Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Family Issues

By Joan F. Kaywell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Adam and Eve and PinchMe: Issues of Adolescents in Foster Care

Cynthia Ann Bowman& Jennifer Fike


INTRODUCTION

FOSTER PARENTS NEEDED
Training, daily reimbursements,
and intensive support to those who
wish to provide a loving home
for abused and troubled youth.

Ads such as this one appear in newspapers across the country at alarming rates as more and more children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care. According to the Child Welfare League of America, of the adolescents who entered foster care in 1990, more than 50% were for protective services reasons; an additional 21% due to parental illness, death, handicap, or financial hardship; another 11% because of the youth's delinquent offenses; and 2% in cases where the adolescent has a disability or handicap ( Tatara, 1993). Most dramatic are the increasing numbers of children infected with HIV and children who are medically fragile and/or physically handicapped who are being placed in foster care. Adolescents in such abusive and troubling environments are at risk of emotional, behavioral, and developmental problems including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school, and impaired social relationships.

At-risk students know alienation, loneliness, and a loss of hope. They are at risk of being left behind, losing identity, making poor choices, and engaging in destructive behavior. "Children who feel rootless or caught in conflict at home find it difficult to pay attention in school. Once they begin to miss

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