Foster Care

foster care, generally, care of children on a full-time, temporary basis by persons other than their own parents. Also known as boarding-home care, foster care is intended to offer a supportive family environment to children whose natural parents cannot raise them because of the parents' physical or mental illness, the child's behavioral difficulties, or problems within the family environment, e.g., child abuse, alcoholism, extreme poverty, or crime. Such children are usually wards of the state. They may be placed by a state-approved agency in group homes, institutions (such as residential treatment centers), or with families who receive some payment toward care. The child's parents may retain their parental rights, and the child may ultimately return home. Under permanent foster care the agency has guardianship; the child may then be available for adoption by the foster parents or others. Foster care can also provide a supervised setting for adults with mental or emotional disabilities who cannot care adequately for themselves. The concept of foster care has been extended in recent years to include care for elderly persons, on a fee basis, in the homes of people who are not family members.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Foster Children: Where They Go and How They Get On
Ian Sinclair; Claire Baker; Kate Wilson; Ian Gibbs.
Jessica Kingsley, 2005
Children in Foster Care
James G. Barber; Paul H. Delfabbro.
Routledge, 2003
Kids Raised by the Government
Ira M. Schwartz; Gideon Fishman.
Praeger, 1999
A Guidebook for Raising Foster Children
Susan Mcnair Blatt.
Bergin and Garvey, 2000
Foster Parents' Reasons for Fostering and Foster Family Utilization
Rhodes, Kathryn; Cox, Mary Ellen; Orme, John G.; Coakley, Tanya.
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, Vol. 33, No. 4, December 2006
Foster Placements: Why They Succeed and Why They Fail
Ian Sinclair; Kate Wilson; Ian Gibbs.
Jessica Kingsley, 2005
Safety and Stability for Foster Children: The Policy Context
Allen, MaryLee; Bissell, Mary.
The Future of Children, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter 2004
Understanding and Supporting Parent-Child Relationships during Foster Care Visits: Attachment Theory and Research
Haight, Wendy L.; Kagle, Jill Doner; Black, James E.
Social Work, Vol. 48, No. 2, April 2003
Meeting the Challenges of Contemporary Foster Care
Chipungu, Sandra Stukes; Bent-Goodley, Tricia B.
The Future of Children, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter 2004
Beyond the Foster Care System: The Future for Teens
Betsy Krebs; Paul Pitcoff.
Rutgers University Press, 2006
Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past
Betsy Keefer; Jayne E. Schooler; Jack G. Kammer; Kristi Anne Kammer.
Bergin & Garvey, 2000
From Poverty to Abuse and Back Again: The Failure of the Legal and Social Services Communities to Protect Foster Children
Balmer, Sharon.
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 5, September 2005
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