Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith

Abstract

In 2012, more than 185,000 American children lived in nonrelative foster homes. While some states do not require foster parents to receive ongoing training or agency support, these services have been shown to decrease foster parent attrition and improve the experience for both parents and children. Despite the benefits, foster parents do not regularly take advantage of agency training and support options. Previous research has revealed that common barriers to support and training group attendance are both structural (e.g., timing and inconvenience) and perceptual (e.g., relevance of training). This study showed that foster parents experience similar barriers, despite believing that the groups improve their parenting. Implications for foster agency staff are discussed.

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