Foster Care Families: Understanding the Unique Needs and Providing Support
Jessica Callahan, Gabrielle Sewester, Jaimee Hartenstein, Evin Richardson, Jacquelyn Mallette, Ted Futris, Laura Nathans, Lori Chaffers, K Mullican, Heidi Stolz, Sun-Kyung Lee, Angela Keyzers, Jodi Dworkin
Facilitator: Dawn Cassidy
- Education & Enrichment
About the Session
- 229-01 - Competing Logics in the Field of Foster Care
By Jessica Callahan
- 229-02 - Education Issues with Foster Care Children
By Gabrielle Sewester, Jaimee Hartenstein
- 229-03 - “In My Heart Forever”: Dedication, Grief, and Couple Relationships Among Foster Caregivers
By Evin Richardson, Jacquelyn Mallette, Ted Futris
- 229-04 - Evaluation of an Independent Living Program for Foster Youth
By Laura Nathans, Lori Chaffers
- 229-05 - Foster Parent Training, Parenting Self-Efficacy, and Positive Parenting Behaviors
By K Mullican, Heidi Stolz
- 229-06 - Youths' Communication Patterns and Their Perceived Family Identity and Well-Being
By Sun-Kyung Lee, Angela Keyzers, Jodi Dworkin
Competing Logics in the Field of Foster Care
People who want to become parents, but who cannot or do not want to have biological children, have many options, one of which is adoption through foster care. Foster care is a rich site of inquiry into non-traditional forms of family making, and provides insight into how people interact with institutions in intimate ways, such as seeking to adopt a child. Through qualitative interviews with foster parents, my study bridges the family and institutional logic literatures by showing how foster parents’ understanding of family shifts as they decide to foster, go through training, and interact with caseworkers and the court.
To analyze foster care as a form of alternative family making.To evaluate the salience of institutional logics within the field of foster care.To demonstrate the experiences of foster-to-adopt parents.
Education Issues with Foster Care Children
This case study will examine how schools assist children in the foster care system with educational issues. Seven school social workers who work with foster care students will be interviewed. The interviews will focus on how foster children differ from non-foster children, how the school assist foster care children, the process for a foster child being transferred to a school, and what resources foster children have in the school. The case study will be completed through the lens of the human ecological theory looking at the impact the family and school system have on the child.
Identify the role of the educational system in providing assistance to foster care children. Evaluate the effectiveness of the educational systems participation in assisting foster care children.Identify potential resources or assistance efforts for foster care children in the educational system.
“In My Heart Forever”: Dedication, Grief, and Couple Relationships Among Foster Caregivers
Foster caregivers are expected to support the goal of reunification while simultaneously developing a healthy attachment to the child in their care (Lietz et al., 2016). When a placement is disrupted or a child is reunified with their biological family, foster caregivers often experience feelings of grief (Hebert et al., 2013), which may influence the couple relationship of married or committed foster caregivers. The current study examines the associations between dedication to fostering and couple relationship quality, the influence of grief on that relationship, and how relationship efficacy may serve as a buffer against the negative impact of loss.
To examine how dedication to fostering influences foster caregivers’ couple relationship quality.To determine if feelings of grief after a foster child leaves the home influences dedicated foster caregivers’ couple relationship quality.To test whether relationship efficacy serves as a buffer against the negative influence of grief on foster caregivers’ couple relationships.
Evaluation of an Independent Living Program for Foster Youth
This paper presents a qualitative evaluation of an Independent Living Program (ILP) for young adult foster youth. The research question examines how ILP interventions support foster youths’ transition into adulthood. Results indicate that the ILP program is effective in fostering educational and employment success, finding stable housing options, linking youth to community resources and social supports, and providing financial and transportation assistance. Implications for practice are that programs make allowances for providing financial and transportation supports, that strategies include incorporating permanency planning into direct service, and that CWs build on youth’s future orientation.
1) To evaluate the effectiveness of an Independent Living Program for youth transitioning out of foster care2) To generate recommendations for Independent Living Program best practices3) To examine the impact of permanent family relationships on youth achievement of independent living
Foster Parent Training, Parenting Self-Efficacy, and Positive Parenting Behaviors
This study provides a greater understanding of the relationships between foster parent training, parenting self-efficacy (PSE), and positive parenting behaviors. It also provides insight into some of the challenges reported by foster parents in trying to positively parent their foster children. A snowball approach was used to identify a sample of past and present foster parents (N = 297) to participate in an anonymous, online survey. Results indicated different curricula predicted different aspects of PSE, and PSE related to nurturance and achievement predicted positive parenting behaviors.
To explore whether parenting self-efficacy differs by type of preapproval foster parent training.To investigate whether parenting self-efficacy predicts parental support, and three control-related dimensions – proactive parenting, supporting positive behaviors, and setting limits.To explore some of the challenges foster parents report in trying to positively parent their foster children.
Youths' Communication Patterns and Their Perceived Family Identity and Well-Being
The study extends the literature on youth’s communication methods and associations with family identity and well-being. Youth (N=328) self-reported frequency of communication in person, over the phone, via text message, and on social networking sites with mother, father, and closest friend. A Latent Class Analysis showed four communication groups (Low communication, Friend-oriented, In-person, Social networking). Next, multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted. Communication patterns with mothers and fathers were similar; youth used more text messaging and social networking with friends. Overall, youth in the in-person communication class were more likely to perceive positive family identity and report prosocial behavior.
1. To identify youth’s pattern of communication simultaneously with parents and friends
2. To examine how communication pattern associate youth’s family identity
3. To examine how communication pattern associate youth’s well-being