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1. What role does an advocate play in the foster care system?
An advocate in the foster care come in many forms. It can be a judge, social worker or even the lawyer in the legal process. They provide the foster family with all the pertinent information they’d need when taking in the children. Our book note that Systemic strategies that encourage client-family-community-helper partnerships have great potential to enhance direct client services, increase advocacy. (McWhirter, J. J. (2013)
2. What types of community services should be available for advocates to help the new adoptive and foster parents cope with the unique demands of being a parent?
I think support groups should be provided for those struggling or are curious about foster care, this way everyone could exchange information and give advice to one another. Counseling should be given to start the process and prepare the families mentally for what they are about to get involved with. Not many people understand what being a foster parent entails nor do they really know the problems these kids have had to deal with before coming into their home. Community also provide a frame work to help in foster parents coping, participating in a parent support group, participating in parent trainings, and using web based resources are services that the parents of about three out of ten children received regardless of adoption type. ( Adoption USA: A Chartbook Based on the 2007)
3. What types of support groups might be helpful for new adoptive and/or foster care parents? Find at least one support group (in your community or a national group) that might be helpful for new adoptive/foster parents and explain how this organization would be helpful.
After some research, I could not find a support group for foster families in my area, but I did find an online support group. Daily Strength, is an online community where everyone posts their issues and advice for each other.
4. The foster care system provides training to prospective foster parents. What types of screenings and training should child welfare advocates require parents to undergo prior to a child being placed with them? Explain why you chose these types of screenings and training.
I believe that everyone planning to foster/adopt needs tom undergo a full background check, fingerprint check, undergo parenting classes, counseling to prepare them for the child(ren) they will be taking in, random home checks while they have them in their custody and lastly, counseling for both the parents and the children just in case the relationship is not off to a good start and they can get to know one another. I chose these specific things because I feel that not enough is being done to make sure that these children are being placed properly. A lot of kids are being lost in the system and forgotten, mistreated, abused, etc. Doing all of this can help place these kids properly and the random home checks could help them see how the homes and children are being taken care of.
Adoption USA: A Chartbook Based on the 2007
(McWhirter, J. J. (2013) At Risk Youth, 5th Edition