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ERIC Number: ED313645
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug-10
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Empowering Children and Youth in Foster Care: A Forum.
McFadden, Emily Jean
Empowerment as originally used referred to a political process in which systemic power was analyzed and redistributed. To translate concepts of empowerment into foster care terminology, an indifferent society fails to support families at risk, then increases their powerlessness by removing their children. Foster children are primarily children of the poor, who are often treated "poorly" by the system mandated to protect and nurture them. The reason that the concept of empowerment is a political one is that societal injustice demands political and economic action. Before thinking about empowerment for young people, the specific ways in which foster children and youth are disempowered must be considered. Foster children could be asked what they want in case review. It is not surprising that youth at age 17 or 18 cannot make good choices if they have not been allowed choices at age 10. It may be that in foster care research, researchers have been asking the wrong questions; foster children themselves should have input. Before anything else, it must be assured that children and youth in foster care are not harmed. Secondly, a supportive environment must be established. Empowerment is a political process aimed at analyzing and acquiring uses of influence. Ultimately the children in foster care must speak for themselves. (ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A