Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for this discussion on the long-term effects of foster care on a child’s life. In the previous article in this two-part series, we looked at how hard being in foster care is on kids, and why they often struggle emotionally later in life. However, losing everything meaningful in life and learning not to trust adults are only a part of the long term effects of foster care. There is so much more…
Foster kids struggle throughout life to create meaningful relationships
If you spend most of your childhood moving from place to place, family to family, never settling anywhere or feeling accepted, you’re likely to withdraw. Not trust people. Not connect on a meaningful level with someone else. That’s exactly what happens to many foster kids. And because your sense of self is wrapped up in how others perceive you, not feeling wanted or important has a huge impact on a foster child’s self esteem.
Kids with low self esteem are proven to struggle more in life with depression, mental health issues, substance abuse, self harm, and even suicide. Which means that a vast number of foster children are at great risk of developing addictions, mental health problems, emotional difficulties and risky behaviors. It’s tragic to realize that the very system set up to protect these children is also systematically destroying them.
Children in foster care face major academic challenges as well.
There is a growing body of research proving that children in foster care face enormous challenges at school. Both the traumas they faced before being removed from their families, and the trauma of the removal itself, affect their school performance. In addition, children who are subject to abuse and neglect are documented to have much higher instances of substance abuse, depression, poverty and crime later in life.
These issues make learning even harder for them. After all, it’s extremely hard to focus at school when you’re chronically depressed, or struggling with substance abuse. Also, research has shown that children who’ve suffered trauma (like the trauma of losing all their loved ones) have a diminished learning capacity. Children’s brains, affected by trauma, have a vastly reduced ability to absorb and retain new information.
Children need meaningful relationships with their parents.
As acclaimed psychologist Bessel Van Der Kolk points out in his book The Body Keeps The Score, “The parent-child connection is the most powerful intervention known to mankind.” When you stop and think about the implications of that statement, and how disastrous it can be when that connection is severed, it’s easy to understand why children in foster care struggle so much.
Another fact that Van Der Kolk has discovered in his decades of research with trauma patients, is that feeling safe is critical to optimal brain function. “Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health. Safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”
Children of parents battling CPS are at risk of losing so much!
If you or a loved one are battling CPS, or have been threatened with having your children taken away, then you understand the horror that awaits you and your child if you do nothing. Our skilled defense attorneys have spent decades battling CPS, and we’re familiar with their tactics and methods. We understand what you’re up against, and we can help you through this. So call us today at 866-346-5879. We are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.