Abstract: Foster Care: Mental Sequels Start Early On

by Kindsey on May 14, 2014 - 11:00pm

Foster care children are more likely to get mental illnesses, mental diseases and behavioral problems. This is no longer an interrogation but an actual fact. The children’s age when they are placed into foster care does affect them, either positively or negatively, as in one case the chances of mental sequels are increased, and in the other decreased. The results show that a child remaining too long in an abusive home with the biological parents has more chances of having behavioral problems, mental illnesses or mental diseases. Another cause would be the foster home situations; this leads the children to be abused, in some cases, or to constantly move around. An extra source for these mental sequels would reside in the DNA; the parents’ health as well as the children’s health itself. So, many factors must be considered when evaluating a child’s mental health, but the age when placed in foster homes is one of the most important and easiest factor to find a solution to.

All information comes from the following articles: “Prevalence of Mental Disorders and Associated Service Variables Among Ontario Children Who Are Permanent Wards” by Philip Burge, “Physical Health, mental health, and behaviour problems among early adolescents in foster care” by S.B. Woods,, H.M. Farineau , and L.M. McWey., and “A Translational Neuroscience Perspective  on the Importance of Reducing Placement Instability among Foster Children” by Philip A. Fisher, Anne M. Mannering, Amanda Van Scoyoc, and Alice M. Graham.


Interesting subject! From the few information that you are giving here, I am already curious about your essay. I am really intrigued about the fact that a child's age when placed in a foster home is a factor for its mental health.

The way we treat children with parental problems as a society has a major importance in my opinion. Children are the future and we cannot know the potential any child can bring to society if we do not give him or her the chance to develop themselves. Foster care obviously does not create a stable atmosphere for children to grow in. They have no real parental support and no one to go back to if they are lost. I have not read your full paper, but I am sure there are some major consequences to the lack of familial security of these children. However, I think there is also an interesting point which I do not see in your abstract, but might be in your paper, is the problem foster care or our society’s system? What I mean by this is that nowadays, as far as what I observe, the ratio of children diagnosed with behavioral problems is much higher than before. I think it would be interesting to further continue research on this topic, but try to understand that if the problem comes from familial support, does it mean that the way parents raise their children might influence the chance of their children developing mental behavioral problems? I think if such a researched proved to be conclusive, there are many improvements we could bring to our society to reduce the problems for children even though it might be shocking for many parents.

Child metal health is very present in today's society. Parents do not realize the impact they have on their child and the problem of child neglect can lead to mental sequels. During all the semester, I have done many researches on child abuse and the mental health issue was one of the main problems related to that topic. Another problem related to child abuse is the impact of stressful events in the future life of the child. As you mentioned, cases of abuse should be detected early on to decrease the risks of mental sequels.

This article hits very close to home. Not so much the foster care aspect of the article but the mental and emotional aspect, based on the way we treat children. Childhood is a very important time in everyone's life where who we will become as adults is shaped. It is very important that during this time children are in nurturing environments and are surrounded by the support that is needed to help them grow.

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