Many children enter the U.S foster system each day, and most of those children spend way to many days away from their normal life. The children do not get to choose life in the foster system. Only the lucky children have the chance to leave the system or they get placed in a good home. The unlucky have to live a broken, cruel, abusive, and unloved life. The system to be changed to make sure every child has a stable and loving home.
“During the 1990’s, the nation’s prison population increased by 50 percent, the number of children who had a parent in prison increased by the same proportion, from 1 million to 1.5 million children, these children represent 2 percent of all minor children in America” (Travis & Waul, 2003, p. 3). Overall, imprisonment places an indescribable burden on the relationships between parents and their children. Incarcerated parents must learn how to cope with the loss of normal contact with their children, infrequent visits in inhospitable surroundings, and lost opportunities to contribute to their children’s development. The children must come to terms with the harsh reality of an absent parent, and the stigma of parental imprisonment, as well as the altered support of the family system that may include grandparents, foster care, or a new adult in the home. Children whose parents have been arrested and incarcerated face unique difficulties.
(That's more than the population of Philadelphia.) The National Coalition for the Homeless defines homeless youth as individuals under the age of 18 who lack parental, foster, or institutional care. One out of every 3 homeless people is under the age of 18. Approximately half of all runaways were physically abused before fleeing home. The majority of homeless and runaway youth are between the ages of 15 and 17, however three out of 100 runaways are under the age of 10, and 11 out of 100 are between the ages of 11 and 13.
Out of these numbers 2,472 living in emergency shelter funded by the Ma Department of Transitional Assistance. Most of the families are single mothers. These families include 4,413 children and Youth. Of these 2,379 were less than six years old. Reaching its shelter capacity DTA has to place families in motels for periods ranging from a couple weeks to a couple months (McCormick Center for Social Policy, 2000).
The Office of National Statistics, interviewed parents, teachers, and children themselves, and found that many suffer from emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and aggression. Statistics show that over a 3 year period, children whose parents were split up were 4.53 more likely to develop emotional problems than those whose parents were still in one household, and were 2.87 times more likely to demonstrate the start of behavioral disorders. Edmondson, Brad/Waldrop, Judith “Single Parents Statistics” American Demographics, Dec93, Vol. 15 Issue 12, p36, 2p, 2 Charts, 1 Graph. Per the US Census Bureau single parents consist of “other families” which are households of unmarried couples.
By 2006 two and a quarter million people were incarcerated in state, and federal prisons and local jails. Most of those people were incarcerated parents. There are about two million parents who are expected to return to their families each year (Foster, et al., 2009). There are about three million children
This information can be found on the Child Welfare Information Gateway at their website www.childwelfare.gov. In the year 2009 it was estimated that more than 800,000 children had been confirmed as abuse or neglect victims in the United States (The State Library of Kansas, 2009). It is also estimated that one in every four girls and one in every seven boys are subject to sexual abuse before they see their 18th birthday (The State Library of Kansas, 2009). The most common form of child abuse is neglect. Children under the age of 7 made up 56% of these cases (Beddoe, 2011).
The justice system needs to adopt new rehabilitation strategies to make sure prisoners can reintegrate into society. In an article by Jeremy Coylewright he states that in the year 2002 over 600,000 inmates were released from the state and federal prisons. This averages out to be about 1,600 people a day! These numbers are very disappointing when you compare them to the recidivism rate. About half of the criminals released were previously incarcerated at least once and about two thirds of those released are expected to be rearrested for another felony within three years of their release date.
In the United States a majority of foster children come from the poorest families and communities. “For children ages 4 and under, counties with the highest concentrations of poverty had more than triple the rate of child-abuse fatalities compared to counties with the lowest concentrations of poverty” (Reuters 1). This statistic is startling and disheartening, children that are living in a more impoverished situation have a more likely chance to go through something so rough. If there is a way to support families in poor neighborhoods and get them out of the desolate pattern of getting stuck in poverty than that number would drop drastically. WIC, a supplemental food program for women, infants and children, is helping people of these communities but there is more that can be done, they provide supplemental food to pregnant women and children under five years (Social Safety Net 1).
1). A staggering 50 to 90 percent of youth in California juvenile detention facilities suffer mental illness. A study on these youth concluded approximately 2,000 are jailed daily due to lack of community resources (National Center for Youth Law, 2015). One answer to this crisis was the development of juvenile mental health courts. Juvenile mental health courts concentrate on treatment instead of punishment.