Since the last time I wrote about my research, I learned that 1 out of every 5 foster kids will become homeless. I also learned that a very low percentage of foster kids attend college, or even graduate high school. During the project so far, I have also learned that that with my ability to work with others, I find it hard for me to work with people who depend on me too much. I need to work with people who know what we need to get done and exactly what the plan is for the project, and not to rely on me to input the most effort. For our trifold board background, we want to make a large house, but divide it into three parts to represent three different foster homes a child will live in over time as he ages up in the system. The first home will show him as a toddler where he is happy and the home is full of vibrant colors. The next home will show him as a child and the colors will be medium toned, while he has a sort of blank expression on his face. In the last home, the colors will be very dark and gloomy, and will show him as a teenager while he is depressed. For our creative component, we haven’t entirely figured it out, but we are thinking about doing a suitcase that opens up, to represent how the child is always moving from one home to another. Some things we need to do is figure out what we are going to put inside of the suitcase we are going to make. Our collaboration so far is okay, it is a bit difficult to contact each other. Brainstorming ideas together has been difficult because even though we are in a group together, I am always the one doing the majority of the work.
Our Universal Theme has been changed to better suit our driving question. Instead of using Adaptation as our Universal Theme, we decided to change it to Change. Our driving question is as follows: How do the changes that foster kids face impact their mental health? For our student-lead research, we thought about doing an interview because we thought it would make the most sense and be the easiest. Also, doing an interview would be easy because we do have a connection, Emily’s Aunt who works for child support services and we decided to contact her via email. One difficult thing for us right now is completing our SLR and putting all our research together. Board design might also be hard because so far we have a really good idea to incorporate and transform our board into a house to represent a foster home, but we feel like we may have too much detail. Our collaboration so far is a bit difficult, since we don’t have the same class periods and mentorship session days don’t work for all of us. Sharing our ideas by texting isn’t very clear so we are trying to meet up more. This is also why it is hard to get things approved because not everybody is up to date and on the same page as everyone else with changes or ideas. We still need to fill in a few gaps in our generalizations, but when we get help from our mentors, I think we’ll be able to figure things out.
My collaboration with my group is great so far since we both see each other often. We can easily communicate with each other online to keep up with any changes made with our topic. It is easy for us to divide the work since we all get along very well and are very good at organizing and planning. One difficulty is that we need to work on how we will meet up with mentors and get things approved since we have different periods for our class. In our exploration of our topic, the foster care system, one new thing I found out was that the amount of kids in foster care today are double the amount of children in foster care in the mid-1980’s. This can help us relate to our universal theme of change and can fit under the gate icon “changes over time”. An additional fact I saw in an info graphic was that about 25% of former foster children are likely to become homeless within four years after leaving the system. We can use this information in our group to describe the negative affects the system leaves on the children if we decide to use ethics as our gate icon or for the generalization of adaptation, “Can be positive or negative”. We did not change our universal theme because we thought that adaptation would be perfect since children are constantly being moved around through different environments. It takes time for children to adjust, depending on the child and their experiences which can connect to all of our generalizations in some way. In our next steps, we hope to find more articles that connect to our generalization “Can be planned or spontaneous”. I would also be interested in finding more information about the foster parents’ perspective, to give a “twist”.
- Barron, J. (2016, June 30). "How Do We Compare? Looking at Foster Care Systems around the World." http://sites.utexas.edu/cfri/how-do-we-compare-looking-at-foster-care-systems-around-the-world/#.WPRIDfnyuM8
- Cabrera, M. (2014, May 09) "Foster Care Is An International Issue." The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marquis-cabrera/foster-care-is-an-interna_1_b_5297922.html
- Hazen, E. K. (2014) "Department of Applied Psychology." http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/appsych/opus/issues/2014/fall/hazen
- Nakyanzi, L. (2017, December 19) "Foster Care System Faces Problems." http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132011&page=1
- National Adoption Center "What Is Foster Care." http://www.adopt.org/what-foster-care
- Norton, A. (2016, Oct. 17) "Foster Kids Face Higher Risk of Health Problems: Study." Consumer HealthDay. https://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/kids-ailments-health-news-434/foster-kids-face-higher-risk-of-health-problems-study-715896.html
- University of California, Irvine (2016, Oct. 17) “Foster care children at much greater risk of physical, mental health problems” https://news.uci.edu/research/foster-care-children-at-much-greater-risk-of-physical-mental-health-problems/