Nearly 640,000 young people depend on caseworkers to keep them safe in U.S. foster care each year. But with little training, unmanageable caseloads and long hours on small salaries, adequately protecting kids can be difficult. And, as we see in the cover story of Notes From the Field, the effects can be devastating.
When no foster homes were available, Sean was placed in an institution “akin to being inside a prison.” Guards dictated when to wake, clean and eat, and he couldn’t leave without staff. In this issue, Sean’s story, and those of others who’ve lived in foster care institutions – is brought to life.
Imagine entering foster care with a brother or sister, your only comfort in a world of uncertainty. Then you’re split up and have no idea, if, or when, you’ll see each other again. This issue delves into the impacts of sibling separation, and shares the stories of those who’ve been through it.
Thousands of foster children are prescribed powerful psychotropic medications, and the side effects – like drowsiness, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations – can be serious. This issue deals with overmedication, a lack of oversight and the startling impact psychotropics have on kids.