Increase in Child Health Concerns Foster Care Systems

CALIFORNIA: In United States there tends to be a higher risk among youngsters, who have been placed in foster homes. A recent study has exposed that children growing up in foster homes are more prone to health issues such as facing difficulties in learning, obesity and depression, in comparison to other children who are not a part of foster care.

Growing concerns around Child Mental Health Issues in Foster Care
Growing concerns around Child Mental Health Issues in Foster Care

In the year 2016 alone, as many as 700,000 youngsters in United States that have been placed in foster card.

The new research points to the fact that it takes around a year or more for the child, to be taken by their foster parents, and the stay can sometimes be prolonged.

Earlier studies have highlighted similar concerns that support many reasons as to why children develop such health issues.

This can be due to the abuse and the undergoing trauma that the child experiences, under unusual circumstances, at the foster care.

Experts consider such hostile foster care situations to be directly responsible for the growing number of mental health issues among many children, especially pre-teens and adolescents.

However, Kristen Turney, lead researcher – California University, argues that there has been no research conducted so far, which offers comparison of the many underlying health issues in children that are placed under foster care to those who are not a part of foster system.

Nothing this, and for the very confirmation, Kristen along with the team analyzed data from 2011-12 obtained from the National Survey of Children’s Health.

The earlier data of more than 800,000 youngsters across United States was studied. Out of these, around 2 percent of the youngsters had, at least for a while, been a part of the foster care system.

Regression models were made use of to measure the exposure of physical as well as mental health issues that these children foster care had versus the children who did not spend any time in foster homes.

It was found that foster care home posed a significantly greater risks for rise of health problems among many children in their earlier years. On further introspection, researchers noticed that youngsters were twice likely to face asthmatic problems along with other conditions such as being obese, and having weight problems. Some indication also pointed to children suffering from hearing disabilities. This pointed to a disturbing trend which was the result of comparison.

Further, children who suffered from anxiety related issues, faced a much greater risk. The stability of mental health was another cause of worry among many researchers who recorded a disturbing trend that triggered the need for a deeper understanding of the subject.

Behavioral issues too were among a rise and they were found to vary by as much as five times among the many youngsters who spent their time under foster care.

ADHD also played a significant role and children were more prone to heightened ADHD symptoms. They further faced disabilities in learning as well as developmental delays. Kristen Turney added,

This study expands our understanding of the mental and physical health of these highly vulnerable children, but we must take a closer look if we are to understand how foster care really affects child well-being.

The study was aimed to expand our awareness of the health issues of these neglected children. This calls for a closer introspection of what really goes through in Foster homes which affects so many children on such a large scale.

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