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The arduous journey of the foster child

By Jamie Ballard/ Index-Tribune Intern 

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series that will look at life in California’s foster care system for both foster children and foster parents. All names of foster youth or former foster youth have been changed to protect identities.

 

Things have changed since the days of the nuclear family. Blended families, same-sex couples and single parents are commonplace, and the term “modern family” has taken on too many meanings to count.

Whether it’s blended, traditional, same-sex or something else entirely, family is one of the institutions held sacred in American society. But for approximately 90,000 children in California, that ideal of family disappeared when parental abuse or neglect created an unsafe environment. Those children are taken into the protective custody of the courts because their own parents, the people who were supposed to love and protect them, failed to maintain a basic level of care.


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