Would You Become a Mentor to Foster Children? (by Ashley La Bore)


Knowing what you know about foster children would you become a mentor? Why?

The reason I ask this question is because there is such a hug stereo type of why kids are in foster care and that they are troubled or broken. People don’t want foster kids around their children or children that they might already have.

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Howard, Sara. “Attitudes towards Foster Care.” Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences. URC, 21 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.kon.org/urc/v6/howard.html&gt;.

Summary: Sara did a research paper on how there is an attitude towards foster children. She breaks it down into different sections all educational but the one that stood out to me was Stereotypes of Foster Children and how people think that they are delinquents and irresponsible where her research shows that there are more hardworking, determined kids that get unnoticed. She also reaches out to say “that the public should know that it takes the support of the public alongside the caseworkers to positively influence their lives” (para. 8). Children are losing out because of what people think they know. “‘The most negative part of foster care is usually not where you’re placed, it’s how other people judge you,’ says Letitia Silva, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania who spent time in foster care. ‘Too often, people treat children in foster care like they did something wrong’” (Bissell & Geen, 2006, para. 21).

Commentary: I love this article! I think Sara did a great job on capturing stereo types. People are losing out, children are losing out because some people are not taking the time to get to know some of the kids and just judging them from what they think they know about the system. These children are the ones that were taken away from the only life they knew and put in a completely foreign environment but we are the ones that need to worry.

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Frye, Sara. “Breaking the Negative Stereotypes of Older Children in Foster Care.” Farrah Frye. BlogatWordpress.com, 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://farrahfrye.com/2012/09/11/breaking-the-negative-stereoypes-of-older-children-in-foster-care/&gt;.

Summary: This article goes into talking about how this Mother of 4 foster kids loves them and hates people that stereo type these children. She goes on to talking about how people have such a negative stereotype about these kids that they are not being welcomed into houses so they are placed in group homes and sadly enough so go to juvenile detention even when they did nothing wrong.

Commentary: The reason I chose this article is because it shows what can happen to kids that are judged because of a situation they had no control over. Also she wants to make it know and get it to stop and that is what I want to do as well. This is an outrage children need guidance not a door shut in their faces!

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Rhodes, Jean E., Haight, Wendy L., Briggs, Ernestine C.” Interpersonal Mentoring Journal”, 1999, Issue 2 Vol. 9, p185, 17p, 2 Charts, 3 Graphs (academic library)

Summary: This article goes into what can happen if people can surpass the stereotyping and helps out a kid in need. It shows that it cannot only let them know that there is people out there that want to be in their lives but also “More recently, researchers have linked natural mentor support to improvements in at-risk adolescents’ psychological, social, academic, and career functioning” (McLearn et al., 1998; Munch & Blyth, 1993; Rhodes & Davis, 1996). Yes the impact of mentoring might differ per kid but statistics show that “A relationship with a mentor can thus become a “corrective experience” for those adolescents who have experienced unsatisfactory relationships with their parents and can facilitate more positive peer relationships” (Olds, Kitzman, Cole, & Robinson, 1997). Fosters are influenced by their peers and showed much improvement from start to finish.

Commentary: This article will go great with my essay and question because it shows the other side, the benefit. I truly believe that if kids have someone to talk to, to look up to they can see things differently. Not every kid is the same, ya I know that there are some bad ones but I feel those are the ones that need the most love. They are that way for a reason and if people take time out there might be a way to help this child. Thus possibly making less crime and hate in the world because there is one less child hoodlum.

***

Hamilton, Stephen F.; Agnes Hamilton, Mary; Hirsch, Barton J.; Hughes, Jan; King, Jacqueline; Maton, Kenneth. Journal of Community Psychology. Nov2006, Issue 6 Vol. 34, p727-746. 20p. (academic library)

Summary: This article goes into what can happen if people can surpass the stereotyping and helps out a kid in need. It shows that it cannot only let them know that there is people out there that want to be in their lives but also “More recently, researchers have linked natural mentor support to improvements in at-risk adolescents’ psychological, social, academic, and career functioning” (McLearn et al., 1998; Munch & Blyth, 1993; Rhodes & Davis, 1996). Yes the impact of mentoring might differ per kid but statistics show that “A relationship with a mentor can thus become a “corrective experience” for those adolescents who have experienced unsatisfactory relationships with their parents and can facilitate more positive peer relationships” (Olds, Kitzman, Cole, & Robinson, 1997). Fosters are influenced by their peers and showed much improvement from start to finish.

Commentary: This article will go great with my essay and question because it shows the other side, the benefit. I truly believe that if kids have someone to talk to, to look up to they can see things differently. Not every kid is the same, ya I know that there are some bad ones but I feel those are the ones that need the most love. They are that way for a reason and if people take time out there might be a way to help this child. Thus possibly making less crime and hate in the world because there is one less child hoodlum.

Public Writing: Please see Ashley’s post on the PDX Education Action Network blog here.

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2 comments

  1. Nelle

    Hi Ashley,
    You chose a very powereful topic that unfortunately does not get much attention. I’m glad you brought it to my attention, and that I had the opportunity to read the research you compiled. I think you did a really amazing job of collecting resources that related directly to your research question. It seems that the last summary you made was duplicated.

    Initially, I was confused about your writing and thought you just did Part 2 of the essay until I found the Public Writing link at the bottom. I’m so glad I did too! Wonderful job of using strong statistics and true facts like people’s misjudgments and stereo types. The statistic about over 500,000 kids in foster care in your first paragraph was astounding. I can’t express how powerful it is and how perfect it is that you put it in the first paragraph.

    What got you to become a foster care mentor in the first place? I would have loved to hear more about why you started.

    I also was touched by the statistics you included about the aftermath of children who do not get chosen for foster care mentoring. It’s a sad reality and you were right to touch on the emotional factor of that. Your topic was strong and passionate. It’s clear you really care about this topic and I think that is part of the reason your final writing turned out to be such a success. Well done and thank you for the information!

  2. ashley

    Nelle,

    Thank you for your opinion! i dont know why my cites came first i guess i sectioned them wrong. i am very into my becomeing a mentor. i started because i want to work with kids as a cousler and try and guide them in a positive direction.I love kids and i think they deserve everything in the world and that is their right in this world.

    Ashley LaBore

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