Persons or institutions which assume the guardianship or custody of minors in this way receive assistance but are also subject to the supervision of the child welfare and assistance services.
It is clear that most children who enter public care are underprivileged from birth. If the effects of institutional care are added to this, with its high rate of emotional disturbance and educational retardation, the picture is grim indeed. Children placed in foster homes seem to suffer less ill effects, but research on the rate and after-effects of foster-home breakdown is so sketchy that no firm statement can be made. Only adoption at an early age appears to reverse the unfavourable factors. Finally, the financial cost of caring for children apart from their parents is extremely high.