Claudia Felder spent much of her childhood in foster care, starting when she was 3 years old — and all but one of those foster homes were physically and sexually abusive. When Felder was adopted, it seemed like the nightmare would finally come to an end. But the traumatized child found it difficult to adjust to home life and got into trouble in school. After four years in that house, the family sent her back into foster care, at age 10.
Cris Beam, the author of To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, says Felder’s experience is representative — and that the problems foster kids face are also society’s problems. The foster care problem cannot be addressed without tackling the society’s broader issues of drug abuse, domestic and sexual abuse, and poverty: “They are a meter of our social problems … of how we are failing or succeeding as a society.”
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