Kids in our Community

December 15, 2011

Political Theory

The effects of violence on a teenager, and the connection between foster care and juveniles are real. I believe that violence is a strong risk factor that may lead a young person to delinquency. Most of the delinquents come from some form of abuse. If a child or teen is getting abused, they will want a way to have the upper hand in other situation, hence they become the bully. Or if peers are abusing a child or teen they will eventually want to retaliate involving violence, leading them towards delinquency. Some kids are pushed into delinquency, it may be the only way they can stop getting abuse or have some power in their life.

In our world, thousands of children get lost in the foster care system. They go from home to home, never really having a home to call their own. In many of these foster care homes, those kids are not being watched, and they have ample time to get in anything. So, of course if these kids do not have any family, no money, no adult watching them, they are going to get into some delinquent acts because that is the most convenient. And when they get caught, many of their foster home do not even realize they are missing. So, these juveniles are getting pushed through them system with no clue, no one to make sure they do not get injustice. So, it is high priority for the community to make sure these kids are protected. The community needs to make sure these foster care homes are doing what they are suppose to for these children and not just collecting checks from the state. The community needs to make sure that these kids have proper supervision and have a proper place to live, because when they do not have these things they are out in the street and that is were the trouble happens.

To help prevent them from having a higher rate of juvenile delinquency we can make sure they are living in suitable condition. We can provide these children with an outlet for their anger. Have programs that provide information on how to deal with abuse and violence.

I have always known that foster care children and the criminal justice system come into contact at some point. This is because many of the foster homes these children are in are not suitable. So, these kids are always running away. If these children do not have a home to go to, do not have a school to go, do not have family, sometimes no friends, what are they suppose to do. The system is sometimes leading these children into delinquency. To prevent the foster children from getting into trouble the community could maybe provide each child with a mentor, that they can talk with about anything, and can report to them any troubles in their life. They need to make sure these kids are going to school and are involved in at least one extra curriculum activity, by producing some kind of (real) proof. Nothing really shocked me about the juvenile delinquency because I live in a city were this is at a high rate. And I have gone to school with kids like these kids.

The idea that many foster care children only show up to court with an attorney, and not with family member is sad. This shows that many of these kids do not have anyone really caring about them. These kids do not really have someone looking after them. These kids are just being tossed into another system that is not made to help them. These foster children lives are not getting help. The foster children never really get a home, never really get a family and they never really get to be a child. Foster children not only have to deal with the troubles of being a teen, they also have a million other obstacles to get through. I feel foster children live a bad home to go to another bad home. Some foster children are fortunate to get a group home that actually cares for them or being adopted by a loving family, but considering the amount of foster care children not a lot are this fortunate.

Many delinquents are a product of their environment. So, if you are put in a bad environment, it is much easier to fall down the wrong path, than to push through your struggles. What do you think can be done to help these children. Do you believe that it is the community job to help these children or to prevent these things from happening to them? What political theroist do you believe would agree with the community helping and not agree?



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4 Comments on “Kids in our Community”

  1. lmaren Says:

    I think that family is the most important factor in defining a person. (like in the lecturetools poll from last week.) If the foster children had a stable home that they could permanently live at, their lives would be much better. By moving around so much, they are forced to keep connections to a minimum and they don’t feel like they belong. However, if they permanently lived with a family or with the same people, they would be able to reach out and connect with their foster family and I think that their lives would be a lot better. It is definitely the communities job to help these children, because it is the communities duty to give them a home. Foster families must give their time, resources, etc. to these children. It is their job to care for them.

  2. keroboim Says:

    I completely agree that delinquent children are a product of their environment. Almost all the time, this is something the children cannot control and are forced to cope with. One of Machiavelli’s principles, the “ends justify the means”, can be used to explain why so many children in foster homes constantly find themselves in trouble. Many of these kids came from nothing and did not have much – tangibles or intangibles. In the case of tangibles, children will almost go to any extent to get what they want, especially if they do not have a parent figure to help them distinguish wants from needs and what’s right or wrong. A good proportion of children in the foster care system have been convicted for theft, robbery, or drug distribution. Children most likely committed these crimes in order to get to some end,

    But what can be done to stop this perpetual cycle in the foster care system? I think the whole system needs to be completely overhauled with stricter controls put in place. The system should treat kids as commodities and just shuffle them between homes or put them in whatever home is available. In a way, the system almost sets these unfortunate children up for failure. A way to assess the compatibility of children with foster parents and thier families needs to be created. If a child and a potential family are seen as compatible after a screening process, I can almost guarantee the chances of success with that family. With success comes a more stable lifestyle, including higher chances of staying in school and lower chances of ending up in court for a crime. A system like this would definitely be a strain on government resources. It would be interesting to see the views of someone who is an advocate of reduced government involvement in social programs.

  3. danielpienkowski Says:

    I strongly agree with the whole sentiment that you are a “product of your environment.” I’ve done community service with kids who come from broken homes and live in some of the poorest areas of Los Angeles. These kids are exposed to violence, abuse, and crime on an almost daily basis, and it is really hard to break the cycle. I worked in one primary school where the principle confided in me how broken the school system really was. Even though this was a small Catholic school, she told me that around 50% of the children who graduate from here don’t end up graduating from high school simply as a result of gang activity or troubles with their environment or family. It was hard to imagine that, although the kids I worked with seemed willing enough to work hard, many of them would unfortunately fall off track later on in their academic careers, by little fault of their own. The foster care system that you mentioned seems similar to the dilemma that I experienced. If kids don’t have proper guidance growing up, then it is almost guaranteed that they will get into trouble. I think it is important for schools and parents to emphasize the importance of education to the kids by showing them what they can become if they work hard and do what they are passionate about.

    While doing my community service, I did an activity with my 3rd grade class about human capital. I asked them all what they liked doing and what they were good at, and, through a presentation I prepared, I tried to get them to see the value of achieving their goals. I don’t know how much impact I had on them, but I believe that little things such as this should be instilled in kids at an early age so that they can break the cycle and start seeing the benefits of being successful rather than eventually falling into a life of violence or crime.

  4. Brian Hall Says:

    I think the horrible conditions suffered by those abandoned and left to the foster care system are an extremely compelling argument for the value of birth control and abortion. If you are pro-life, I think you are obligated to adopt at least one foster child.

    Not to mention the fact that there are too many people in this country to begin with; I don’t really see what we could to do increase the human capital of these children (turn them into highly qualified, in demand scientists and engineers? Good luck with that).

    As far as I’m concerned, decreasing population at the lowest levels of society would be the most effective way of creating a positive change. Stop the cycle of poverty and violence by not allowing a new era of children to be exposed to a crap quality of life.

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