Masters Thesis

Foster parent training & supervision of children with challenging behaviors

The purpose of this study was to have a greater understanding of the knowledge of foster parents with regards to needs and services when caring for children with challenging behaviors. The hope was that the information obtained could be utilized to help support the needs of foster parents and, ultimately, improve the lives of children in care. The study was guided by the following research question: Through the lived experiences of foster parents who care for children with identified or unclassified behaviors, what services do they believe are needed to better support the children in their care? An online questionaire was utilized to examine foster care from the perspective of foster parents. This study included a total of 11 foster parents who were all from Creative Alternative Foster Family Agency. A majority of the foster parents have been providing care for foster children for more than 4 years. This demonstrated the commitment the foster parents have to caring for children in foster care. Results indicated that foster parents were interested in either Long-Term Foster Care or Adoption. Half of the participants reported that they would like additional training and gain a better understanding of trauma and its connection to behaviors. This study helps demonstrate the importance of well-trained foster families and their ability to provide appropriate care and supervision for children with challenging behaviors. Results from this study highlighted agency training needs that might assist future foster parents and retain those already fostering.