The main causes of such abuse are homelessness, adolescent marriages, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and drug and substance abuse. An interview was conducted with a youth teenager named Jack, which is from the southern part of the United States. From the interview, a case study analysis was done to establish the causes of him being under foster care, how he feels about it, and what the future holds for him. This paper is going to look at the analysis of the interview that was conducted by a social worker on Jack. The interview conducted mainly centered on the following three questions;
Who is Jack and what are his experiences in foster care institutions?
What factors led him to the foster care institution?
What are the perceptions of jack about the weaknesses and strengths of the foster care system?
Jack is a nineteen-year-old boy that is aging out of the foster-care system. Very soon, his will be put off the scheme and will be forced to live independently. For the past 13 years, the place that Jack has called home is the foster care organization based in the southern part of the United States. Born among his siblings of two other boys, Jack is the youngest of the three. One of his brothers died when he was still young because of abuse from their biological parents. The following is an excerpt on whom Jack is taken from the interview;
My name is Jack. I am turning 19 years old this month, but I am anxious. I am worried because I am getting out of this organization where I have called home in almost my lifetime. I am worried because I do not know if I will be able to live alone for the rest of my life. I do not know where I will go after I am out of this organization. In fact, I have nowhere to go and no one to call a family outside this organization.
Jack has undergone much abuse in her first five years before he was taken by the organization for foster care. In the majority of those years, he went from one place to the other, one street to the other, in search of food and shelter. He was known as a street boy. When his parents were sought by the police, because of child abuse and neglect, they would disappear and never be seen again. Jack does not know how his father or mother is as they left him when he was very young. Knowing his parents is part of his life that he feels is not complete. He believes that they are alive and that one day he will meet them, but he does not know when. Jack and his other two siblings were once abused by his parents when they were young;
Sometimes they would ask us to stand up and add some numbers up. If we got it wrong, they would beat us up and chase us away. They just did what the illusions from the drugs told them. That time I did not know what was happening until I saw the police at the place where we lived. I can remember at one time that we were even forced to feed on dogs food. We did it, and we never got sick. God must have been with us all along.
When jack was placed under foster care, he was afraid of what was going to happen. He liked how he was treated by the social worker, but he was afraid of how he was going to survive in the organization having been accustomed to life in the streets.
I became accustomed to living in the institution. I went to school and made new friends. This home has helped me a lot, as I can do many things. The people here are so good. However, I am not sure whether I am prepared to get out of here. Those years have been great. Leaving my friends and the people, I call family will be hard.
From the interview with the social worker with Jack, several inferences can be made. In this regard, foster care providers have done an excellent job in taking care of foster children and providing them with the necessary skills and expertise for their independence. Additionally, the cause of such children leaving their homes is neglect and abuse. However, foster care organizations have been supportive of such children until they attain the age of majority. However, those children are still not ready to get out of foster care institutions as they have nowhere to go. The case of jack proves that drug abuse leads to child abuse and neglect hence necessitating the need for foster care.
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