For any social worker or human services professional, removing a child from his or her natural home and placing that child in foster care is an ethically difficult decision to make. Though foster care regulations differ from state to state, in general foster care is known as a placement for a minor in a home setting. In general, foster care is meant to be a short term place for a child to study until a more permanent arrangement can be made. In the United States, social workers make the decision to place children in foster care usually after a suspicion of abuse or neglect is substantiated.
The foster care social worker responsible for the well-being of the children must decide whether the children are better off in the home environment, possibly exposed to a degree of neglect, or in a foster home setting, which would force children to make a drastic transition and be separated from their central attachment figures. Children placed in foster care may still be under the guardianship of their parents, but are not physically living in the home with them. Kids can feel a lot of mixed emotions leaving a home with a parent where there are loving moments that alternate with some degree of abuse. (more…)