Children and youth may need foster care home placements for a variety of reasons:
they have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused;
the physical or mental incapacity of their parents;
they are abandoned;
the drug, alcohol, or other chemical abuse by their parents;
the child’s behavioral or emotional problems; or
the separation, divorce, or death of their parent(s).
Children and youth needing foster care home placement come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds; from every race, religion, and nationality; and every age from birth to young adulthood.
Some children and youth may need specialized foster care services due to specific emotional or behavioral problems; cultural or language differences; physically or medically handicapping conditions; or emotional or mental disabilities.
All children and youth in foster care require specific considerations from foster parents:
Emotional considerations. Separation from their home, family, and friends is traumatic. Foster parents help ease the hurt and pain that separation can cause.
Behavioral considerations. Separation reactions vary. Some children withdraw. Others act-out at home, school, and in the community. Foster parents help cope with the hurt, anger, and grief the child or youth is experiencing.
Special needs considerations. Some children and youth bring some special needs with them into foster care placements – specific medical, emotional or physical needs; pregnancy; or other brothers and sisters needing a sibling group placement. Foster parents may need special training or support services.