Event Title

The Experience of Being a Foster Parent in Non-Kinship Placements: Emotional and Psychological Impacts

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

16-4-2013 3:30 PM

Description

Due to previous life experiences, children who enter the foster care system have been significantly impacted in numerous ways; and the individuals who act as their caregivers may encounter behavioral challenges as they seek to address the result of what years of abuse and trauma have created. However, as placements progress over time, the foster child may also become an integrated member of the foster family and thus attachments are formed. As a result, foster parents may experience the significant impacts of managing severe and challenging behaviors as well as breaking strong attachments with the foster child who has largely become family. Therefore, the intent of this research study was to gauge how managing behavioral challenges and forming attachments with foster children may impact the families in non-kinship placements, emotionally as well as psychologically. Furthermore, it was important to determine if these impacts additionally served as deterrents for foster families to continue their placements. The process of data collection consisted of interviews conducted with foster parents individually as well as a couple when applicable, with a previously established interview protocol serving as a guiding framework. The interviews were then transcribed and assessed for emerging themes, commonalities as well as discrepancies. Lastly, the psychological and emotional impacts of managing behavioral challenges and forming attachments were identified and discussed. As the findings indicate, despite their intensity, these impacts did not serve to deter participants from continuing their role as foster parents. Overall, the findings of the present study were largely consistent with previously cited research and provided additional implications as well as recommendations for future policy and practice.

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Apr 16th, 3:30 PM

The Experience of Being a Foster Parent in Non-Kinship Placements: Emotional and Psychological Impacts

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Due to previous life experiences, children who enter the foster care system have been significantly impacted in numerous ways; and the individuals who act as their caregivers may encounter behavioral challenges as they seek to address the result of what years of abuse and trauma have created. However, as placements progress over time, the foster child may also become an integrated member of the foster family and thus attachments are formed. As a result, foster parents may experience the significant impacts of managing severe and challenging behaviors as well as breaking strong attachments with the foster child who has largely become family. Therefore, the intent of this research study was to gauge how managing behavioral challenges and forming attachments with foster children may impact the families in non-kinship placements, emotionally as well as psychologically. Furthermore, it was important to determine if these impacts additionally served as deterrents for foster families to continue their placements. The process of data collection consisted of interviews conducted with foster parents individually as well as a couple when applicable, with a previously established interview protocol serving as a guiding framework. The interviews were then transcribed and assessed for emerging themes, commonalities as well as discrepancies. Lastly, the psychological and emotional impacts of managing behavioral challenges and forming attachments were identified and discussed. As the findings indicate, despite their intensity, these impacts did not serve to deter participants from continuing their role as foster parents. Overall, the findings of the present study were largely consistent with previously cited research and provided additional implications as well as recommendations for future policy and practice.