I know there are well intended people trying to make changes, but the system is very broken. My boyfriend had two experiences with foster homes as a kid. The first one was when he was placed with a woman during the day. He was a teenager, so he really didn't need a baby sitter, but things had gotten so bad with his step dad that one of them was going to end up killing the other. The police were called after a nasty fight and a judge decided to put him with a foster mother while his mom was at work so he wouldn't be alone with his step dad.
That was a positive experience according to him. She was a nice older lady that taught him how to knit and stuff.
The second one wasn't so pleasant. For some reason, his mother had to go somewhere overnight, and decided to put him and his siblings in a foster home until she got back. He says the two women in charge there were jaded assholes. His little brother was only a baby, and upset about being in strange surroundings. My boyfriend, who is very protective of his brother, tried to get to him and the women tried to hit him to keep him away. Why they didn't want him caring for his own brother neither of us can understand. He had to physically fight them off. Their mother did come back for them, even though the ladies kept telling them she wouldn't.
So, really, it's kind of a coin toss. And parents are important to a child. I used to have nightmares about being taken away even though my mother was verbally abusive and my father, well, it depended on what day it was... All this boy's parents did was overfeed him. They didn't neglect him or beat him, so naturally, he still loves them and wants to be with them. I'm not saying they didn't do anything wrong, but over feeding and physical abuse aren't even in the same category.
Being taken away from a mostly loving environment can have lasting effects too. My mother neglected me emotionally because she felt neglected by hers. Every time I needed comforting, well, her mother never did that for her, so why should she for me? I was an only child. She was one of five. I can imagine one woman juggling five kids wouldn't be able to give lots of attention to just one.
Now, picture this boy, now one of ten or twenty. How much loving care do you think he's going to get?