In 2003, a harrowing case of a seven-year-old, Faheem Williams, found dead and his brothers found neglected and malnourished in a Newark home sparked a flame that fueled an ongoing lawsuit and began a reform for child welfare in New Jersey. This heartbreaking story of abuse rang so loud, it caught the attention of then Governor James E. McGreevey who mandated the state to go through an extensive review of Division of Youth and Family Services’ (DYFS) practices. Later that year was another case involving four brothers in Collingswood New Jersey who, after a history of being in foster care, were adopted. They were later found to be highly malnourished and neglected by their adoptive parents. The children were removed from their home and the surviving adoptive mother was sent to prison. Continue reading
A foster parent’s job isn’t easy.
The sheer amount of passion, vigilance and care a foster parent has to possess is exhausting on the best day, let alone on a day where you’ve had to fight tooth and nail for the appropriate medication or care for a child in your home. But before a foster parent succumbs to frustration and decides it’s time to close her home, it’s important to take a step back, breathe and remember that there are children out there that need you. Continue reading
To quote Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tse, “If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see. But if you let me experience, I will learn.”
In terms of foster parent training, the purpose is to learn how to provide the best care possible for children that enter into your home. It is no doubt important to be as prepared as you can be so the child in your care has everything he needs to be happy and healthy. That basic principle of knowledge in foster care was as true in the 1980s as it is today. The mode in which training is provided, however, has progressed over the decades. We are going to take a look back at how FAFS provided foster parent training in the 1980s. Continue reading
The landmark Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 ushered in a series of changes to the foster care system. The law was important for a litany of reasons, but perhaps none more so than giving clarity to the guidelines for the termination of parental rights.
Prior to the milestone act, states adhered to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. However, most states interpreted this law as requiring biological families be kept together, regardless of most situations.
That meant rather than terminating parental rights and allowing children to become part of new permanent families, many children in foster care spent their entire childhood in state custody, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Continue reading