Children are placed in foster care for a variety of reasons. The system is not perfect, but the intention behind it is to ensure the well-being of the kids. Not every child has the same story, but there are some common threads. Typically, a child is placed in foster care as a result of a report to Child Protective Services by someone who is concerned for the safety of the child. Not every report means that the child will be placed in foster care. If Child Protective Services believes the report is a reason for concern, they will send a social worker to investigate. If the circumstances seem unsafe, then the child is placed into foster care.

If there is proof that the child is being abused, the child will usually be placed in the care of foster parents while the case is being investigated. Sometimes a child is removed from the home due to domestic violence between the parents. If the child has been neglected, there is also a chance that they will be placed into the foster system.

Foster care is meant to be temporary. The goal of the system is to reunite the child with their biological family, if at all possible. Children are placed in the care of others to give the biological parent(s) a chance to get back on their feet. It is important to note that a biological parents’ rights are not automatically terminated when the child is placed into foster care. There is often a lengthy hearing process to terminate parental rights, and they are only terminated if there is absolutely no way of reuniting the child with their biological family safely.

Children are placed in foster care to give parents the opportunity to become better equipped to raise them. The safety and well-being of the children is always the highest priority.

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Annaleece Merrill is a birth mother to the cutest little girl on earth. She loves being an advocate for open adoption by writing, mentoring, and speaking at adoption panels. She attends Utah State University in Logan, Utah.