Masters Thesis

Foster parent strengths

Trends from across the nation are that there is a shortage of foster parents for the number of children in foster care. In a rural northern California county, it is typically a struggle to find a place for children removed from their homes to be placed by the Child Welfare agency, even for an overnight situation. Many times, the family does not have relatives or close friends that are able to take children, and become approved to do so in a timely, emergent manner. This master’s project examines how foster parents identify their strengths so that a rural northern county in California can start recruiting and retaining foster parents for their strengths. Recruitment is often a challenge, but retaining good, competent foster parents is an essential way to keep children safe and free from harm. Many times, people want to become foster parents to adopt children, and once they have adopted, are no longer foster parents. Overcoming this obstacle with recruitment efforts focused on strengths of existing foster parents will enhance overall retention within the system.