Four Reasons Foster Care is Better Than Residential Care
There are four basic reasons foster care is a better option than residential care for orphans. These include:
. More personalized care
. Better opportunities for education
. No regimentation or institutionalization
. Greater advantages for adoption or return to parental custody
Foster Care Provides More Personalized Care
Caring for orphans in foster families allows each child the advantage of foster parent care with direct focus. Foster families are carefully reviewed and monitored by state agencies to insure that orphaned children are safe and flourish. This has been well-known in the United States and Canada for quite some time, and we’re now starting to see the benefits in other countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and certain countries in Africa.
Orphanages are often run by charity organizations who hire staff based on prior experience working with children in large groups. Rarely can orphanages offer individual care for each child, given the limited number of staff. Ref: http://www.childrenwebmag.com/foster-care/the-ideology-of-residential-care-and-fostering.
Better Opportunities for Education
Children in foster care are more closely guided by foster parents who take on the responsibility of quality education. Foster parents may choose the type of school best suited to the specific needs of the child.
Orphanages generally have onsite educators and set the style of curriculum based on basic state certification and, in certain cases, charitable affiliations or religious beliefs. With foster parents closely monitoring foster children’s education, they can be encouraged to further their education.
No Regimentation or Institutionalization
In large groups in residential care, it’s necessary to maintain order. This is usually the reason for regimentation of daily care and education. Regimentation in residential care may result in feelings of institutionalization.
Children in foster care experience no regimentation and no feelings of institutionalization, due to a freer home atmosphere. It’s difficult in residential care to provide personal privacy, freedom and choice. Choices of the curriculum and functioning system is implemented by residential care facilities’ leadership. Children who have lived in residential care facilities often feel bonded to the large entity of the institution, making it harder for them to feel independent later in their adolescent years and their adult lives. Ref: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/information_packets/adolescents_in_residential_treatment_and_foster_care-pkt.pdf.
Greater Advantages for Adoption or Return to Parental Custody
Foster children live in the hope that they will be returned to their parents and feel that foster parents are just their short-term security. This hope arises from the natural biological ties between parents and children. In cases where the foster child cannot be returned to their biological parents, foster parents are their greatest asset for adoption, either by the foster parents or other qualified adults.
Children in residential care often “age out” of the residential care facility before they are adopted. This is particularly true of children abandoned by parents after infancy. Foster parents often bond with a foster child and have the ability to petition for adoption. In residential care, the children are most likely to bond with the overall institution and rarely are adopted. Statistics bear this out. Ref: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/afcars.
The Advantage of Foster Children
Security and safety are two of the most important features that children require, and they can find this in foster care. Today’s orphan care professionals are highly educated and thoroughly vetted by state and local agencies. They place security and safety of the children in their care as their first priority.