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.