A child may want to go into a foster home to protect himself from danger. He would need to be aware that there were other, safer options for his growth and development than what his current situation allows. This is unusual, since most abused children are unaware that their interactions at home are different than those of their peers.
When a child's home life is first deemed unsafe, a social worker is assigned to try to resolve the issue so that the child can stay at home. If the situation remains unchanged, the child is removed and placed in foster care. Children are placed in foster care for many reasons, usually as the result of a parent's behavior. Authorities remove a child from a home if the parents or caretakers abuse drugs in front of the child or conduct physical abuse.
Lack of medical care for the child, the incarceration of the child's caregiver, sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment are other reasons children are placed in foster care. It is rare for a child to enter foster care because of a parent's death. Juvenile offenders and runaways may be removed from a home and placed under special care to try to change behavior.