Tag Archives: adoption

A Safe Place to Live?

Only six percent of former foster children earn a college degree, according to a 2011 study from the University of Chicago.

CSUN Professor of Child and Adolescent Development Dr. Roxanne Moschetti is in the small group of former foster children who beat the statistic.

“When I think about how I ended up where I am now, as opposed to where I started,” Moschetti said, “it was little things, like a fourth grade teacher that asked me to help them with a bulletin board after school – small things – or like a school nurse that acknowledged that my handwriting was nice.”

The insecurity of the foster care system makes normal childhood difficult.

“[A new foster home] was always very foreign,” Moschetti said. “Even if your family lives under a bridge, even though we were homeless, or even though our home was really, really chaotic, it was still familiar to me.”

Child S.H.A.R.E recruiter Bob Levy was moved from home to home as a foster child.

“I was a pretty good kid but I bounced four times in three years,” he said, “so trying to socialize in school was very traumatic because as soon as they knew you were a kid in foster care, and word got around, you’re labeled, so that was very hard to deal with. And then just trying to keep up with your school work is devastating because as soon as you change a school, it’s a different curriculum.”

Los Angeles County has the highest number of foster children of any county in California. According to the Department of Children and Family Services, more than 30,000 children are in the Los Angeles foster care system.

Moschetti said the large number of foster children in Los Angeles could have something to do with the environment.

“When you’re looking at counties, and you’re looking at foster care rates within them, you also look at the other things,” she said. “So [you look at] poverty levels, socio economic status, substance abuse, and things like that, because they all go hand in hand.”

Moschetti said past trauma and lack of attachment make the adjustment to a new home even harder.

“We really focus on attachment,” she said. “So [we look at] the reason that has brought the children into the foster home. If it’s abuse, if it’s severe abuse and neglect, [then] they haven’t formed secure attachment with their caregivers. That can carry on longterm as well as any trauma.”

That trauma can continue into the next generation, and Levy says children of fostered youth make up a number of those in the system.

“What we are finding is that a lot of these kids that are placed in foster care are having children that they are putting into foster care,” he said.

“If you look at longitudinal studies on children that were abused and neglected, unfortunately often times they do become abusers,” Moschetti said.

But Levy encourages children in the foster care system to stay positive regardless of statistics.

“For the foster child that’s feeling kind of hopeless, know that they are wonderful, that God made them special and precious, and they have skills and talent,” he said. “The fact that they have had to survive and go through these things will actually make them more resilient to the pressures of the world.”

Moderator: Brenda Garcia

Producer: Teresa Arevalo

Anchor: Alexis Wadley

Reporters: Wahid Lodin and Gloria Star

Social Media Editor: Kelsey Ducklow

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