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337 pages, ebook
First published January 1, 2013
If poverty and its attendant burdens— depression, anxiety, drug use, heightened community violence, paucity of support systems, and so on— can sow the seeds for child abuse, then child welfare needs to go back to prevention. But this is a tall order for one sprawling and splintered administration, which has always been reactionary: it treats symptoms, not disease. The solution, as it has always been, is bigger than foster care, bigger than abuse; the real solution will be rooted in society as a whole. (pp. 63-64)While the ultimate cause is unclear and it remains uncertain why so many children, especially why so many African American children, are being removed from their homes, one problem is clear and can be addressed: "each move means another ruptured attachment, another break in trust, another experience of being unwanted or unloved" (pp. 89-90). As Beam concludes, too many children are traumatized by being in foster care, which focuses more on housing than attachment. Further, because the system focuses more on housing and often has foster parents who are unprepared to deal with traumatized children, foster children hit 18 (or 21) unprepared for the adult world. (My own daughter's foster parents were wonderful, but should have been allowed to adopt her rather than having her given to us.)