Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Carrie E. Coward & Corey L. M. Keyes
Few would dispute the claim that the biological family is the ideal when it comes to the process of child rearing. However, it is not always practical or advisable that biological parents rear their children. Indeed, there are roughly 500,000 children who, on any given day, are living under the care of the child welfare system in the United States. Foster care is defined as state-sponsored, 24-hour custodial care for children who require placement outside of the homes of their biological parents or legal guardians due to maltreatment. Children are transferred to the care of the state for a multitude of reasons, which can include death of parents, intentional neglect, and abuse, as well as the inability of the biological parents to provide the necessities of child rearing. The first White House Conference on Children was held in 1909 in response to widespread use of institutional care for children whose ...