In, "The Healing Power of the Family: An Illustrated Overview of Life with the Disturbed Foster or Adopted Child," Dr. Richard J. Delaney examines the approach to the understanding and treatment of disturbed foster and adopted children. Over the course of five chapters the author assess the decline of effective adopted and foster families, reviews the typical behavioral problems that are common among the foster care and adoptive children, the impact they have on the family dynamics, strategies to assist in problem solving and discussions on special issues that occur in adoptive and foster families. Through positive influence, nurturing care, proper understanding and preparation, foster care and adopted children can dramatically respond to the healing power of the family.
The welfare system has been increasingly stretched to their limits by the alarming number of maltreated children that have been placed in their care. In 1980 there were approximately 250,000 children living in placement; by 1994, there were an estimated 400,000 children (Delaney). The number of these maltreated children continue to grow each year to startling statistics. The children that are flooding the system are experiencing an even higher intensity of worsening problems than the ones in previous years. Even seasoned foster parents, experienced case workers, adoptive families, hospital staff and therapists agree that the children are terrifyingly troubled and traumatized sometimes beyond comprehension. The children with these behaviors are cycling in the welfare system for such long lengths of time due to the inability of being able to place them in effective and therapeutic care. .
There are many reasons that can be contributed to the cause of these escalating behaviors. Some of the main causes are associated with the limited funding of programs that are designed to help educate families and also provide support to those families that may be extremely vulnerable in maltreating their children.