Foster Children

Foster children are those minors who have been placed into a home, group home, or other form of foster care, where there is someone who has been state certified to care for the young children in need of homes. Foster Children and their families are set up with each other through DCFS and the Court systems of the state. The children that are given to foster parents are ensured that they are going somewhere safe, because of the certifications needed to become a foster parent in the first place.

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How is a family found unfit to care for a child?

The actual blood related families to these children were somehow found unfit to care for this child, has neglected or abused their child in anyway, or have passed away and left a child as an orphan. These are the most common reasons as to why children end up in the foster care system.  (will change to citation) "“”Unfit person” means any person whom the court shall find to be unfit to have a child, without regard to the likelihood that the child will be placed for adoption. The grounds of unfitness are any one or more of the following…

  • (a) Abandonment of the child.
  • (a-1) Abandonment of a newborn infant in a hospital.
  • (a-2) Abandonment of a newborn infant in any setting where the evidence suggests that the parent intended to relinquish his or her parental rights.
  • (b) Failure to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the child’s welfare.
  • (c) Desertion of the child for more than 3 months next preceding the commencement of the Adoption proceeding.
  • (d) Substantial neglect of the child if continuous or repeated.
  • (d-1) Substantial neglect, if continuous or repeated, of any child residing in the household which resulted in the death of that child.
  • (e) Extreme or repeated cruelty to the child.
  • (f) There is a rebuttable presumption, which can be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence, that a parent is unfit if:(1) Two or more findings of physical abuse have been entered regarding any children under Section 2-21 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, the most recent of which was determined by the juvenile court hearing the matter to be supported by clear and convincing evidence; or(2) The parent has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity and the conviction or finding resulted from the death of any child by physical abuse; or(3) There is a finding of physical child abuse resulting from the death of any child….
  • (g) Failure to protect the child from conditions within his environment injurious to the child’s welfare.
  • (h) Other neglect of, or misconduct toward the child;…
  • (i) Depravity [a list of crimes follow that automatically make a parent depraved].
  • (j) Open and notorious adultery or fornication.
  • (k) Habitual drunkenness or addiction to drugs, other than those prescribed by a physician…
  • (l) Failure to demonstrate a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of a new born child during the first 30 days after its birth…
  • (o) Repeated or continuous failure by the parents, although physically and financially able, to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, or shelter.
  • (p) Inability to discharge parental responsibilities supported by competent evidence from a psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker, or clinical psychologist of mental impairment, mental illness or an intellectual disability…
  • (r) The child is in the temporary custody or guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services, the parent is incarcerated as a result of criminal conviction at the time the petition or motion for termination of parental rights is filed…
  • (t) A finding that at birth the child’s blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of a controlled substance…” 750 ILCS 50/1
  • A finding of unfitness will allow an Illinois court to proceed with an adoption whether the unfit parent agrees to the adoption or not." Same link as above source but the link will be inserted correctly here 


The Orphan Train

The foster care system was created by a guy named Charles Loring Brace. This man created the Orphan Train "He believed the answers to transforming New York’s orphans and street children into self-reliant members of society were gainful work, education, and a wholesome family atmosphere. Rev. Brace strongly believed that the best place for a child to grow up was in the home of a Christian farmer. With an idealized view of what life was like in the Mid-West, and the realization that the growing number of homeless children in the city would one day result in a serious crime problem, Brace began his “placing out” program in 1854 with a group of forty-six boys traveling by train to Michigan with an agent. The children were taken before an assembly of townspeople in a local church where the agent explained the children’s need for homes. Within one week, local farm families had claimed all the children. This type of “placing out” effort was a success and began what would be a seventy-five year movement on the part of the Children’s Aid Society to save more than 100,000 urban children living in poverty." (will change to citation)  ..... brothers took over after he passed....  

When the Orphan Train Came to Town - J. Mark Powell