"orphans Of The Living"

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"orphans of the living"

A phrase to describe the many children in foster care in the late 1950s and early 1960s and before the movement for PERMANENCY PLANNING began in the mid-1970s. The phrase was also used to describe children who were stigmatized by illegitimacy in past years.

Social workers in the early 1960s became increasingly concerned that many children were remaining in foster homes throughout their childhood and never returning to their biological families or being placed in adoptive homes. Nor would they necessarily remain in one foster home. Children could be moved numerous times and never form strong attachments to parent figures.

This temporary home status of the children was perceived as a serious problem; however, little action was taken until testimony before Congress in the 1970s, and the first steps were taken to place children with SPECIAL NEEDS back with their parents, in adoptive homes or in long-term foster care with the same caretakers or institutional care.

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