An examination of kin and nonkin foster parents’ experiences Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tx31qp083

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  • The growth of foster care, particularly kin foster care has greatly outpaced our knowledge. The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to develop a more informed understanding of foster family functioning from the perspective of foster parents. This study examined the experiences of 9 kin and 12 nonkin foster parents in the State of Oregon. Specifically, the similarities and differences of kin and nonkin foster parents’ perceptions of roles, responsibilities, challenges, and rewards were explicated. Symbolic interactionism and intergenerational ambivalence provided the theoretical frameworks for the analysis. The kin and nonkin foster parents created meaning out of their roles by emphasizing their responsibilities. Foster parental roles were broader than expected and their actual responsibilities encompassed a wide range of duties. The social factors that influenced the foster parents’ experiences were social service personnel, the community, and especially their foster child(ren). Although the frequency of specific challenges and rewards varied across kin and nonkin caregivers, the general themes were remarkably similar between these groups. The challenges faced by foster families were identifying and learning to effectively address the foster child’s behavioral issues, insufficient financial support, and post-placement adjustments such as assisting the foster child in adjusting to their family structure and routines, as well as assisting their birth child(ren) with the new addition(s) to their family. Foster parents also grappled with additional concerns such as the lack of regular contact by caseworkers, burgeoning kin resentments, and serious apprehension regarding the birthparents’ ability to care for their children after reunification. A lack of comprehensive assessment and treatment of their foster child’s medical, emotional, and educational needs were also a major concern. A key difference between both kin and nonkin foster parents was that kin caregivers described a sense of familial responsibility or obligation in regards to caring for their foster child(ren) and strained family relationships. Foster parents, particularly nonkin caregivers, experienced anticipatory grief and expressed ambivalence about attachment. The salient foster parenting rewards included making a difference, the foster child improving in their care, community recognition of their efforts, and feeling that foster parenting had a positive impact on their family.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2007-01-18T18:28:02Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Jennifer De Costa PDF of Dissertation.pdf: 344897 bytes, checksum: e9ea80521ca7c603f200cf196a74581e (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Rejected by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu), reason: Rejecting because there are no page numbers for the actual thesis. If you would open the rejected item, replace the file that is attached to the item with the revised file and then resubmit the item with the corrected file. Thanks, Julie on 2007-01-09T19:06:36Z (GMT)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2007-01-12T18:50:28Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Jennifer De Costa PDF of Dissertation.pdf: 344897 bytes, checksum: e9ea80521ca7c603f200cf196a74581e (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Jennifer De Costa (jenldecosta@hotmail.com) on 2006-12-12T08:32:04Z No. of bitstreams: 1 De Costa Disseration PDF Conversion for PQIL .pdf: 337959 bytes, checksum: f6f119ff37c1122ea1e769162abeca10 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Jennifer De Costa (jenldecosta@hotmail.com) on 2007-01-12T06:47:41Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Jennifer De Costa PDF of Dissertation.pdf: 344897 bytes, checksum: e9ea80521ca7c603f200cf196a74581e (MD5)

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