While human rights gain a lot of momentum in international platforms, child human rights often go ignored or under represented in these cases. Looking at the problems of abuse by foster parents and the trauma as a result, Elise Dallimore of Northeastern University, through her study, has important discoveries about the universality of these problems through her research.
A foster parent herself, Dallimore says that a nagging issue is United States today is that with an increased number of foster children and not proportionately enough families to adopt them, many of them live in institutions. According to the Department of Human Services, parental drug abuse is reported as an issue amongst one third of the children. Further, the trauma of shifting from one foster family to another leaves the children in a confused state of mind. What such childhood trauma does to the child is to make him or her vulnerable to mental imbalance in the form of anxiety, depression, poor anger management, etc. Dallimore also finds that with foster parents opting out of the programme within a year of the advancement, supplements the trauma that the child may have been subjected to in his or her original home, thus worsening the situation.
She says that foster parenting, if done right, can be an amazing experience that rewards everyone in the family. It could create everlasting bonds between foster children and the biological children of the couple and the achievements of their foster children can be moments of joy and pride for the foster family. Above everything else, it could give the foster child a happy home and a healthy life.
N Malavika Mohan