Essay #2 Research Proposal

Question: How do the conditions of the foster care system in the United States influence adverse behavior among foster youth?


Originally, my research question addressed the negligence of foster kids in relation to drug abuse and homelessness, however this new research question tackles the situations foster kids undergo along with the effects it has on future behavior. This research question interests me because there are numerous children, including individuals I’ve crossed paths with, who’ve suffered through terrible predicaments due to the poor conditions they’re placed in. Not only have these circumstances endangered their well being, but it has also impacted their psychological state. This is an important social issue because it occurs to various foster kids that are not only mistreated while under the care of the system, but are also thrown into the real world without any guarantee that they’ll survive. Kids are given to foster families with abusive tendencies. Once they age out, they’re released with no social skills, no connections, no survival skills, and with no support. How are adults with no experience of living outside the system, supposed to thrive? It’s important to take notice of individuals that aren’t offered the same privileges as others, that are expected to survive without family support or reassurance. Most individuals that age out, become victims of sex trafficking, are unemployed, convicted, pregnant, or never get the chance to earn a college degree.

The target audiences are social services, the Department of Child Protective Services or Human Services, even previous foster care kids. By correlating the conditions in foster care systems to the behavioral effect it has on the kids, it brings light to the way these services are handling the situations. The only way to make a change to the way things are being run, is to address it to those in charge. By also targeting the past foster kids, it might encourage them to also speak up about the situations they experienced and how it impacted their behavior. 


Model Essay: Ferrara, Pietro, et al. “Foster Care: A Fragile Reality Needing Social Attention, and Economic Investments.” Redirecting, EUROPEAN PAEDIATRIC ASSOCIATION PAGES, 1 June 2016,


The reason for choosing this model essay is because I want to follow a similar idea for my research-based essay. Starting off with a summary of what the research will be based on and why it’s an important social issue. Along with that it will have subtitles to highlight what the following paragraphs will be addressing. It will consist of a summary, then the situations the foster kids face within the system, followed by the impact it has on their behavior, and concluding with how their influenced behavior led to struggles outside of the system. As for sources, most secondary sources have already been gathered relating to situations within the system and outside. However, I have to do a bit more research on the behavioral aspects. Despite that, I have a clear idea of how I will approach this research-based essay.




Brinser, Hannah, and Addy Wissel. “Serving Students in Foster Care: Implications and

Interventions for School Counselors.” The Professional Counselor, vol. 10, no. 2, 2020, p. 170+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

Chaney, Cassandra, and Meghan Spell. “‘In the system:’ a qualitative study of African American

women’s foster care stories.” The Western Journal of Black Studies, vol. 39, no. 2, 2015, p. 84+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

Wade M, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, Nelson CA. Effect of Foster Care Intervention on Trajectories of

General and Specific Psychopathology Among Children With Histories of Institutional Rearing: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(11):1137–1145. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2556

Tyler, Kimberly A, and Lisa A Melander. “Foster Care Placement, Poor Parenting, and Negative

Outcomes Among Homeless Young Adults.” Journal of Child and Family Studies, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Dec. 2010,

Dinwoodie, April. “Broken Foster Care System May Be Contributing to Homelessness Crisis.”

The San Francisco Examiner, 27 Mar. 2016,

Pitzl, Mary Jo. “Arizona Sued over Poor Foster-Care Conditions.” The Arizona Republic, 4 Feb.


Group, Bay Area News. “Drugging Our Kids: RX Alliance Rewards Doctors as Drug Companies

Get Richer.” Daily News, Daily News, 28 Aug. 2017,

Kamp, Jon, and Arian Campo-Flores. “Parents’ Drug Abuse Strains Child-Welfare Agencies.”

The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 12 Jan. 2016,

Koseff, Alexei. “Sex-Trafficking Sting Highlights Vulnerability of Foster Children.” Los Angeles

Times, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2013,

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Ayesha Abdul-Fattaah
    Hello Emily, First of all, I love your topic. I find it so incredibly important to criticize systems like these. For far too long, people have been let down by these systems put in place that are supposed to uplift and empower the most vulnerable people in our society. It is heartbreaking to know of these realities, but nonetheless crucial for people to be aware in order to fight for others and for change in our communities. This makes me think of the documentary on Gabriel Fernandez and how the Department of Child Protective Services failed him because some social workers did not do their jobs extensively and efficiently. Because of the faults of this particular system, we lost a child. These situations happen too often. I think you made a great transition from your initial question to now including the causes and effects. You have an abundant list of sources, which is great, and you seem to have a clear idea on what it is you will do during the process of composing this essay. I wish you a happy writing. Thank you for sharing! - Ayesha

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