Foster Care and Best Interests of the Child

Sarah A. Font Elizabeth T. Gershoff - SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)

More than half a million US children spend time in foster care each year, and combined federal, state, and local expenditures on foster care services approach $15 billion annually. Yet, foster care remains a widely controversial and poorly regarded intervention to protect children exposed to abuse or neglect. This volume provides an in-depth examination of the history and goals of the foster care system, how and why it fails to adequately meet children’s needs, and what it would take to actualize meaningful improvements in children’s experiences and outcomes. We challenge prevailing criticisms of foster care and illustrate how efforts to increase conformity and accountability in state foster care systems may undermine, rather than promote, child well-being. The final chapter of the volume provides a blueprint for realizing the potential of foster care as a safe and effective intervention for children experiencing abuse and neglect.

Chapters include: