Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Perspective

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Perspective

Article excerpt

The fact that the foster care system is failing to provide sufficient protective factors for children is offensive. At some point, the science will become so clear that not to do certain things for foster children will be considered unethical.

With growing evidence that enhanced foster care can lead to substantially improved physical and mental health outcomes, the issue of financing inevitably arises. I believe there are enough resources to provide children with the necessary protective factors that could prevent bad outcomes.

These include living in a "village" woven from a durable social fabric, having an opportunity to develop connectedness to adults and peers who care about them, a sense of self-efficacy and power, the chance to learn social skills and observe prosocial models of how life operates, and the feeling of being safe.

Ensuring such a framework requires that foster care leaders take their minds off their individual budgets and view the picture from a broader perspective.

The problem, from a narrow-minded business perspective, is that the foster care director wouldn't get "credit" for the cost savings, because the money would be saved from a different budget, such as the criminal justice budget, as fewer of these vulnerable foster care children would end up in juvenile court. …

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