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Is foster care the best option?

In the article, “There are worse things than foster care” published Nov. 21, 2018 by New York Times, Naomi Schaefer Riley talks about how kids are getting abused by strangers. She believes that foster care is failing to ensure the safety of kids. She explains how foster parents are perpetrators in abusing and neglecting kids. Riley speaks about stories in the past about kids getting abused by foster parents and how “Earlier this year Jennifer and Sarah Hart drove their S.U.V. off a Northern California cliff, killing themselves and at least four of the six children they had adopted, probably out of the foster system.”(Riley 1). She states that stories like these show that kids are more abused by strangers.

I agree with Riley’s thesis because it’s true that kids are more likely to be abused by strangers. I do not agree with the author that kids are abused by their foster parents when visiting their biological parents. I know that some cases have included kids getting abused by their biological parents. I believe that kids are abused because adults are intoxicated, and how that foster care isn’t doing enough to protect the kids. Riley expresses that “These numbers are not surprising when you consider that in 34 percent of cases in which children were removed in 2016, substance abuse on the part of the parents was involved — and we know that addiction is a problem that returns again and again.”(Riley 6). More and more kids are getting abused by foster parents who are intoxicated. The rise of kids getting abused and neglected needs to be stopped.

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Riley is right in her belief that kids who are abused should be removed from homes that they are abused in and should not be brought to live or visit them. However, In the article by Richard L. Jackson, Jackson talks about how “The trauma from being taken from your home as a young child or teenager creates psychological damage that resembles post-traumatic stress disorder”(Jackson 4). Jackson believes that kids should not be removed due to trauma and separation trauma. On the other hand, Riley believes that kids should not be brought back to their parents who abused them. Riley is correct because if kids are brought back then they can be physically abused again.

Riley believes that intoxication is a big reason some kids get abused. In the article by Tina Lee, Lee believes “Ms. Riley is correct that drug use is often a factor, but it is misleading to act as if most of these cases involve dangerous levels of abuse” (Lee 6). Lee believes drug abuse is not a big reason. She explains how Poverty is a big reason and is confused with neglect and drug abuse. Lee thinks that is the main topic which is always missed. Riley feels substance abuse is a big problem. Riley is correct that substance abuse is a big problem. She explains a story about a mother who was arrested for a beating a 13- month old daughter and her twin brother and how “The children had reportedly been removed from the home when they were infants and their mother underwent drug counseling before they were returned” (Riley 14). This shows that drug abuse is a big problem because when you’re on drugs you are not in control and anything can happen.

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Overall, the author Riley doesn’t want kids to be back with the parents who abused them. She believes that kids should not be brought back just because the foster care system wants to reunite families. Children without a family who have been taken away from violent or drug-addicted parents should not be brought back. It’s going to give them a reminder each day that they have been abused or it’s going to happen all over again.

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