For my research round 2, I will be looking into the Physical Affects of the Foster Care System On the Children
- What different types of physical abuse do some children face?
- Physical abuse, or sexual abuse
For each above point I'd like to answer these sub questions:
- How did the abuse start/ who abused the children?
- How does it effect the children?
- What are the signs of the abuse?
What different types of physical abuse do some children face?
There are many foster care children throughout the world, and sadly at lot of them are continually abused because they believe they have no voice. An alarming statistic that concerns me is in 2015, there were 4.4 million reports of malnutrition in American children within the foster care system.
Physical Abuse: (Beaten)
Children who are put into the foster care system are in need of a home because their biological parents aren't fit to take care of them or weren't around. Sometimes children are physically abused in their home, and after being placed in the care of their foster care parent, they could end up in a home where more violence is present than in their original home. (2) Children put their trust in their new parent, but the trust becomes broken as soon as the abuse starts; however, it could go both ways if the child happens to be extremely violent. (3) Sadly it is common for children to be neglected by their foster parents because they are behind closed doors so there is no witnesses for the shaking, dropping, biting, or burning that may occur. Young toddlers are most at risk due to the internal damage like serious brain injuries and abdominal pain that can be caused by shaking. Not to mention, they are too young to report any abuse and they tend to frustrate the caregivers more due their developmental stages such as toilet training, tantrums and different sleep hours. (1)
Sadly children can be affect in the long term if they are continually abused because physical damage may become permanent and the trauma stays with them perhaps for a life time. (4) Some signs to determine if a child is being physically beaten are multiple burns, cuts, scars, bruises in the shape of an object, a fear of adults and their home, creates excuses for injuries, may flinch when being touched or seek for affection. (5)(6) If you happen to notice a child has any of the signs, people be careful and not make assumptions. Inform a trusted adult and try to be their for the child in need. Physical abuse is hard on everyone from the victim themselves to others who care for them, but it needs to be stopped.
Sexual abuse can effects both genders and any age within the system and group homes rates tend to be higher for abuse versus families bringing a foster care child into their home. Abuse can be caused by anyone within the child's lives like employees for group homes, foster care workers, social workers, religious advisors, teachers or others in the child’s life. A lot of the time, the predator tries to become close with the child and build a connection to then break their trust and take advantage of them. There are many warning signs to indicate a child who is being sexual abuse by using inappropriate words to describe their private parts, may associate with drugs and alcohol to ease the pain, refuse to remove their clothing when needed or an increase of sexual behaviour. There are some physical signs as well such as blood being present in their undergarments or suffer from pain when using the washroom. (7)
Sexual abuse can effect the children in the long run because they may be afraid of sexual encounters in the future and become molesters themselves. From being traumatized at such a young age children develop fear of sexual activity as they age and sometimes they don't overcome it. Sadly, some of the children become abusers themselves because that is what they know from their childhood. They don't know right from wrong because that was the lifestyle they grew up with. (8)
To conclude any type of abuse should not be tolerated; however, many of the children within in the foster care system face these issues with no one to help or confide in. We needed to bring awareness to the abuse present in the foster care system for the children who believe they don't have a chance or a voice.
For my next research round, I will be looking into....
Please feel free to comment and add opinions below because they are always appreciated!