Best Interest of the Child

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Best Interest of the Child

Postby Marina » Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:10 am

Best Interests of the Child

Publication: Strong families and safe children (VA)
(Given to families at beginning of assessment or investigation) ... milies.pdf

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Philosophy of Family-based Social Services (VA) ... C40-800-20

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Child Protective Services Policy Manual (VA) ... policy.pdf

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Merck Manual – Harmful effects of foster care

Removal from their family is enormously painful to children.
In foster care, children may have frequent visits with their families or only limited, supervised visits.
Children in foster care leave behind their neighborhoods, communities, schools, and most of their belongings.
Many children and adolescents in foster care feel anxious, uncertain, and helpless to control their lives.
Many feel angry, rejected, and pained by the separation, or they develop a profound sense of loss.
Some feel guilty, believing that they caused the disruption of their birth family.
Peers often tease children about being in foster care,
reinforcing perceptions that they are somehow different or unworthy.
Children in foster care have more chronic illnesses and behavioral, emotional,
and developmental problems than do other children.

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Article – psychiatric issues of children in foster care

Being removed from their home and placed in foster care is a difficult and stressful experience for any child.
Many of these children have suffered some form of serious abuse or neglect.
About 30% of children in foster care have severe emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems.
Physical health problems are also common.
Most children, however, show remarkable resiliency and determination to go on with their lives.
Children in foster care often struggle with the following issues:

blaming themselves and feeling guilty about removal from their birth parents
wishing to return to birth parents even if they were abused by them
feeling unwanted if awaiting adoption for a long time
feeling helpless about multiple changes in foster parents over time
having mixed emotions about attaching to foster parents
feeling insecure and uncertain about their future
reluctantly acknowledging positive feelings for foster parents

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in foster care children ... tsd06.html

One in four foster children suffers from post-traumatic stress, study finds
1. By Rebecca Cook
The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — Former foster children are twice as likely to suffer
from post-traumatic stress disorder as Iraq war veterans,
a study of 659 Washington and Oregon foster care alumni shows.
The study, released today at a congressional briefing,
says that adults who were in foster care struggle with mental health problems
much more often than the general population.
"We are alarmed," said Ruth Massinga, president and CEO of the Seattle-based Casey Family Programs.
"As a country we are not doing right by these children."
Researchers from Harvard Medical School, the University of Michigan and Casey Family Programs
reviewed cases of 659 adults, ages 20-33,
who had lived in foster care between 1988 and 1998.
They interviewed 479 of them.
Most of the study subjects entered foster care because they were abused or neglected by their birth parents.
Even though one-third said they were mistreated in foster care,
81 percent said they felt loved in their foster homes.
More than half the study participants reported clinical levels of mental illness,
compared to less than a quarter of the general population.
Foster children are especially vulnerable for post-traumatic stress disorder:
25 percent of study respondents had it.
National studies show that 12-13 percent of Iraq war veterans
and 15 percent of Vietnam war veterans suffer from PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, happens to some people who experience
or witness life-threatening events such as military combat, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults.
People with PTSD often relive the trauma through nightmares and flashbacks and feel detached or estranged.
Foster children are traumatized both from living with abusive parents and from being removed from their homes, the study says.
"The very act of removal from their parents is often traumatic for the youth," researchers wrote,
"potentially resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder and creating a sense of hypervigilance
because their lives become unpredictable."
Former foster children were twice as likely to be depressed (20 percent) as the general population (10 percent).
The study also found that foster children struggle with education, employment
and money once they leave the system at age 18.
A third of former foster children are at or below the poverty line, three times the national poverty rate.
More than one in five foster care alumni were homeless sometime during the year after they left foster care.
Nationally, about 800,000 children a year enter foster care because of abuse or neglect in their homes,
including about 7,000 in Washington state.
Researchers looked for ways to improve outcomes for foster kids as well.
They created statistical simulations that found, for example,
that increasing Medicaid mental health coverage
and giving foster kids more stability by not moving them around so much
would reduce their chances for mental illness later in life.
"There are many program reforms that can be made now," researchers wrote.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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transition trauma assisted living

loss of family greatest emotional grief (MI)

understanding grief and loss in children ... erms=grief

grief and loss in foster care ... ldgrlo.htm

older child adoption

signs & symptoms of Reactive Attachment disorder

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