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Private and public sector foster homes in B.C. : views of resource social workers Taylor, Marion Scott 1997

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PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR FOSTER HOMES IN B.C. VIEWS OF RESOURCE SOCIAL WORKERS, by MARION SCOTT TAYLOR B.S.W., The U n i v e r s i t y o f V i c t o r i a , 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (The S c h o o l o f S o c i a l Work) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November 1997 ©Marion S c o t t T a y l o r , 1997  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or by his  or her representatives.  It is  understood  that  copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  SocfAL.  l^OPoC  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  TAKUAJH  /q.  11  Abstract In t h i s study t h e views o f r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers  r e g a r d i n g p u b l i c and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes i n B r i t i s h Columbia were i n v e s t i g a t e d . M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l Services  Questionnaires  were sent t o  (Ministry) resource  workers and t h e i r responses were a n a l y z e d .  social  Descriptive  s t a t i s t i c s were used t o summarize and t r a n s l a t e q u a n t i t a t i v e data.  W r i t t e n statements were s u b j e c t t o a  content a n a l y s i s . T h i s study found t h a t M i n i s t r y " f o s t e r homes were resource children.  s o c i a l workers' p r e f e r r e d placement o p t i o n f o r P r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s and t h e a r r a y o f  s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e d by t h e a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s  were viewed  as p r o v i d i n g a v a l u a b l e s p e c i a l i z e d s e r v i c e f o r c h i l d r e n with challenging behaviour.  Monitoring,  s t a n d a r d s and  a c c o u n t a b i l i t y were i d e n t i f i e d as i s s u e s because o f t h e l a c k o f s t a n d a r d s and p o l i c y g u i d i n g r e s o u r c e workers' p r a c t i c e when c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h  social  agencies/  contractors to provide p r i v a t e sector f o s t e r care. c a s e l o a d s and a d d i t i o n a l r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers were  viewed as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e workers i n o r d e r t o p r o v i d e the p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  Smaller  social  a s i m i l a r service to that of  iii  Table o f Contents  Abstract  i i  Table of Contents L i s t of T a b l e s Acknowledgments Chapter One:  i i i vi v i i  Introduction  1  Purpose o f the Study  8  Chapter Two:  The System  10  S t r u c t u r e and Role  14  Chapter Three: L i t e r a t u r e Review Permanency P l a n n i n g  23 .23  P r o f i t and N o n - P r o f i t F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s  25  S p e c i a l i z e d F o s t e r Care  26  T r a i n i n g Foster Carers  28  C o n t r a c t i n g w i t h the P r i v a t e S e c t o r  29  L i c e n s i n g F o s t e r Homes  32  Chapter Four: Research Design and Method  34  Participants  34  Procedures  35  Measures and Methods •.  37  S t a t i s t i c a l Analyses  46  iv Q u a l i t a t i v e Analyses  46  Chapter F i v e : P r e s e n t a t i o n o f Data  48  Participants  49  Advantages and Disadvantages o f U s i n g P r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes  49  Views on t h e Process, P r a c t i c e and R e l a t i o n s h i p s o f Resource S o c i a l Workers and P r i v a t e Agencies/Contractors who P r o v i d e F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s 59 Recommendations f o r t h e f u t u r e Use o f P r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes Chapter S i x : A n a l y s i s and D i s c u s s i o n  74 78  What Do Resource S o c i a l Workers See As t h e D i f f e r e n c e Between M i n i s t r y and P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes . .79 Resource S o c i a l Workers' Views on t h e P r o c e s s , P r a c t i c e and R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between Resource S o c i a l Workers and P r i v a t e A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s Who P r o v i d e F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s 81 What R a t i o n a l e Do Resource S o c i a l Workers Use When C o n t r a c t i n g With Agencies/Contractors t o Supply F o s t e r Homes 88 P o l i c y , P r a c t i c e and S t a n d a r d I m p l i c a t i o n s  90  Training Implications  92  Resource I m p l i c a t i o n s  92  Permanency P l a n n i n g  93  Implications  Ideas f o r Future Research  . . . . . 94  L i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e Study  95  C o n c l u d i n g Comments  97  Bibliography  99  V  Appendix A: Q u e s t i o n n a i r e  106  1  Appendix B: L e t t e r of I n i t i a l Contact  117  Appendix C: E x p l a n a t o r y L e t t e r  119  Appendix D: P o s t c a r d  121  Appendix E: E t h i c a l A p p r o v a l and Consent the M i n i s t r y  from 123  vi  L i s t of T a b l e s Table 1. Resource S o c i a l Workers' Views Of The Advantages And Disadvantages Of M i n i s t r y And P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes And Resource S o c i a l Workers' Views Of N o n - P r o f i t And F o r - P r o f i t F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s 77  V l l  Acknowledgements I would l i k e t o thank you, P r o f e s s o r Roopchand Seebaran, f o r your support and a d v i s i n g d u r i n g the c o u r s e o f t h i s s t u d y . As w e l l , your c o u r s e on community f o s t e r e d a g r e a t d e a l o f i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t I use i n my day-to-day work and was the h i g h l i g h t of my year a t UBC. Thank you Dr. B r i a n O ' N e i l l f o r your i n s i g h t and feedback i n t o t h i s s t u d y . As w e l l , thank you Peggy P i c t i n f o r your support and feedback d u r i n g out y e a r s t o g e t h e r a t the M i n i s t r y and d u r i n g t h i s s t u d y . Thank you t o a l l the r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers t h r o u g h out B.C. who took time out o f t h e i r busy workdays t o respond t o the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Without your responses I c o u l d not have completed t h i s s t u d y . I f i t were not f o r the member o f the A 4 4 - M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l S e r v i c e s Resource Team I would not have been a b l e t o a t t e n d UBC or complete t h i s s t u d y . Thank you t o : Debbie S a m i j a , Judy T a l l a s , S u s i e Ross, Olga Campbell, M a r i a P i r i t o , John S i l m a n , J o d i Haywood, and Debbie Shankland. I would a l s o l i k e t o thank Ray Wargo and Kathy T o r h j e l m f o r a l l t h e i r s u p p o r t when c o m p l e t i n g t h i s s t u d y . Thank you t o my f a m i l y : Shawn Smith who i s my b e s t f r i e n d and a master t e a c h e r , my mom and dad, J e n n i and Tom T a y l o r , my s i s t e r , A l l i s o n T a y l o r , and my g r e a t aunt, Anne B r o o k s . L i s a Moy and Norah M i n e r my two f r i e n d s from U V i c , thank you f o r your h e l p as w e l l .  1  Chapter One: I n t r o d u c t i o n  In p r e s e n t i n g  a background t o t h i s s t u d y i t i s  i m p o r t a n t t o share t h a t my e x p e r i e n c e over t h e l a s t two y e a r s has been f o c u s e d i n t h e f i e l d o f c h i l d p r o t e c t i o n and as a " r e s o u r c e Services  s o c i a l worker" w i t h i n t h e M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l  (the M i n i s t r y ) .  P a r t o f my j o b r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was  r e c r u i t i n g and n e g o t i a t i n g out-of-home placements f o r children.  The m a j o r i t y o f t h e c h i l d r e n who r e q u i r e d o u t -  of-home placements w i t h i n t h e r e g i o n i n which I was w o r k i n g were p l a c e d  i n f o s t e r homes t h a t had been r e c r u i t e d ,  evaluated  and s u p p o r t e d by M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e  workers.  These f o s t e r homes a r e r e f e r r e d t o as " M i n i s t r y  f o s t e r homes" i n t h i s s t u d y .  social  I a l s o had t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o  arrange and n e g o t i a t e placements f o r c h i l d r e n i n f o s t e r homes t h a t had been r e c r u i t e d , e v a l u a t e d ,  and s u p p o r t e d by  a g e n c i e s and c o n t r a c t o r s i n t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  These  f o s t e r homes a r e r e f e r r e d t o as " p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes" i n t h i s s t u d y .  The a g e n c i e s and c o n t r a c t o r s who  were p r o v i d i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s were n o t government employees, they c o n t r a c t e d w i t h t h e M i n i s t r y t o provide  a service.  2 The M i n i s t r y ' s F a m i l y and C h i l d r e n ' s  Service  Policy  Manual, Volume 2 ( B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l Services,  1992a) guided t h e s t a n d a r d s t o which I adhered i n  my p r a c t i c e when w o r k i n g w i t h M i n i s t r y f o s t e r  carers.  There was no M i n i s t r y p o l i c y on t h e s t a n d a r d s w i t h which p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes and t h e i r  agencies/contractors  were e x p e c t e d t o comply. The  l a c k o f p o l i c y l e d me t o q u e s t i o n t h e p r a c t i c e s o f  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers i n terms o f t h e i r use o f p r i v a t e sector  f o s t e r homes.  D i d M i n i s t r y o f f i c e s throughout B.C.  place c h i l d r e n i n private sector  f o s t e r homes and what  c r i t e r i a and p r a c t i c e d i d t h e y engage i n when t h e homes were used?  The l a c k o f p o l i c y l e d me t o c o n s i d e r  to c o l l e c t information  t h e need  on r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' p r a c t i c e  w i t h p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes. Whitelaw's (1995) r e p o r t : C h i l d W e l f a r e C o n t r a c t e d Services  i n B r i t i s h Columbia: F i n a l Report was w r i t t e n f o r  the Report o f t h e Gove I n q u i r y i n t o C h i l d Matthew's Legacy (1995). t h e r e i s an i n c r e a s e  Protection:  Whitelaw's r e p o r t  states  i n t h e use o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r  that foster  homes w i t h i n B.C. (no n u m e r i c a l d a t a was p r o v i d e d i n Whitelaw's r e p o r t r e l a t i n g t o t h i s f i n d i n g ) . (1995) suggests t h a t t h e i n c r e a s e  Whitelaw  i n private sector  foster  homes r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e a c c o u n t a b i l i t y ,  l e g a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and p r o c e s s e s f o r a p p r o v a l , access and  communication of p r i v a t e s e c t o r  M i n i s t r y resource s o c i a l workers. h i g h l i g h t the need to o b t a i n  f o s t e r homes w i t h These q u e s t i o n s  information  and make i t  a v a i l a b l e to the community i n terms of e x p l o r i n g s o c i a l workers' r e l a t i o n s h i p s and agency/contractors providing  experiences  exploration  with  f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s .  the q u e s t i o n s Whitelaw's (1995) r e p o r t to p r i v a t e s e c t o r  resource  As  raises with  regard  f o s t e r homes l e d to t h i s s t u d y ' s  of what r a t i o n a l e r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers  when p l a c i n g c h i l d r e n i n t o p r i v a t e s e c t o r In 1996,  well  t h e r e were a p p r o x i m a t e l y 200  f o s t e r homes i n B.C.  use  f o s t e r homes. private  sector  D e s p i t e t h i s , the M i n i s t r y does  not  appear to p u b l i s h s t a t i s t i c s i n a v a r i e t y of areas such as: -the p r o f i t and  number of p r i v a t e s e c t o r  f o s t e r homes which  are  non-profit;  -the  t o t a l number of c h i l d r e n i n the homes;  -the  c o s t of the homes; or  -the  number of c o n t r a c t o r s / a g e n c i e s o p e r a t i n g  the  homes. My  i n a b i l i t y to g a t h e r what would appear to  "public" information sector  l e a d me  f o s t e r homes and  to q u e s t i o n the use  be of  private  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' views of  the a t t r i b u t e s the a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s p o s s e s s e d .  4  The has  a p p r o v a l p r o c e s s and m o n i t o r i n g of f o s t e r homes  been r e c e n t l y h i g h l i g h t e d  of two  through the c r i t i c a l  i n f a n t s i n M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes: The  t h a t of two-month-old M o l l y DeLaronde. J . who  was  injuries The  The  injury  f i r s t case second was  a d m i t t e d to V i c t o r i a G e n e r a l H o s p i t a l w i t h (Meissner, 1997,  May  Baby brain  9).  Honourable Penny P r i d d y , 8,  was  Minister for Children  Families,  announced on May  1997  new  keep B.C.  c h i l d r e n safe while i n f o s t e r care.  and  measures to h e l p The  measures  included: -$1.2  m i l l i o n i n one-time f u n d i n g to h i r e up to 30  r e s o u r c e workers i n communities throughout B.C.  new  to c l e a r a  b a c k l o g i n f o s t e r home assessments; -a r e v i e w of h i g h - r i s k c h i l d r e n i n f o s t e r c a r e , to p i l o t e d i n the V i c t o r i a r e g i o n ;  be  and  -a t a s k f o r c e to examine s a f e g u a r d s i n f o s t e r c a r e ( B r i t i s h Columbia, 1997, The  critical  May  8).  i n j u r i e s sustained  by the two  infants  p l a c e d i n M i n i s t r y f o s t e r care r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s about accountability,  the a p p r o v a l p r o c e s s , and  between M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s  and  the  communication  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers.  T h i s study hoped to e x p l o r e these i s s u e s by  seeking  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' views of b o t h p r i v a t e and sector  f o s t e r care  services.  the  public  5 There are numerous s t r e s s o r s p l a c e d upon f o s t e r c a r e r s i n c l u d i n g : the double b i n d s of f o s t e r i n g ; the economic s t r e s s e s ; the l a c k of r e s o u r c e s ; s e p a r a t i o n on the f o s t e r c a r e r  and the e f f e c t s of ( P a s z t o r & Burgess, 1982  c i t e d i n McFadden, S t o v a l l , & Z i e f e r t , The  as  1984).  double b i n d s of f o s t e r i n g i n c l u d e :  -working w i t h c h i l d r e n who emotional/behavioural  experience  a wide range of  problems yet not r e c e i v i n g complete  i n f o r m a t i o n on the c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e from s o c i a l w o r k e r s ; -expectations  p l a c e d upon f o s t e r c a r e r s t o be  a c c e p t i n g of p a r e n t s who neglected  may  have been abusive  and/or  the c h i l d - i n - c a r e , and h a v i n g no i n p u t i n t o the  case d e c i s i o n s a f f e c t i n g the  child;  -working w i t h s o c i a l workers many of whom w i l l change over a p e r i o d of time;  and  - r e c e i v i n g l i t t l e or no p r e - s e r v i c e t r a i n i n g & Burgess, 1982 1984,  p. The  (Pasztor  as c i t e d i n McFadden, S t o v a l l , & Z i e f e r t ,  22). economic s t r e s s e s p l a c e d on f o s t e r f a m i l i e s  include: -the payment p r o v i d e d t o f o s t e r c a r e r s i s o f t e n s u b s t a n t i a l l y l e s s than the a c t u a l c o s t of c a r i n g f o r children  ( P a s z t o r & Burgess, 1982  S t o v a l l , & Z i e f e r t , 1984,  p.  23).  as c i t e d i n McFadden,  6 Lack of r e s o u r c e s f o r f o s t e r c a r e r s  include:  - i n s u f f i c i e n t t r a i n i n g programs; - i n a c c e s s i b l e mental h e a l t h and counselling  programs;  and  -casework s e r v i c e s (Pasztor  & Burgess, 1982  Z i e f e r t , 1984, The  p.  c h i l d guidance  are o f t e n s u b s t a n d a r d and  lacking  as c i t e d i n McFadden, S t o v a l l , &  23).  e f f e c t s of s e p a r a t i o n  on f o s t e r c a r e r s  - l e a r n i n g to l i v e w i t h a n t i c i p a t o r y and -knowing a c h i l d w i l l be l e a v i n g and e x p e r i e n c i n g f e e l i n g s of l o s s i n advance;  include:  chronic  grief;  often and  -a sense of sadness over a c h i l d ' s d e p a r t u r e which i n many cases i s not  adequately resolved  i s p l a c e d i n the home ( P a s z t o r  b e f o r e a second c h i l d  & Burgess, 1982  as c i t e d i n  McFadden, S t o v a l l , & Z i e f e r t , 1984). A r l e n e B i s h o p , who  i s a d i s t r i c t supervisor  M i n i s t r y ' s Nanaimo r e s o u r c e team, notes t h a t the number of o l d e r c h i l d r e n and has  children with  with  the  large  s p e c i a l needs  changed the n a t u r e of f o s t e r i n g over the y e a r s .  Bishop  notes t h a t f o s t e r c a r e r s need to have sound s k i l l s i n c h i l d r e a r i n g and  b e h a v i o u r management (Welbourn, 1997,  There appears to be an i n c r e a s e c h i l d r e n r e q u i r i n g out-of-home c a r e . B.C.  i n March, 1994  May  6).  i n the number of In the P r o v i n c e of  t h e r e were 6,200 c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e ,  a  7 1.5 p e r c e n t i n c r e a s e over t h e p r e v i o u s year.  March, 1995  f i g u r e s show a c h i l d - i n - c a r e p o p u l a t i o n o f 6,723, an 8 p e r c e n t i n c r e a s e over 1994 ( B r i t i s h Columbia Gove I n q u i r y i n t o C h i l d P r o t e c t i o n , 1995, p. 3 2 ) . A t t h e end o f November, 1995, 7,003 c h i l d r e n remained i n c a r e  (British  Columbia M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , November, 1995). There does not appear t o be a decrease c h i l d r e n r e q u i r i n g out-of-home c a r e .  i n the number o f The need f o r f o s t e r  c a r e s e r v i c e s w i l l c o n t i n u e d e s p i t e t h e growth i n p r e v e n t a t i v e s e r v i c e s (Halper & Jones, Kadushin  1984 as c i t e d i n  & M a r t i n , 1988).  The B.C. P r o v i n c i a l Government budgeted $110.7 m i l l i o n d o l l a r s f o r f o s t e r homes and o t h e r M i n i s t r y r e s i d e n c e s f o r the f i s c a l  year ending March 31, 1992 ( B r i t i s h Columbia  A u d i t o r G e n e r a l , 1992).  T h i s amount was f o r a t o t a l o f  5,975 c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e w i t h 4,631 (77.5 p e r c e n t )  children  p l a c e d i n M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes o r o t h e r M i n i s t r y r e s i d e n c e s and 1,344  (22.5 p e r c e n t ) c h i l d r e n p l a c e d i n non-  M i n i s t r y residences.  N o n - M i n i s t r y r e s i d e n c e s would appear  to i n c l u d e r e s i d e n c e s r u n by t h e A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l , the M i n i s t r y of Health, or c h i l d r e n placed i n resources outside Of B.C.  The A u d i t o r General d i d not r e p o r t the c o s t o f  non-Ministry residences 1992,  p. 4 1 ) .  ( B r i t i s h Columbia A u d i t o r G e n e r a l ,  8 There are a number of i s s u e s of f o s t e r c a r e r s  a f f e c t i n g the  such as: the d e c l i n e of the  family, higher divorce  nuclear  r a t e , women w o r k i n g o u t s i d e  home, the h i g h c o s t of h o u s i n g , and a r r a n g i n g c h i l d c a r e or day Smith & G u t h e i l ,  recruitment  the  the d i f f i c u l t y i n  care ( P a s z t o r  & Burgess,  1982;  1988).  A l a c k of c u l t u r a l awareness and  the e x c l u s i o n  of  d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l groups as p o t e n t i a l f o s t e r c a r e r s l e f t a capable source of f o s t e r c a r e r s example, the m a j o r i t y Ministry's  ignored.  has  For  of F i r s t N a t i o n s c h i l d r e n i n  the  c a r e i n B r i t i s h Columbia (77.45 p e r c e n t )  placed with non-First  Nations f o s t e r carers  Columbia M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , Foster carers  q u i t f o s t e r i n g due  are  (British  1992c). t o : l a c k of  l a c k of s u p p o r t , l a c k of r e s p i t e c a r e , and  the  training,  increasing  s e v e r i t y of problems p r e s e n t e d by the c h i l d r e n p l a c e d  with  them (Chamberlain, M o r e l a n d & R e i d , 1992).  Purpose of the The  Study  purpose of t h i s study was  to i n v e s t i g a t e  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h , private sector homes.  and  Ministry  opinions of,  f o s t e r homes compared w i t h M i n i s t r y  foster  Three g e n e r a l r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s were developed:  9 1) What r a t i o n a l e do r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers use when c o n t r a c t i n g with agencies/contractors to supply f o s t e r homes; 2) What do r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers see as t h e d i f f e r e n c e between M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes; and 3) What a r e r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers'  views on t h e  p r o c e s s , p r a c t i c e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s between r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers and p r i v a t e a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who p r o v i d e f o s t e r c a r e services. The f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s i n c l u d e a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e f o s t e r care system i n B.C.; a r e v i e w o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e ; t h e d e s i g n and r e s e a r c h method o f t h e study; a p r e s e n t a t i o n o f . the d a t a ; and an a n a l y s i s and d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e d a t a .  10  Chapter  Two: The System  The r e s e a r c h f o r t h i s study was c a r r i e d out between February,  1996 and June, 1996 and f o c u s s e d on t h e M i n i s t r y  o f S o c i a l S e r v i c e s (MSS/the M i n i s t r y ) as i t e x i s t e d a t t h a t time.  I n September, 1996, MSS' o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p h i l o s o p h y  changed and i n i t i a t i v e s were i n t r o d u c e d toward t h e development o f the c u r r e n t M i n i s t r y f o r C h i l d r e n and Families  (MCF).  The r e s e a r c h i n t h i s study f o c u s s e d on  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers'  views o f MSS and n o t MCF.  T h e r e f o r e , when t h e term " t h e M i n i s t r y " i s used i n t h i s study, i t i s i n r e f e r e n c e t o MSS and n o t MCF. For t h e sake o f c l a r i f i c a t i o n the f o l l o w i n g terms a r e b e i n g d e f i n e d s i n c e they w i l l be used throughout study.  this  The d e f i n i t i o n s have been developed by the author  u s i n g i n f o r m a t i o n from: A Guide t o C o n t r a c t Management ( B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1992b), t h e author's own e x p e r i e n c e as a r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker, and from the d a t a p r o v i d e d by  respondents.  Agencies/contractors  Agencies/contractors provide s e r v i c e s to the M i n i s t r y through c o n t r a c t s , which a r e l e g a l agreements made between  11 two o r more p e r s o n s .  Each p a r t y t o t h e c o n t r a c t  do something which b e n e f i t s care s e r v i c e s Services,  the other party  agrees t o  i.e. foster  ( B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l  1992b).  Arms-Length  Contractors maintain arms-length r e l a t i o n s h i p s with the Ministry.  Both t h e c o n t r a c t o r  and t h e M i n i s t r y a c t  t o g e t h e r t o d e l i v e r a s e r v i c e , y e t each a c t s Government workers can not e x e r c i s e contractor's  autonomously.  c o n t r o l over t h e  day t o day o p e r a t i o n s , y e t M i n i s t r y workers  can o u t l i n e t h e l e v e l o f s e r v i c e e x p e c t a t i o n s i n t h e contract  ( B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l  Services,  1992b). District  Supervisor  D i s t r i c t supervisors each M i n i s t r y o f f i c e .  oversee t h e day-to-day o p e r a t i o n s i n They a r e r e s p o n s i b l e  f o r g i v i n g the  f i n a l a p p r o v a l o f f o s t e r homes. Private Sector Foster  Care  Services  F o s t e r c a r e s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e d by t h e p r i v a t e include:  s u p p o r t , r e c r u i t i n g , approval/home  sector studies,  t r a i n i n g , i n d i v i d u a l programs and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n f o r children-in-care.  12 M i n i s t r y Foster  Homes  F o s t e r homes which have been r e c r u i t e d , assessed/approved and a r e s u p p o r t e d by M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l w o r k e r s . Non-Profit  Agencies/contractors  who match revenues t o expenses and  t h e r e f o r e no r e s i d u a l p r o f i t i s made. Out-Of-Home Placement  Any placement where t h e c h i l d i s o u t o f h i s / h e r p a r e n t a l o r g u a r d i a n ' s home. Private Sector Foster  Homes  F o s t e r homes t h a t r e c e i v e p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e support s e r v i c e s from p r i v a t e s e c t o r  agencies/contractors  i n s t e a d o f M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l w o r k e r s , (see P r i v a t e sector  f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s  provided Profit  f o ra d e f i n i t i o n of services  t o p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes).  Foster  Care  A g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r who r e c e i v e s revenue from t h e M i n i s t r y and determines t h e i r own expenses.  The d i f f e r e n c e between  the revenue and expense i s t h e p r o f i t .  13 R e s i d e n t i a l C h i l d Care  Facility  Out-of-home placement f o r c h i l d r e n i . e . : f o s t e r homes, o r group homes f o r c h i l d r e n . Resource S o c i a l Worker  The r o l e o f t h e r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker i s t o r e c r u i t f o s t e r homes, conduct assessment/home s t u d i e s ,  recommend a p p r o v a l  of f o s t e r homes, o u t l i n e e x p e c t a t i o n s t o f o s t e r p a r e n t s , c o - o r d i n a t e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o f o s t e r homes, a c t as a l i a i s o n worker which e n t a i l s m o n i t o r i n g c o n t r a c t s private sector and  f o s t e r homes  (both p r o f i t and  with  non-profit)  t o s u p p o r t , m o n i t o r , e v a l u a t e and educate f o s t e r  carers. S a t e l l i t e Homes  Same as p r i v a t e s e c t o r  f o s t e r homes.  S o c i a l Worker  E v e r y f a m i l y who i s i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e M i n i s t r y has a s o c i a l worker.  The s o c i a l worker makes a r e q u e s t t o the r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l worker t o l o c a t e a placement f o r a c h i l d .  The  f a m i l y and c h i l d ' s s o c i a l worker c o n t i n u e s t o work w i t h t h e c h i l d and f a m i l y w h i l e t h e c h i l d i s i n f o s t e r c a r e . r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker p r o v i d e s d i r e c t support t o t h e  The  14 f o s t e r c a r e r w h i l e the s o c i a l worker p r o v i d e s the c h i l d and c h i l d ' s  parents/guardians.  S p e c i a l i z e d F o s t e r Care  SFC  support t o  (SFC)  programs appear t o be d e s i g n e d s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r  c h i l d r e n who  d i s p l a y challenging behaviour.  Support Workers  Agencies/contractors support workers who  who  provide  provide  f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s h i r e  d i r e c t support s e r v i c e s to  private sector foster carers, children-in-care biological  and  parents/guardians.  S t r u c t u r e and  Role  The M i n i s t r y i s comprised of t h r e e main d i v i s i o n s : Income Support; S e r v i c e s to People w i t h M e n t a l Handicaps; and C h i l d , Family The  and Community S e r v i c e s .  C h i l d , Family  responsible  and Community S e r v i c e s d i v i s i o n i s  f o r s e r v i c e s r e l a t e d to c h i l d and  welfare:  i n t a k e , c h i l d and  planning  and a d o p t i o n ,  care r e s o u r c e s  family  f a m i l y s e r v i c e s , permanency  and c h i l d care r e s o u r c e s .  s e c t i o n employs r e s o u r c e  child  s o c i a l workers  whose p r a c t i c e i n c l u d e s : r e c r u i t i n g and e v a l u a t i n g foster carers, monitoring  The  new  and e v a l u a t i n g M i n i s t r y f o s t e r  homes; p r o v i d i n g d i r e c t support s e r v i c e s t o M i n i s t r y f o s t e r  15 c a r e r s ; c o - o r d i n a t i n g i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o f o s t e r homes; and a c t i n g as a l i a i s o n worker which e n t a i l s  monitoring  c o n t r a c t s w i t h p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes (both p r o f i t  and  non-profit). D i s t r i c t s u p e r v i s o r s oversee the day-to-day s o c i a l work p r a c t i c e of the r e s o u r c e offices. resource  As w e l l , team meetings p r o v i d e a forum f o r s o c i a l workers t o d i s c u s s p r a c t i c e i s s u e s w i t h  t h e i r colleagues. one  s o c i a l workers i n t h e i r  Resource s o c i a l workers may  also  a n o t h e r ' s c a s e l o a d s when a c o l l e a g u e i s out of  cover the  o f f i c e or on h o l i d a y s . The M i n i s t r y i s the s t a t e agency i n B r i t i s h Columbia t h a t o v e r s e e s s i t u a t i o n s i n which p a r e n t s or c a r e g i v e r s f a i l t o support to provide care.  the c h i l d r e n f o r whom they are r e s p o n s i b l e The M i n i s t r y d e f i n e s c h i l d r e n as p e o p l e  under 19 years of age.  The  g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s of  C h i l d , F a m i l y and Community S e r v i c e A c t  the  (1996) are t h a t :  C h i l d r e n are e n t i t l e d t o be p r o t e c t e d from abuse, n e g l e c t and harm or t h r e a t of harm [and] . . . a f a m i l y i s the p r e f e r r e d environment f o r the care and u p b r i n g i n g of c h i l d r e n and the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the p r o t e c t i o n of c h i l d r e n r e s t s p r i m a r i l y w i t h the p a r e n t s ; [and] . . . i f , w i t h a v a i l a b l e support s e r v i c e s , a f a m i l y can p r o v i d e a s a f e and n u r t u r i n g environment f o r a c h i l d , support s e r v i c e s s h o u l d be provided. (p. 7)  16 When t h e r e i s a need t o remove a c h i l d from h i s o r h e r home, t h e s t a t e i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p r o v i d i n g s u b s t i t u t e p a r e n t a l care f o r t h e c h i l d . The C h i l d , F a m i l y and Community S e r v i c e A c t (1996) recognizes that the c h i l d ' s f a m i l y i s the p r e f e r r e d environment f o r a c h i l d as l o n g as t h e c h i l d ' s s a f e t y and w e l l - b e i n g can be p r o t e c t e d .  When a p a r e n t i s n o t a b l e t o  p r o v i d e c a r e f o r a c h i l d and t h e r e a r e no o t h e r o p t i o n s f o r the c h i l d and f a m i l y , t h e p a r e n t can g i v e temporary c a r e o f the c h i l d t o a d i r e c t o r  1  through an agreement w i t h t h e  d i r e c t o r o r by c o u r t o r d e r .  While c h i l d r e n a r e i n  s u b s t i t u t e p a r e n t a l care, the r o l e of the M i n i s t r y s o c i a l worker i s t o work w i t h t h e f a m i l y towards h a v i n g c h i l d r e t u r n e d t o them, o r l o n g - t e r m  their  alternative  arrangements need t o be made f o r t h e c h i l d . The  C h i l d , F a m i l y and Community S e r v i c e A c t (1996) has  g u i d e l i n e s on how l o n g a c h i l d can remain i n c a r e under agreement o r c o u r t o r d e r .  V o l u n t a r y c a r e agreements a r e  e n t e r e d i n t o when a p a r e n t i s unable t o p r o v i d e c a r e t o t h e i r c h i l d due t o an emergency o r as p a r t o f a t h e r a p e u t i c treatment  plan.  V o l u n t a r y c a r e agreements may be renewed  1. A d i r e c t o r i s a p e r s o n d e s i g n a t e d by t h e M i n i s t e r o f Social Services.  f o r a maximum o f 12 months , 18 months 2  3  and 24 months . 4  S p e c i a l needs agreements a r e e n t e r e d i n t o when a c h i l d ' s needs exceed t h e p a r e n t ' s a b i l i t i e s t o p r o v i d e t h e s p e c i a l i z e d care that the c h i l d r e q u i r e s .  S p e c i a l needs  agreements may not exceed 6 months, b u t t h e agreement may be renewed f o r terms o f up t o 12 months each and Community S e r v i c e A c t , 1996).  (Child, Family  I f a c h i l d i s removed  from h i s / h e r p a r e n t o r g u a r d i a n and t h e c h i l d i s found t o be i n need o f p r o t e c t i o n and can n o t be r e t u r n e d home, t h e c h i l d may be p l a c e d i n t h e temporary c u s t o d y o f t h e director.  The t o t a l p e r i o d o f time t h a t a c h i l d can remain  i n t h e temporary c u s t o d y o f t h e d i r e c t o r f o l l o w s t h e same time frame (as p e r t h e age o f t h e c h i l d ) as a v o l u n t a r y c a r e agreement. I f a p a r e n t i s unable t o resume c a r e f o r a c h i l d w i t h i n a time l i m i t e d f a s h i o n , permanent p l a n s must be made  2. I f t h e c h i l d o r t h e youngest c h i l d who i s t h e s u b j e c t of t h e agreement was under 5 years o f age on t h a t date ( C h i l d F a m i l y and Community S e r v i c e A c t , 1996). 3. I f t h e c h i l d o r t h e youngest c h i l d who i s t h e s u b j e c t of t h e agreement was 5 years o f age o r over b u t under 12 y e a r s o f age on t h a t date ( C h i l d F a m i l y and Community S e r v i c e A c t , 1996). 4. I f t h e c h i l d o r t h e youngest c h i l d who i s t h e s u b j e c t of t h e agreement was 12 y e a r s o f age o r over on t h a t date ( C h i l d F a m i l y and Community S e r v i c e A c t , 1996).  18 f o r t h e c h i l d t o ensure t h a t t h e c h i l d does n o t remain i n a s t a t e o f limbo o r f o s t e r care d r i f t . Recruiting foster carers. The  approval process f o r M i n i s t r y f o s t e r  carers  i n v o l v e s h a v i n g a r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker complete an assessment o f t h e a p p l i c a n t s .  The assessment t a k e s t h e  form o f a f o s t e r home study c o n s i s t i n g o f t h e proposed foster carer's: motivation education,  t o f o s t e r ; f a m i l y background,  p e r s o n a l i t y and h e a l t h ; f a m i l y  functioning;  parenting  s k i l l s ; p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e home;  reference  checks; c r i m i n a l r e c o r d s e a r c h ;  r e g i s t r y ; and m e d i c a l The  prospective  information. caregiver(s)  must be 19 y e a r s o f age,  s t a b l e and mature i n o r d e r t o p r o v i d e provide  c h i l d abuse  care, w i l l i n g to  an environment f r e e o f abuse and p h y s i c a l harm,  r e l e v a n t e x p e r i e n c e and o r t r a i n i n g i n c a r i n g f o r c h i l d r e n , and  complete a mandatory p r e - s e r v i c e  Columbia M i n i s t r y o f S o c i a l S e r v i c e s ,  orientation 1996).  (British  Annual  r e v i e w s o f f o s t e r homes must a l s o be completed.  The above  mentioned p o l i c i e s a r e i n p l a c e t o p r o t e c t c h i l d r e n from e x p l o i t a t i o n and t o ensure t h a t they r e c e i v e p r o p e r  care.  19 M i n i s t r y p o l i c y does n o t r e q u i r e  resource  social  workers t o complete a f o s t e r home s t u d y on p r i v a t e f o s t e r homes.  sector  The o n l y p o l i c y a v a i l a b l e on p r i v a t e  sector  f o s t e r homes s p e c i f i e s t h a t t h e M i n i s t r y p r o v i d e t h e contractor/agency with w r i t t e n authorization, s p e c i f i c conditions  to contract  including  with other f o s t e r carers to  p r o v i d e c a r e t o t h e c h i l d r e n p l a c e d i n the homes. are no M i n i s t r y s t a n d a r d s which c o n t r a c t o r s  There  and a g e n c i e s  must adhere t o when r e c r u i t i n g and a s s e s s i n g f o s t e r The  carers.  M i n i s t r y i s d e v e l o p i n g p o l i c y and p r o c e d u r e s r e g a r d i n g  private sector The  f o s t e r homes.  C h i l d W e l f a r e League o f America (1995) which has  been s e t t i n g s t a n d a r d s i n c h i l d w e l f a r e s e r v i c e s f o r m a t i o n i n 1920 recommends p u b l i c a g e n c i e s the M i n i s t r y ) care s e r v i c e s ; protection;  since i t s  ( f o r example  l i c e n s e p r i v a t e agencies that provide  foster  s e t and m a i n t a i n s t a n d a r d s o f c a r e and  offer consultation  t o agency p r o v i d e r s  p o l i c i e s , p r o c e d u r e s , and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  on the  considerations  of  the l i c e n s i n g r e q u i r e m e n t s ; and w i t h h o l d l i c e n s i n g from those a g e n c i e s t h a t do not meet the l i c e n s i n g r e q u i r e m e n t s (p. 129) .  R o l e of r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers. The  M i n i s t r y requires  have c o n t a c t w i t h months.  t h a t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers  foster carers  This period  can be  at l e a s t every t h r e e  shorter  depending on  the  agreement between the r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker and  the  foster  carer. S o c i a l workers w i t h i n the M i n i s t r y have been under a g r e a t d e a l of p r e s s u r e f o r numerous years to p r o v i d e q u a l i t y s e r v i c e to f a m i l i e s , c h i l d r e n , and with i n c r e a s i n g l y high caseloads  carers  ( B r i t i s h Columbia  Government Employees' Union, 1985). on w o r k l o a d , s t a f f i n g and  foster  Foley's  (1996)  o t h e r i s s u e s r e l a t e d to  report  the  q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e d by M i n i s t r y s o c i a l workers suggests t h a t the  s i z e of s o c i a l workers' c a s e l o a d s i s a  f a c t o r i n the e r o s i o n  of s e r v i c e l e v e l s w i t h i n  the  Ministry. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of B.C. The  f o s t e r homes.  M i n i s t r y ' s C h i l d , F a m i l y and  P o l i c y Manual (1996) c a t e g o r i z e s i n t o : f a m i l y c a r e homes and  Community  Service  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes  s p e c i a l i z e d f a m i l y c a r e homes.  F a m i l y c a r e homes are s u b - c a t e g o r i z e d i n t o r e s t r i c t e d f a m i l y c a r e , and  regular  family care.  Specialized  family  21 c a r e homes a r e s u b - c a t e g o r i z e d i n t o l e v e l s 1, 2, and 3 homes. People who have known a c h i l d p r i o r t o t h e c h i l d r e q u i r i n g out-of-home c a r e neighbours  ( f o r example, a c h i l d ' s  o r a s c h o o l mates' p a r e n t s ) a r e t h e a d u l t s who  u s u a l l y provide r e s t r i c t e d family care.  Once t h e c h i l d i s  d i s c h a r g e d from t h e r e s t r i c t e d f a m i l y care home, t h e home i s closed. Regular  f a m i l y c a r e homes a r e , i n t h e o r y , r e s e r v e d f o r  c h i l d r e n who do not know t h e f o s t e r c a r e r and do n o t p r e s e n t any c h a l l e n g i n g b e h a v i o u r . L e v e l 1, 2, and 3 homes a r e p r o v i d e d t o c h i l d r e n who have moderate t o e x t r e m e l y c h a l l e n g i n g b e h a v i o u r o r developmental  delays.  The l e v e l d e s i g n a t e d t o a c a r e g i v e r  i s based on t h e i r : e d u c a t i o n / t r a i n i n g ; c h i l d - r e l a t e d e x p e r i e n c e ; knowledge; and demonstrated  skills/abilities.  Rates f o r f a m i l y care homes and l e v e l 1, 2, and 3 homes a r e f i x e d .  When a c h i l d ' s p l a n - o f - c a r e r e q u i r e s  a d d i t i o n a l support s e r v i c e s , an assessment and recommendation i s made t o t h e r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker's supervisor. The t o t a l number o f r e s t r i c t e d , r e g u l a r and l e v e l 1 homes f o r t h e month o f March, 1995 was 1,632 1995).  (Whitelaw,  I n November, 1995, t h e r e were 1,009 l e v e l 2 homes,  22 and 462 l e v e l 3 homes ( B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , November, The  1995.).  f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r w i l l p r e s e n t a r e v i e w of the  f o s t e r care l i t e r a t u r e a f f e c t i n g c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers'  practice.  and  23  Chapter Three: L i t e r a t u r e Review  T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l focus on permanency p l a n n i n g f o r c h i l d r e n i n f o s t e r c a r e , p r o f i t and services, carers,  non-profit  f o s t e r care  s p e c i a l i z e d f o s t e r care programs, t r a i n i n g f o s t e r  contracting  w i t h the p r i v a t e s e c t o r ,  and  licensing  f o s t e r homes. Permanency P l a n n i n g Permanency p l a n n i n g f o c u s e s on the development of plans for children-in-care children's  to ensure permanency i n  l i v i n g arrangements.  Permanency p l a n n i n g  come about as a r e s u l t of r e s e a r c h s u g g e s t i n g children-in-care  that  remain a d r i f t i n the out-of-home c a r e  system w i t h o u t a s p e c i a l i z e d and plan  has  (Galaway, 1990).  i n d i v i d u a l i z e d permanent  M a l u c c i o and  Fein  (1986) note  permanency p l a n n i n g i s based on the v a l u e of  that  rearing  c h i l d r e n i n a f a m i l y s e t t i n g , the importance of p a r e n t c h i l d attachment, and  on the s i g n i f i c a n c e of  children  maintaining contact with t h e i r b i o l o g i c a l family. Permanency p l a n n i n g has p l a n of r e t u r n i n g parental  h i s t o r i c a l l y f o c u s e d on  c h i l d r e n to t h e i r p a r e n t s or  the  severing  r i g h t s and p l a c i n g c h i l d r e n f o r a d o p t i o n  24 ( F o r s y t h e , 1989; Galaway,  1990).  T h i s view i s changing  w i t h t h e emergence o f c h i l d r e n who a r e n o t a p p r o p r i a t e f o r a d o p t i o n due t o t h e i r age o r l a c k o f d e s i r e t o be adopted (Barth & B e r r y , 1987).  As w e l l , p a r e n t s may n o t be a b l e t o  p r o v i d e d a i l y care f o r t h e i r c h i l d y e t may w i s h t o c o n t i n u e t o have c o n t a c t w i t h t h e i r c h i l d .  The l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s  t h a t f o s t e r care can be viewed as a permanent p l a n f o r a c h i l d as l o n g as t h e c h i l d remains i n c o n t a c t w i t h h i s / h e r b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y , o r has c o n t i n u i t y o f care and t h e chance to a t t a c h w i t h t h e i r f o s t e r carer  (Thomlison, 1990).  M u l t i p l e placements and s e p a r a t i o n d i s r u p t a c h i l d ' s normal development  (Rycus, Hughes & G i n t h e r ,  1988).  H e a l t h y attachments f o s t e r t h e development o f language and communication, t r u s t , s e l f - e s t e e m , a n x i e t y r e d u c t i o n and a sense o f s e c u r i t y and s e l f - r e l i a n c e .  When c h i l d r e n have t o  be removed from t h e i r f o s t e r homes and r e - p l a c e d  into  another f o s t e r home, i t i s o f t e n t h e r e s u l t o f a l a c k o f a p p r o p r i a t e o r a v a i l a b l e f o s t e r home placements than a resource  s o c i a l worker making an i n a p p r o p r i a t e d e c i s i o n  (Kadushin & M a r t i n , 1988).  Continuity i n a child's foster  home placement i s o f p r i m a r y focus i n permanency p l a n n i n g .  25 P r o f i t and  Non-Profit  T h e r e i s no  F o s t e r Care  Services  consensus i n the  l i t e r a t u r e on  the  p h i l o s o p h i c a l values  of using p r o f i t or n o n - p r o f i t  agencies/contractors  to d e l i v e r  Hudson, G a l a w a y and  Harmon  f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s .  (1989) n o t e t h a t a l l  p r o f e s s i o n a l s whether i n the p r o f i t or n o n - p r o f i t s e c t o r , make money f r o m human m i s e r y , difficulties  experienced  by  by  generating  their clients.  argues t h a t a p r o f i t motive leads effective  s e r v i c e , and  the  income from Borne  p r o f e s s i o n a l l y s o c i a l i z e d to b e l i e v e t h a t the s e c t o r i s most a p p r o p r i a t e place  (1988)  t o a more e f f i c i e n t  s o c i a l work f i e l d has  the  and  been  non-profit  and m a r k e t c o n c e p t s h a v e  no  i n the d e l i v e r y of c h i l d w e l f a r e s e r v i c e s . MacDonald  (1984) r e a c t s i n an  instinctively  manner t o t h e n o t i o n o f o r g a n i z i n g s o c i a l profit-making enterprises. value  s y s t e m i s b u i l t on  of c l i e n t s result  s h o u l d n o t be  MacDonald's  negative  services  as  (1984) p r o f e s s i o n a l  the p h i l o s o p h y  t h a t the  well-being  compromised by measures t h a t  could  i n e x p l o i t a t i o n f o r another's b e n e f i t .  Non-profit  agencies/contractors  s t a f f acceptance i f they enterprises  (Shostack,  agencies/contractors  may  are p e r c e i v e d  1987).  as  g a i n community  and  altruistic  Non-profit  are e l i g i b l e  f o r tax-exempt s t a t u s  and  26  may r e c e i v e g r a n t s and equipment from f o u n d a t i o n s and businesses Specialized  (Shostack,  1987).  F o s t e r Care  S i n c e 1975, the C h i l d W e l f a r e League o f 7America has recognized that i t i s acceptable p r a c t i c e agency t o purchase, care  for a public  and a p r i v a t e agency t o s e l l ,  foster  services. Substantial  research i s a v a i l a b l e o u t l i n i n g the  h i s t o r y o f s p e c i a l i z e d f o s t e r care i d e n t i f i e d by respondents  (SFC) which was  as comparable t o the s e r v i c e s  p r o v i d e d by a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s p r o v i d i n g f o s t e r  care  services. N u t t e r , Hudson, Galaway and H i l l ,  (1995) d e s c r i b e SFC  as s e r v i n g c h i l d r e n w i t h s p e c i a l needs/behaviours  and argue  t h a t i f i t were not f o r SFC, these c h i l d r e n would be p l a c e d i n r e l a t i v e l y r e s t r i c t i v e out-of-home treatment R u s s e l l and S i l b e r m a n  settings.  (1979) d e s c r i b e SFC programs as  s e r v i n g d i s t u r b e d n o n - i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d youth i n t h e community. SFC h i s t o r i c a l development has taken two s e p a r a t e r o u t e s i n i t s emergence. C h i l d w e l f a r e workers  witnessed  the need f o r a compromise between f o s t e r c a r e and more r e s t r i c t i v e group homes and i n s t i t u t i o n s  (Galaway, 1990;  27 Hudson, N u t t e r  & Galaway, 1992).  Galaway  (1990) s t a t e s  t h a t one o f t h e e a r l i e s t SFC programs t h a t emerged out o f the above concerns was t h e PATH program e s t a b l i s h e d i n M i n n e s o t a i n 1971. PATH c o n t i n u e s  to provide  SFC and i s a  p r i v a t e s e c t o r , n o n - p r o f i t , f o s t e r c a r e r governed agency. Hudson, N u t t e r  & Galaway  (1992) r e p o r t t h a t t h e second  r o u t e o f emergence o f SFC was out o f r e s i d e n t i a l programs i n t h e 1950s and e a r l y 1960s.  treatment  Residential  t r e a t m e n t programs d e v e l o p e d SFC t o supplement and s e r v e as an a l t e r n a t i v e t o r e s i d e n t i a l and p s y c h i a t r i c h o s p i t a l s as w e l l as t o p r o v i d e  a l t e r n a t i v e t r a n s i t i o n a l experiences f o r  c h i l d r e n and youth r e t u r n i n g t o t h e community Galaway, 1989; Hudson, N u t t e r  (Hudson &  & Galaway, 1992).  Bryant,  Simmens and McKee (1989) i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r has p i o n e e r e d t h e development o f SFC programs due t o t h e s m a l l e r , f l e x i b l e , e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l and open communication w i t h i n the p r i v a t e s e c t o r . Baker (1989) f o c u s e s on t h e t r a i n i n g f o s t e r c a r e r s i n SFC programs r e c e i v e i n o r d e r t o a v o i d s t r e s s and burnout so t h a t placements o f c h i l d - i n - c a r e can be m a i n t a i n e d . Baker (1989) i n d i c a t e s t h a t f o s t e r c a r e r s need t o be a c t i v e members o f t h e treatment team, a t t e n d meetings w i t h  other  f o s t e r c a r e r s f o r peer s u p p o r t , have weekly c o n t a c t  with  support and e d u c a t i o n a l  s t a f f , and have access t o 24-hour a  28 day c o n s u l t a t i o n i n cases of c r i s i s or f o r s u p p o r t .  Van  Den  SFC  Briken  (1984) d e s c r i b e s the E a g l e V i l l a g e , I n c . ,  program i n M i c h i g a n .  The program i s based on p a r e n t a l  p a r t i c i p a t i o n , f o s t e r c a r e r t r a i n i n g and p r o f e s s i o n a l t r e a t m e n t s e r v i c e s (through  education, a limited  caseload  on the p a r t of the " c o u n s e l l o r " ) , f a m i l y c o u n s e l l i n g ( f o r the b i o l o g i c a l f a m i l y and the c h i l d ) , f o s t e r p a r e n t support services  (24-hour a day on c a l l support s e r v i c e s ) , and  f o l l o w - u p s e r v i c e s when the c h i l d i s r e t u r n e d t o h i s or  her  parents. Training Foster  Carers  A c c r e d i t a t i o n and t r a i n i n g programs f o r f o s t e r c a r e r s has been i d e n t i f i e d as e n a b l i n g f o s t e r c a r e r s t o o b t a i n a professional status  (Pedosuk, 1995;  Tinney, 1985).  Pedosuk (1995) recommends t h a t t r a i n i n g programs o f f e r e d by the B.C.  F e d e r a t i o n of F o s t e r P a r e n t A s s o c i a t i o n  be e s t a b l i s h e d and a c c r e d i t e d i n o r d e r f o r f o s t e r c a r e r s e n t e r i n g the f i e l d t o r e c e i v e b a s i c q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . Tinney (1985) has  suggested t h a t the p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m  of f o s t e r c a r e r s would b e s t be a c h i e v e d  through t r a i n i n g  o f f e r e d at U n i v e r s i t i e s or Community C o l l e g e s .  T h i s would  work towards r e a l i g n i n g the r o l e and r e l a t i o n s h i p of f o s t e r carers.  29  C o n t r a c t i n g w i t h the P r i v a t e  Sector  C o n t r a c t i n g w i t h t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r has been viewed as a l l o w i n g t h e government t o extend t h e i r s e r v i c e s w i t h o u t generating  growth i n t h e government w o r k f o r c e  L i p s k y , 1993).  (Smith &  Government employees a r e viewed by much o f  the p u b l i c as c o s t l y t o t h e t a x p a y e r s ( B e l l - L o w t h e r , Kettner  & Martin,  1993; R e k a r t , 1993).  1988;  I t i s easier for  the government t o c u t back on p r i v a t e s e c t o r s e r v i c e s and f o r t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r t o mount programs t o meet new and emerging needs than i t i s f o r government t o do so 1993; Smith & L i p s k y , 1993).  Ismael  (Rekart,  (1988) d e s c r i b e s the  p r i v a t i z a t i o n o f s o c i a l s e r v i c e s as r e s t r a i n i n g t h e r a t e o f growth o f t h e p u b l i c s e c t o r w h i l e r a t i o n a l i z i n g spending i n a p e r i o d o f i n c r e a s i n g demand f o r s e r v i c e s . Hasenfeld  (1984) and The Report o f the Commission o f  I n q u i r y i n t o t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e and P u b l i c S e c t o r  (1993a)  d e s c r i b e s o c i a l s e r v i c e c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h the p r i v a t e s e c t o r as a way f o r government t o s e p a r a t e i t s e l f from p r i v a t e s e c t o r s e r v i c e d e l i v e r y , c r e a t i n g an independent, nonl i a b l e government. The Report o f the Commission o f I n q u i r y i n t o t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e and P u b l i c S e c t o r  (1993a) c i t e s t h e c u r r e n t  use o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r c o n t r a c t s as based on:  30 -successive  p r o v i n c i a l governments' i d e o l o g i c a l  p r e f e r e n c e f o r c o n t r a c t s o v e r p r o v i s i o n o f s e r v i c e s by government employees; -the  FTE ( f u l l - t i m e e q u i v a l e n t )  c o n t r o l mechanism  e s t a b l i s h e d by t h e F i n a n c i a l A d m i n i s t r a t i o n A c t has meant t h a t M i n i s t r i e s had money i n t h e i r budgets, y e t no a u t h o r i z a t i o n t o h i r e s t a f f ; and -recruitment  procedures w i t h i n the p u b l i c s e r v i c e are  time consuming, w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t h i r i n g a p u b l i c s e r v i c e employee i s o f t e n not a r e a l i s t i c o p t i o n f o r responding to a p u b l i c s e r v i c e i n i t i a t i v e  i n t i m e l y manner  (p. 43) . Callahan  and McNiven (1988) q u e s t i o n  p r a c t i c e of tendering among c o n t r a c t o r s .  c o n t r a c t s and t h e l a c k o f  e v e r y year would be d e t r i m e n t a l Callahan  competition  C o n t i n u i t y o f c a r e f o r c h i l d r e n and  f a m i l i e s i s n o t e d t o be paramount.  carers.  the M i n i s t r y ' s  Tendering contracts  t o c h i l d r e n and f o s t e r  and McNiven (1988) note t h a t t h i s may  a f f e c t t h e d e c i s i o n o f p r a c t i t i o n e r s t o not change contractors. inherent  Smith and L i p s k y  (1993) acknowledge t h e  c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n a p p l y i n g market p r i n c i p l e s when  c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h the p r i v a t e  sector.  31 Some human s e r v i c e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y those i n v o l v i n g r e s i d e n t i a l placement or long-term t h e r a p e u t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s , depend upon c o n t i n u i t y of c a r e . In these s e r v i c e areas, r e s p o n s i b l e s t a t e o f f i c i a l s must temper t h e i r i n t e r e s t s i n g e n e r a t i n g c o m p e t i t i o n and c o s t s a v i n g w i t h concerns f o r the c l i e n t - p r o v i d e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . (Smith & L i p s k y , 1993, p. 194) Borne (1988) v a l u e s c o m p e t i t i o n among contractors/agencies  suggesting  that competition  encourages  agencies/contractors  to p r o v i d e h i g h q u a l i t y s e r v i c e i n the  most c o s t e f f i c i e n t f a s h i o n . A Guide t o C o n t r a c t Management (1992b) d i r e c t s the M i n i s t r y ' s c o n t r a c t work, and d e s c r i b e s an a r m s - l e n g t h r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  The  arms-length  r e l a t i o n s h i p a l l o w s the M i n i s t r y and the c o n t r a c t o r to work t o g e t h e r t o d e l i v e r a s e r v i c e t o the c l i e n t , yet each i s s t i l l a c t i n g autonomously ( B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1992b). I n q u i r y I n t o The  The Report of The  Commission of  P u b l i c S e r v i c e and P u b l i c S e c t o r :  Background Paper: C o n t r a c t e d Community S o c i a l S e r v i c e s (1993b) i n d i c a t e t h a t an a r m s - l e n g t h r e l a t i o n s h i p ensures t h a t the government m a i n t a i n s agency/contractor.  independence from the  As w e l l , an attempt i s made t o ensure  t h a t the government i s not l i a b l e f o r the services  provided.  contracted  32 L i c e n s i n g F o s t e r Homes The l a c k o f a c c o u n t a b i l i t y and s t a n d a r d s a r e documented as p r o b l e m a t i c w i t h the p r i v a t e s e c t o r R e k a r t , 1993).  areas i n government c o n t r a c t i n g (Bell-Lowther,  1988; Ismael, 1988;  Whitelaw (1995) s t a t e s t h a t t h e r e has been  a decade o f absent s t a n d a r d s w i t h i n t h e M i n i s t r y . The 1990 r e p o r t , P u b l i c S e r v i c e s t o C h i l d r e n , Youth and T h e i r F a m i l i e s i n B r i t i s h Columbia (1990) recommended the e s t a b l i s h m e n t family-based  o f a l i c e n s i n g mechanism f o r c o n t r a c t e d  resources  due t o the i n c o n s i s t e n t and l i m i t e d  a p p l i c a t i o n o f e x i s t i n g r e g u l a t o r y minimum s t a n d a r d s o f h e a l t h and s a f e t y . The B r i t i s h Columbia Gove I n q u i r y i n t o C h i l d Protection  (1995) q u e s t i o n e d t h e l a c k o f e v a l u a t i o n i n  contracted  s e r v i c e s and the l a c k o f o b l i g a t i o n on t h e p a r t  of c o n t r a c t o r s t o s p e c i f y the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and t r a i n i n g r e q u i r e d by c h i l d w e l f a r e workers.  This i n q u i r y also  recommended t h a t a l l c h i l d w e l f a r e r e s o u r c e s  become  provincially licensed. The C h i l d W e l f a r e League o f America  (1995) recommends  p u b l i c agencies l i c e n s e p r i v a t e agencies that f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s and w i t h h o l d  provide  l i c e n s i n g from those  a g e n c i e s t h a t do n o t meet the l i c e n s i n g r e q u i r e m e n t s .  33  C u r r e n t l y i n B.C., group homes f o r t h r e e o r more  children  must be l i c e n s e d under the Community Care F a c i l i t y A c t and Community Care F a c i l i t y A c t C h i l d Care R e g u l a t i o n . homes are exempt from t h e requirements the Community Care F a c i l i t y A c t .  Foster  o f l i c e n s i n g under  Gazan and F l y n n  (1986)  i d e n t i f y the l i c e n s i n g o f f o s t e r c a r e r s and t h e i r homes as the most e f f e c t i v e and e q u i t a b l e means f o r p r e v e n t i n g abuse, e x p l o i t a t i o n ,  or neglect of c h i l d r e n .  The l i c e n s i n g  o f group homes i n B.C. i s performed by l i c e n s i n g o f f i c e r s who work f o r h e a l t h r e g i o n s and e n f o r c e u n i f o r m standards  minimum  under the Community Care F a c i l i t y A c t and  Community Care F a c i l i t y A c t C h i l d Care R e g u l a t i o n . Resource s o c i a l workers'  a c t i v i t i e s however tend t o be  guided by i n t e r n a l o f f i c e p o l i c i e s and practice  professional  (Gazan & F l y n n , 1986).  The f o l l o w i n g  c h a p t e r w i l l p r e s e n t the r e s e a r c h  methods used i n t h e study.  34  Chapter  f o u r : Research Design and Method  T h i s d e s c r i p t i v e r e s e a r c h study employed a q u e s t i o n n a i r e designed t o explore resource s o c i a l  workers'  views o f p r i v a t e and p u b l i c s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  The  d e s i g n i n c l u d e d b o t h q u a n t i t a t i v e and q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h methods.  This chapter describes the p a r t i c i p a n t s ,  p r o c e d u r e s , measures and methods, s t a t i s t i c a l  a n a l y s e s , and  q u a n t i t a t i v e and q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a a n a l y s i s used i n the study. Participants The p a r t i c i p a n t s i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s s t u d y were r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers who worked f o r the M i n i s t r y i n B.C. M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers who worked i n S e r v i c e s f o r People w i t h M e n t a l Handicaps (SPMH) were e x c l u d e d from t h e study. A l l one hundred and n i n e t y - e i g h t r e s o u r c e workers  and d i s t r i c t  social  s u p e r v i s o r s employed by t h e M i n i s t r y  at the time o f r e s e a r c h were sent q u e s t i o n n a i r e s (see Appendix A) t h a t r e q u i r e d a p p r o x i m a t e l y 20 minutes t o complete.  E i g h t q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were r e t u r n e d uncompleted  by one r e s o u r c e o f f i c e which was unable t o take p a r t i n t h e  35 study due t o w o r k l o a d i s s u e s .  The sample was, t h e r e f o r e ,  c a l c u l a t e d a t 190 w i t h a r e t u r n r a t e o f 84 (44.21 p e r c e n t ; n = 84).  The Lower M a i n l a n d  r e g i o n o f B.C. made up 41.67  p e r c e n t o f t h e sample (n = 3 5 ) ; t h e C e n t r a l I n t e r i o r / N o r t h e r n 32.14 p e r c e n t 16.67  percent  (n = 27); Vancouver I s l a n d  (n = 14); and t h e Southeast 9.52 p e r c e n t  (n =  8) o f t h e t o t a l sample. Resource s o c i a l workers who worked i n o f f i c e s which used p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes (67.80 p e r c e n t ) to complete t h e e n t i r e q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  were asked  Respondents who d i d  not work i n o f f i c e s u s i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes (32.20 p e r c e n t )  responded o n l y t o S e c t i o n A.: Work  Responsibility.  A contingency  question d i r e c t e d the  respondents who d i d n o t use p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes t o the demographic s e c t i o n o f t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Procedures Packages o f q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were m a i l e d on February 27, 1996  t o each r e s o u r c e d i s t r i c t s u p e r v i s o r i n B.C. (45  o f f i c e s ) with a l e t t e r of i n i t i a l contact a t t a c h e d t o t h e package o f q u e s t i o n n a i r e s . letter  (Appendix B) An e x p l a n a t o r y  (Appendix C) e x p l a i n i n g t h e study was a t t a c h e d t o  each q u e s t i o n n a i r e a l o n g w i t h a r e t u r n - a d d r e s s e d , p r e stamped envelope.  A l l q u e s t i o n n a i r e responses were  anonymous and informed consent was c o m p l e t i o n o f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  understood  with  Respondents were i n f o r m e d  i n the e x p l a n a t o r y l e t t e r t h a t the completed study would be made a v a i l a b l e to them through the M i n i s t r y l i b r a r y to which a l l respondents t h a n k i n g respondents please f i l l  have a c c e s s .  Postcards  (Appendix  D)  f o r sending back q u e s t i o n n a i r e s and t o  them out i f they had not been m a i l e d were sent  t o a l l d i s t r i c t s u p e r v i s o r s (45 p o s t c a r d s ) on March 1, 1996.  A second b a t c h o f p o s t c a r d s was  sent to Lower  M a i n l a n d d i s t r i c t s u p e r v i s o r s (11 o f f i c e s ) on March 11, 1996  as response  r a t e was  low f o r t h i s area a t t h a t time.  Completed q u e s t i o n n a i r e s from a l l areas of B.C. t o be r e c e i v e d up t o June,  continued  1996.  A s e l f - a d m i n i s t e r e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e was used due t o the r e l a t i v e l y low c o s t , and d i r e c t access t o a l a r g e p o o l of p o t e n t i a l respondents.  A q u e s t i o n n a i r e was  chosen as the  means o f g a t h e r i n g data f o r t h i s study as q u e s t i o n n a i r e s have been shown to be " e a s i e r f o r people t o answer t h r e a t e n i n g q u e s t i o n s p r i v a t e l y on paper than t o speak the answers a l o u d t o someone e l s e " p. 369).  (Anastas & MacDonald,  1994,  As w e l l , t h e r e i s a h i g h o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a l l  members of a p o p u l a t i o n t o be i n c l u d e d i n the sample ( D i l l m a n , 1978).  37  Measures and Methods A q u e s t i o n n a i r e was developed and d i s t r i b u t e d among resource  s o c i a l workers i n B.C. i n an attempt t o e x p l o r e  the f o l l o w i n g r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s : resource  s o c i a l workers use when c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h  agencies/contractors resource  1) What r a t i o n a l e do  t o s u p p l y f o s t e r homes; 2) What do  s o c i a l workers see as t h e d i f f e r e n c e between  M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes; and 3)  Resource  s o c i a l workers' views on t h e p r o c e s s , p r a c t i c e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s between r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers and p r i v a t e  a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who p r o v i d e f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s . The  q u e s t i o n n a i r e developed f o r t h e study used open  and c l o s e d q u e s t i o n s and L i k e r t s c a l e s .  The r e s e a r c h  q u e s t i o n s were developed from my own e x p e r i e n c e s resource  as a  s o c i a l worker, and from q u e s t i o n s r a i s e d i n t h e  l i t e r a t u r e with regard to the s a f e t y of c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e , the i n c r e a s e i n p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes, t h e l a c k o f i n f o r m a t i o n on p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r care programs, and t h e s t a t i s t i c s which i n d i c a t e a r i s e i n t h e number o f c h i l d r e n in-care . The study.  l e v e l o f r e s e a r c h d e s i g n was t h a t o f a d e s c r i p t i v e The q u e s t i o n n a i r e designed  f o r t h i s study was  based on an e x i s t i n g o r s p e c i f i c q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  not  38  Both q u a l i t a t i v e and q u a n t i t a t i v e measures were chosen to  g i v e the q u e s t i o n n a i r e b a l a n c e .  The q u a n t i t a t i v e and  q u a l i t a t i v e measures, which were used i n t h i s  study,  a l l o w e d respondents t o complete the q u e s t i o n n a i r e i n approximately  20 minutes.  Many p a r t i c i p a n t s do not enjoy  the n o t i o n o f a t t a c h i n g a number t o t h e i r views and experiences.  Therefore,  the m a j o r i t y o f q u e s t i o n s were  c o n s t r u c t e d so t h a t L i k e r t s c a l e s and c l o s e d q u e s t i o n s were f o l l o w e d by open q u e s t i o n s w i t h room f o r comments by respondents. The q u e s t i o n n a i r e was p i l o t - t e s t e d by s i x M i n i s t r y resource  s o c i a l workers who were v e r s e d i n the use o f  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  The sample o f p r o f e s s i o n a l s  who p i l o t t e s t e d the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s r e p r e s e n t e d  the t o t a l  p o p u l a t i o n i n t h a t they ranged i n l e n g t h o f employment as M i n i s t r y resource experience  s o c i a l workers, j o b d u t i e s , and amount o f  w i t h p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  The r e l i a b i l i t y o f t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e was unknown s i n c e r e p e a t i n g t h e m a i l out o f t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e was not p o s s i b l e w i t h i n the study time frame. c o u l d not be e s t i m a t e d  Internal consistency  f o r t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e d a t a as t h e  study d i d not measure one s i n g l e concept o r one phenomenon. Chronbach's a l p h a and s p l i t h a l f r e l i a b i l i t y a r e s t a t i s t i c a l t e s t s used t o measure i n t e r n a l  reliability.  39 Chronbach's a l p h a and s p i t h a l f r e l i a b i l i t y can o n l y be a p p l i e d t o q u a n t i f i e d o b s e r v a t i o n s o f one k i n d and one concept o r phenomenon Therefore,  (Anastas  no s t a t i s t i c a l  & MacDonald, 1994) .  t e s t t o measure i n t e r n a l  c o n s i s t e n c y was a p p l i e d t o the q u a n t i t a t i v e d a t a as t h e study attempted t o measure more than one concept and phenomenon. The p i l o t t e s t a s s e s s e d  t h e f a c e v a l i d i t y o f the  q u e s t i o n n a i r e by g a i n i n g feedback from M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers who had v a r i e d work e x p e r i e n c e positions.  i n their  A f t e r t h e p i l o t t e s t , changes t o a number o f  measures were made t o e l i m i n a t e wording b i a s and t o i n c r e a s e f a c e v a l i d i t y , as w e l l as t o m i n i m i z e random error.  Random e r r o r o c c u r s when a measure i s p o o r l y  developed and respondents do not u n d e r s t a n d what i s b e i n g a s k e d - t h i s c o u l d then l e a d t o i n c o n s i s t e n t o r random answers (Rubin & Babbie, 1989).  The p i l o t t e s t e r s f e l t  t h a t t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e was i m p a r t i a l and  presented  q u e s t i o n s i n a manner t h a t would y i e l d a c c u r a t e and comprehensive d a t a , t h i s ensured face v a l i d i t y .  The  measures r e f l e c t e d content v a l i d i t y as they were chosen and based on d i s c u s s i o n s i n the l i t e r a t u r e . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e was d i v i d e d i n t o s i x s e c t i o n s :  40 -Resource S o c i a l Workers' Work R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and Use o f P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes; -Resource S o c i a l Workers' E x p e r i e n c e s and O p i n i o n s Regarding  t h e P r a c t i c e and S e r v i c e s o f P r i v a t e S e c t o r  F o s t e r Homes Compared With M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes; -Resource S o c i a l Workers' E x p e r i e n c e and O p i n i o n s Regarding  P r o f i t and/or N o n - P r o f i t P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r  Homes; -Monetary Data; -Resource S o c i a l Workers Views o f T h e i r R e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s P r o v i d i n g F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s ; and -Statistical The  Information.  f o l l o w i n g a r e some o f t h e s e l e c t e d measures t h a t  were used i n t h i s study and a r e h i g h l i g h t e d i n b o l d p r i n t . For a t o t a l account  o f a l l t h e measures used i n t h i s  study  p l e a s e see Appendix A: Q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Resource S o c i a l Workers' Work R e s p o n s i b i l i t y and Use of P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes. Respondents were asked t o check yes o r no t o t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : Does your o f f i c e use p r i v a t e s e c t o r  f o s t e r homes a t a l l ? respondents  A contingency question d i r e c t e d the  t o t h e end o f t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e t o answer  demographic q u e s t i o n s i f t h e i r o f f i c e d i d not use p r i v a t e  41 s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  I t was hoped t h a t t h i s measure would  make i t p o s s i b l e t o g a i n an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e d i f f e r e n t r e g i o n s i n B.C. who were and those who were n o t u s i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes as these s t a t i s t i c s were n o t a v a i l a b l e from t h e M i n i s t r y when r e q u e s t e d . Resource S o c i a l Workers' E x p e r i e n c e s and O p i n i o n s Regarding t h e P r a c t i c e and S e r v i c e o f P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes Compared w i t h M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes. Two L i k e r t s c a l e q u e s t i o n s were p r e s e n t e d i n a p a r a l l e l format, d e s i g n e d t o p r o v i d e comparative views o f the use o f p r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes. e x t e n t does your o f f i c e use p r i v a t e  To what  s e c t o r f o s t e r homes and  to what e x t e n t does your o f f i c e use M i n i s t r y  f o s t e r homes.  I t was hoped t h a t these measures would p r o v i d e an o v e r v i e w o f r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' views w i t h r e g a r d s t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes a r e used. Three L i k e r t s c a l e q u e s t i o n s were d e s i g n e d t o g a i n an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' views o f t h e i r o f f i c e s ' s o c i a l work p r a c t i c e and r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h p r i v a t e s e c t o r c o n t r a c t o r s / a g e n c i e s i n terms o f s t a n d a r d s and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y p l a c e d upon t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r . s o c i a l workers i n your o f f i c e read p r i v a t e home s t u d i e s , 2.  Are private  1. Do  sector  foster  s e c t o r f o s t e r home s t u d i e s  42 available  to your o f f i c e i f r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers want to  read them, and  3.  Are  you  the person i n the p r i v a t e  f o s t e r home study?  g i v e n the q u a l i f i c a t i o n ( s ) s e c t o r who  the  Q u e s t i o n 1. and 3. were f o l l o w e d by  open q u e s t i o n s a s k i n g respondents Two  i s conducting  of  t o comment.  open-ended q u e s t i o n s were d e s i g n e d t o p e r m i t  respondents t o comment about any concern they had about the q u a l i t y o f s e r v i c e o f b o t h the p r i v a t e and p u b l i c  sector.  I t was hoped t h a t t h i s measure would p r o v i d e feedback w i t h r e g a r d s t o d i f f e r e n c e s between the q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e of the M i n i s t r y and the p r i v a t e s e c t o r . about the q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e and  What i s your o p i n i o n  p r o v i d e d by  the p r i v a t e  what i s your o p i n i o n about the q u a l i t y o f  p r o v i d e d by  the  sector  service  Ministry?  Resource S o c i a l Workers' E x p e r i e n c e and O p i n i o n s Regarding P r o f i t o r N o n - P r o f i t P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes. T h i s s e c t i o n was d e s i g n e d t o g a i n an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' v a l u e s and the c r i t e r i a they use when c h o o s i n g between p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  Does the p r o f i t or n o n - p r o f i t s t a t u s o f an  a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r a f f e c t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' t o use a p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home? a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who  decision  Are t h e r e  are b o t h p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t  43  p r o v i d i n g f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s i n B.C.? M i n i s t r y p o l i c y does n o t s t i p u l a t e t h a t a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s or n o n - p r o f i t .  must be p r o f i t  I t was hoped t h a t t h i s s e c t i o n would add t o  the v a r i e d l i t e r a t u r e on s o c i a l worker's views o f b o t h p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s and i f i t affects their practice. with a p r o f i t  1.  I f you had the chance t o work  o r n o n - p r o f i t agency/contractor i n regards t o  a f o s t e r home placement f o r a c h i l d - i n - c a r e , which would you  use:  Non-profit agencies/contractor,  profit  a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s , n e i t h e r , unsure, o r t h i s i s not an  issue.  Respondents were asked t o check the box t h a t  i n d i c a t e d t h e i r preference.  Respondents were a l s o asked  f o r t h e i r w r i t t e n comments underneath the open  question  w i t h the p r e f i x : Why they responded as they d i d . Monetary Data. A measure on monetary d a t a was developed t o i n v e s t i g a t e resource  s o c i a l workers' views on the c o s t o f  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes compared w i t h the c o s t o f M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes. would p r o v i d e  I t was hoped t h a t t h i s measure  i n f o r m a t i o n on r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers' views  of the d i f f e r e n c e s between M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r foster  homes.  1.  The p e r diem r a t e f o r p r i v a t e s e c t o r  f o s t e r homes i s : Greater, same o r l e s s than M i n i s t r y  foster  44  homes.  Respondents were a l s o asked f o r t h e i r w r i t t e n  comments underneath the open q u e s t i o n w i t h the p r e f i x : Why they responded as t h e y d i d . Resource S o c i a l Workers Views o f T h e i r R e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s P r o v i d i n g F o s t e r Care Services. The f o l l o w i n g L i k e r t s c a l e measure was d e s i g n e d t o e x p l o r e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers and a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who p r o v i d e d f o s t e r c a r e s e r v i c e s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , d i d r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' view t h e i r o f f i c e s as u s i n g a l a r g e p o o l o r a l i m i t e d number o f a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who p r o v i d e d f o s t e r c a r e s e r v i c e s .  My  o f f i c e uses the same agency/contractor when the d e c i s i o n has  been made t o use a p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home.  Respondents were a l s o asked t o w r i t e any comments t h e y had on the i s s u e . Two open-ended q u e s t i o n s were asked: L i s t two advantages o f u s i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes and M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes; and l i s t  two disadvantages o f u s i n g  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes and M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes.  T h i s q u e s t i o n was d e s i g n e d t o e x p l o r e the r a t i o n a l e t h a t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' used when c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s t o s u p p l y f o s t e r homes.  45 Statistical  Information.  The demographic p r o f i l e similarities  was used t o a s s e s s  and d i f f e r e n c e s i n views among r e s o u r c e  workers and r e g i o n s .  social  Two open-ended q u e s t i o n s were asked:  How many y e a r s have you worked f o r the M i n i s t r y ; and How many y e a r s have you worked f o r the M i n i s t r y as a  s o c i a l worker.  resource  Respondents were asked t o check yes o r no  to t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : Do you have any post-secondary education.  I f respondents answered yes t o h a v i n g p o s t -  secondary e d u c a t i o n , t h e y were d i r e c t e d t o a c o n t i n g e n c y q u e s t i o n which asked respondents t o check a box which l i s t e d 10 p o s s i b l e degree o p t i o n s .  Respondents were a l s o  p r o v i d e d w i t h space t o s p e c i f y any degree o r p o s t - s e c o n d a r y e d u c a t i o n t h e y may have which was not l i s t e d . Respondents were asked t o check t h e box t h a t the  r e g i o n o f B.C. i n which t h e y worked.  indicated  Respondents were  p r o v i d e d w i t h t h e f o l l o w i n g c a t e g o r i e s : Lower Mainland; C e n t r a l I n t e r i o r / N o r t h e r n ; Vancouver I s l a n d ; and Southeast.  At  t h e end o f t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e , respondents were a l s o  g i v e n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o p r o v i d e any a d d i t i o n a l that they considered r e l e v a n t .  information  46 S t a t i s t i c a l Analyses D e s c r i p t i v e s t a t i s t i c s were used t o summarize and t r a n s l a t e q u a n t i t a t i v e data.  This included the c a l c u l a t i o n  o f f r e q u e n c i e s , p e r c e n t a g e s , means, and s t a n d a r d deviations. Q u a l i t a t i v e Analyses W r i t t e n statements made by respondents c o n s t i t u t e d t h e q u a l i t a t i v e study data.  The a n a l y s i s o f t h e w r i t t e n  statements was s u b j e c t e d t o a c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s c o n s i s t i n g of the f o l l o w i n g a c t i v i t i e s : data r e d u c t i o n , coding, r e c o r d i n g t h e codes, d a t a d i s p l a y , and drawing c o n c l u s i o n s (Anastas & MacDonald, -1994). W r i t t e n statements made by respondents were t r a n s c r i b e d u s i n g a word p r o c e s s i n g program.  Statements  were c l a s s i f i e d by q u e s t i o n s asked on t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e . From t h e v e r i f i e d t r a n s c r i b e d s t a t e m e n t s , themes were i d e n t i f i e d , and an attempt was made t o i d e n t i f y c a t e g o r i e s "named by r e s e a r c h p a r t i c i p a n t s themselves, termed i n v i v o or i n d i g e n o u s codes"  (Anastas & MacDonald, 1994, p. 4 1 8 ) .  An attempt was made t o g i v e e q u a l weight t o a l l w r i t t e n statements made by p a r t i c i p a n t s . C o l o u r e d h i g h l i g h t e r s were used t o code themes i d e n t i f i e d f o r each q u a l i t a t i v e q u e s t i o n respondents  47 answered on t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e . The coded t e x t was then reproduced i n t o coded passages.  Under i n v i v o  subheadings,  an attempt was made " t o g i v e a t l e a s t one d i r e c t i l l u s t r a t i o n from t h e v e r b a t i m d a t a o f any i m p o r t a n t category u t i l i z e d i n the a n a l y s i s .  This d i s p l a y allows the  r e a d e r t o draw h i s o r h e r own independent c o n c l u s i o n about the v a l i d i t y o f t h e code" 426).  (Anastas & MacDonald, 1994, p.  An attempt was made t o " c r e a t e a forum f o r  p r e s e n t a t i o n o f these e x p e r i e n c e s and i d e a s r a t h e r than s e e k i n g t h e most f r e q u e n t l y e x p r e s s e d o r t h e s t r o n g e s t opinion"  ( K i r b y & McKenna, 1989, p. 162).  The themes were  then summarized and i n t e r p r e t e d . The f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r w i l l p r e s e n t s e l e c t e d r e s u l t s from t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  48  Chapter  F i v e : P r e s e n t a t i o n of Data  T h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s s e l e c t e d r e s u l t s from a q u e s t i o n n a i r e which asked r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers t o q u a n t i t a t i v e l y and q u a l i t a t i v e l y compare M i n i s t r y p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes. measures not s e l e c t e d was  and  The d a t a o b t a i n e d from the  r e p e t i t i o u s and d i d not appear t o  v a r y from the d a t a p r e s e n t e d here.  An a n a l y s i s of the d a t a  appears i n c h a p t e r s i x : A n a l y s i s and D i s c u s s i o n . T h e r e f o r e , t h e r e w i l l be no commentary o r a n a l y s i s i n t h i s chapter. T h i s c h a p t e r i s d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r s e c t i o n s : (1) Participants;  (2) Advantages and Disadvantage  of P r i v a t e  and M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes; (3) Views On the S o c i a l Work P r a c t i c e and R e l a t i o n s h i p Between Resource S o c i a l Workers and P r i v a t e A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s Who S e r v i c e s ; and  P r o v i d e F o s t e r Care  (4) Resource S o c i a l Workers' Recommendations  f o r the Future Use of P r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes. The measures employed i n the q u e s t i o n n a i r e are h i g h l i g h t e d i n b o l d p r i n t a t the b e g i n n i n g o f each s u b - s e c t i o n .  Sample  q u o t a t i o n s are i n c l u d e d t o h i g h l i g h t q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a .  Participants How many y e a r s have you worked f o r the M i n i s t r y as a resource s o c i a l worker? Do you have any post-secondary education? I f y e s , please specify.  Respondents  from a l l r e g i o n s o f B.C. have worked as  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers f o r an average o f 6.88 y e a r s . T w e n t y - f i v e p e r c e n t o f respondents were supervisors.  district  The e d u c a t i o n l e v e l s were f a i r l y  w i t h the m a j o r i t y made up o f B a c h e l o r o f A r t s  consistent (56.00  p e r c e n t ) and B a c h e l o r o f S o c i a l Work (44.00 p e r c e n t ) degrees.  M a s t e r o f S o c i a l Work degrees were h e l d by 15.50  percent o f respondents.  Those respondents who i n d i c a t e d  t h e y had M a s t e r o f S o c i a l Work degrees a l s o i n d i c a t e d t h a t they had B a c h e l o r o f S o c i a l Work degrees. Advantages and Disadvantages o f U s i n g P r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes Does your o f f i c e use p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes a t all?  Of the 84 r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers t h a t responded t o the  q u e s t i o n n a i r e , 58 worked i n o f f i c e s which used p r i v a t e  s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  These 58 r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers were  i n s t r u c t e d t o respond t o the e n t i r e q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  The 26  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers who d i d not work i n o f f i c e s which used p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes responded o n l y t o s e c t i o n  50 A.: Work R e s p o n s i b i l i t y and t h e demographic  s e c t i o n of the  questionnaire. To what e x t e n t does your o f f i c e f o s t e r homes?  use p r i v a t e  O v e r a l l , 67.80 p e r c e n t o f respondents  sector  (n = 58)  i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e i r o f f i c e s sometimes used p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes (on a f i v e p o i n t L i k e r t s c a l e M = 3.13, SD = .8 6; 3 = sometimes). The Southeast  (n = 1) and Vancouver  I s l a n d (n = 5)  r e g i o n s o f B.C. seldom used p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes (M = 2 . 0 0 , SD = 0.00; 2 = seldom and M = 2.60, SD = 0.55 respectively).  The Lower M a i n l a n d (n = 34) and C e n t r a l  Interior/Northern regions  (n = 15) o f B.C. sometimes used  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes (M = 3.23, SD = 0.78 and M = 3.12,  SD = 1.06 r e s p e c t i v e l y ) .  The Lower M a i n l a n d and  C e n t r a l I n t e r i o r c o n s i s t e d o f 89 p e r c e n t (n = 49) o f respondents f o r t h i s  question.  To what e x t e n t does your o f f i c e homes?  use M i n i s t r y  foster  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes were o f t e n used by respondents t o p l a c e c h i l d r e n (M = 4.43, SD = .48; 4=often;  5=always).  51 L i s t two advantages o f u s i n g p r i v a t e homes.  sector  foster  The f o l l o w i n g themes emerged w i t h r e g a r d s t o r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers' views o f t h e advantages  in" u s i n g p r i v a t e  s e c t o r f o s t e r homes: e x t r a s u p p o r t ; i n d i v i d u a l i z e d programs; i n c r e a s e d s k i l l l e v e l o f f o s t e r c a r e r s ; p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m ; w i l l i n g t o p r o v i d e homes f o r c h i l d r e n w i t h c h a l l e n g i n g b e h a v i o u r ; and when no M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home was a v a i l a b l e , the p r i v a t e s e c t o r was used. E x t r a support p r o v i d e d t o p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s by t h e i r a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s (such as access t o support s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e d by t h e i r a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r 24-hours a day) was viewed as a p o s i t i v e b e n e f i t when a v e r y d i f f i c u l t youth was p l a c e d . respondents  The a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s were viewed by  as h i r i n g support workers t o p r o v i d e 24-hour  support s e r v i c e s t o the f o s t e r c a r e r .  Respondents viewed  support workers i n the p r i v a t e s e c t o r as h a v i n g fewer homes t o s u p e r v i s e and support on t h e i r c a s e l o a d s than M i n i s t r y resource s o c i a l  workers.  Support workers have a more s p e c i f i c r o l e than does a l i a i s o n r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker, t h e r e f o r e support i s more encompassing. They p r o v i d e more support and t r a i n i n g t o c a r e g i v e r s than MSS homes r e c e i v e .  52 The  a v a i l a b i l i t y o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes was  seen as r e l i e v i n g r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers o f time t h e y would o t h e r w i s e have t o spend on those homes.  Direct  support s e r v i c e s and s u p e r v i s i o n was viewed as b e i n g p r o v i d e d by t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r t o t h e i r f o s t e r homes.  One  respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t p r i v a t e a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s  who  p r o v i d e d f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s c r e a t e d  the f o l l o w i n g work  p l a c e environment:  I don't have t o worry about p r o v i d i n g support t o c a r e g i v e r s when I don't have the time t o do i t . My j o b i s f o c u s e d on case management and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e t a s k s now. Providing  " i n d i v i d u a l i z e d " , " f l e x i b l e " , and  " s p e c i a l i z e d " placements which were t a i l o r e d t o a s p e c i f i c c h i l d ' s needs as w e l l as t h e needs o f the c h i l d ' s was viewed as a p o s i t i v e element o f t h e p r i v a t e  family  sector.  The p r i v a t e s e c t o r home c o n t r a c t o r has a g r e a t e r a b i l i t y t o p r o v i d e a d d i t i o n a l programs t o meet the needs o f c h i l d r e n , i n c l u d i n g day program, 1-1 worker, c o u n s e l l i n g , s c h o o l program, l i f e s k i l l s / w o r k e x p e r i e n c e program and emergency c r i s i s intervention. Ongoing t r a i n i n g and encouragement t o i n c r e a s e  skill  l e v e l was a p o s i t i v e aspect and reason t o use p r i v a t e  53 s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  Three respondents i n d i c a t e d p r i v a t e  s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s were: Encouraged t o i n c r e a s e t h e i r s k i l l  More s k i l l e d  level.  caregivers.  S k i l l e d i n a particular expertise. A " p r o f e s s i o n a l a t t i t u d e and conduct" was e x p e c t e d o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes. agencies/contractors  Private sector  were viewed as c r e a t i n g an atmosphere  where t h e r e was "more focus on p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m " by b o t h t h e a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r and the f o s t e r c a r e r . " W i l l i n g " and " a b l e " t o take c h a l l e n g i n g c h i l d r e n i n t o t h e i r homes were verbs used t o d e s c r i b e p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  Numerous respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t these  homes were w i l l i n g t o care f o r c h a l l e n g i n g c h i l d r e n .  Greater  a b i l i t y t o keep h i g h needs c h i l d r e n .  They take my d i f f i c u l t placements.  When no M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes were a v a i l a b l e t o p l a c e c h i l d r e n i n t o , resource  s o c i a l workers i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e y  were a b l e t o use t h e s e r v i c e s o f the p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  54  They a r e used o n l y when no MSS homes a r e available. When no s u i t a b l e placement home, we c o n t r a c t o u t .  can be made i n a MSS  When c h i l d r e n can n o t be p l a c e d i n t o MSS homes the p r i v a t e s e c t o r u s u a l l y can p r o v i d e more ong o i n g support t o b o t h t h e c h i l d and c a r e g i v e r . DESPERATION-no o t h e r MSS home a v a i l a b l e .  L i s t two advantages o f u s i n g M i n i s t r y  f o s t e r homes.  C o n d u c t i n g t h e assessment and home s t u d y p r o c e s s o f new f o s t e r c a r e r s , and h a v i n g f i r s t hand knowledge o f t h e foster carer's s k i l l s ,  s t r e n g t h s and l i m i t a t i o n s were  themes e x p r e s s e d by numerous respondents advantages  and viewed as  when u s i n g M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes.  Knowledge o f t h e c o n t e n t s o f a home study, and meeting government s t a n d a r d s and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , were e x p r e s s e d by respondents as safeguards which they were a b l e t o impose through t h e i r d i r e c t w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h M i n i s t r y foster carers.  I'm c o n f i d e n t o f t h e [ M i n i s t r y ] a p p r o v a l p r o c e s s , confident they [ f o s t e r carers] are c l e a r of r u l e s and p o l i c y . We p e r s o n a l l y study t h e homes and g e t t o know them.  55 MSS The  homes have known q u a n t i t i e s .  a b i l i t y t o match c h i l d r e n w i t h f o s t e r c a r e r s  seen as the r e s u l t of the r e s o u r c e experience,  s k i l l s and  L i s t two homes.  The  was  s o c i a l worker's  knowledge of the placement.  disadvantages of u s i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r  f o l l o w i n g themes emerged w i t h r e g a r d s to  resource  s o c i a l workers' views of the d i s a d v a n t a g e s of u s i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes: h i g h c o s t when c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h  the  p r i v a t e s e c t o r ; s t a n d a r d s and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y were questioned; was  the s k i l l l e v e l of p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s  i d e n t i f i e d as a concern; and communication  monitoring  p r i v a t e s e c t o r homes was  viewed as  and challenging.  A g e n c i e s and c o n t r a c t o r s were viewed by many respondents as c h a r g i n g  a higher  r a t e f o r the placement of  c h i l d r e n than M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes.  "Too  expensive";  "Cost i s too h i g h " ; and " C o s t l y " were a d j e c t i v e s used to describe disadvantages to using p r i v a t e sector f o s t e r homes.  There was  a l s o the view t h a t the c o s t of p r i v a t e  s e c t o r f o s t e r homes was p a i d t o the  h i g h due  t o the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n  agency/contractor.  More money i n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n fee and client service.  l e s s to  fee  56 Standards and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y were q u e s t i o n e d by many resource  workers because p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes d i d  not have M i n i s t r y a p p r o v a l , and  t h e i r s t a n d a r d s were unknown,  some o f t h e respondents were not aware o f how t h e homes  had been s t u d i e d .  Not c e r t a i n o f t h e q u a l i t y , s k i l l s , and t a k i n g someone e l s e ' s word f o r i t . I don't know t h e a p p r o v a l Not The  resource  always approved.  skill  questioned.  process.  l e v e l o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s was  This c o n t r a d i c t s the data i n d i c a t i n g that  s o c i a l workers' viewed p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r  c a r e r s as s k i l l e d .  Our o f f i c e t r i e d c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h a p r i v a t e agency. We found t h e agency h i r e d homes we had p r e v i o u s l y c l o s e d because o f s e r i o u s c o n c e r n s . A l s o t h e agency d i d not complete home s t u d i e s . At times t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r has opened homes where t h e c a r e g i v e r s don't have a l o t o f e x p e r i e n c e / s k i l l s i n working w i t h c h i l d r e n . In f a c t I s t u d i e d one such home where t h e c a r e g i v e r s were young, no c h i l d r e n o f t h e i r own and v e r y l i m i t e d r e l a t e d experience. I was a b l e t o o f f e r them l e v e l one r a t e s and would not have been c o m f o r t a b l e o f f e r i n g them more t o s t a r t w i t h . A p r i v a t e s o c i e t y came a l o n g , o f f e r e d them what was the e q u i v a l e n t t o a l e v e l 3 c o n t r a c t w i t h o u t c o m p l e t i n g a home study, and a c t u a l l y had o n l y met w i t h t h e couple once.  57  Communication between p r i v a t e s e c t o r a g e n c i e s and r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers was d e s c r i b e d as " t h i r d - h a n d communication."  Resource s o c i a l workers d e s c r i b e d  themselves as communicating w i t h a c o n t r a c t o r / a g e n c y o r support w o r k e r / c o o r d i n a t o r i n s t e a d o f h a v i n g a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the f o s t e r c a r e r .  The l a t t e r i s t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers have w i t h Ministry foster carers.  Three respondents echo t h e s e  concerns: I t i s an e x t r a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o m a i n t a i n — t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p with the caregiver, the s o c i a l worker and t h e s o c i e t y .  Communication  i s o f t e n t h r o u g h t h e agency.  I spend time t r y i n g t o work t h r o u g h t h e e x t r a l a y e r s of bureaucracy.  Another respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t he/she i s brought i n t o problem s i t u a t i o n s o n l y a t , a c r i t i c a l moment and MSS r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers don't have a l l t h e i n f o r m a t i o n and u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e dynamics t h a t l e d up t o t h e c r i s i s i n t h e p r i v a t e home. L i s t two disadvantages o f u s i n g M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes.  Two themes emerged from t h e a n a l y s i s o f statements made by r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers o f d i s a d v a n t a g e s when u s i n g  58  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes: M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s were n o t viewed by respondents as h a v i n g h i g h l y s p e c i a l i z e d  skills,  and M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers viewed themselves as unable t o p r o v i d e t h e support which M i n i s t r y f o s t e r  carers  required. The absence o f M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s who were a b l e t o provide care t o c h i l d r e n with c h a l l e n g i n g  b e h a v i o u r s was  viewed as l a c k i n g .  C h i l d r e n p l a c e d i n MSS homes a r e o f t e n t o o d i f f i c u l t f o r caregiver's s k i l l l e v e l .  Not  s k i l l e d enough f o r the k i d s we need t o p l a c e  Not  u s u a l l y as 'expert' a t b e h a v i o u r management.  Not  enough h i g h l y s k i l l e d homes.  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s were d e s c r i b e d by two respondents as: Unskilled volunteer  caregivers.  Lack openness t o l e a r n s k i l l s and don't see f o s t e r i n g as a c a r e e r and approach i t l i k e they w i l l be b a b y - s i t t i n g . Respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t due t o t h e i r  large  workloads, t h e y were unable t o p r o v i d e the e x t r a  support  59  t h a t many M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s r e q u i r e d when c h a l l e n g i n g c h i l d r e n were p l a c e d w i t h them.  "Not enough time t o  s u p p o r t " and "support by MSS can be s p o r a d i c " were commonly expressed statements.  One respondent  stated that,  i f t h e MSS had o n - c a l l i n t e r v e n t i o n s e r v i c e s , r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e day programs (when c h i l d r e n a r e out o f s c h o o l ) and r e s p i t e s e r v i c e s , our MSS model would work e f f e c t i v e l y . The p r i v a t e s e c t o r was d e s c r i b e d as a b l e t o p r o v i d e 24-hour a day s e r v i c e t o t h e i r f o s t e r c a r e r s , a s e r v i c e M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers e x p r e s s e d t h e y were unable to o f f e r .  We can't be a v a i l a b l e t o p r o v i d e r e s o u r c e support 24-hours a day. Our p r i v a t e agency has support a v a i l a b l e 24-hours. Views On t h e P r o c e s s , P r a c t i c e s and R e l a t i o n s h i p s o f Resource S o c i a l Workers and P r i v a t e A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s Who P r o v i d e F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s I f you had the chance t o work with a p r o f i t o r nonp r o f i t agency/contractor i n regards t o a f o s t e r home placement f o r a c h i l d which would you use?  Given t h e p e r s o n a l c h o i c e t o work w i t h e i t h e r a p r o f i t or n o n - p r o f i t a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r i n r e g a r d s t o a f o s t e r home placement  f o r a c h i l d was viewed as n o t b e i n g an i s s u e f o r  53.80 p e r c e n t o f respondents. respondents  Twenty f i v e p e r c e n t o f  i n d i c a t e d they would use a n o n - p r o f i t  60 a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r ; 7.70 p e r c e n t i n d i c a t e d they would use a p r o f i t a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r ; and 13.50 p e r c e n t o f respondents were unsure what t h e i r p r e f e r r e d c h o i c e would be. Three c o n t r a d i c t o r y themes emerged i n t h e q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a : t h e b e s t i n t e r e s t o f t h e c h i l d s h o u l d be paramount f o r s a k i n g whether t h e a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r  i s p r o f i t o r non-  p r o f i t ; a p r o f i t motive i s a d e t e r r e n t t o a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s p r o v i d i n g h i g h q u a l i t y s e r v i c e ; and t h e p r o f i t s e c t o r was viewed as p r o v i d i n g a s u p e r i o r s e r v i c e . U s i n g t h e " b e s t " o p t i o n f o r t h e c h i l d whether p r o f i t o r n o n - p r o f i t , and t h e importance  o f t h e f o s t e r home h a v i n g  the a b i l i t y t o met t h e c h i l d ' s needs was viewed as t h e paramount i s s u e a t s t a k e .  We t r y t o p l a c e a c h i l d i n an a p p r o p r i a t e home, period. I want t h e b e s t home/CIC [ c h i l d - i n - c a r e ] match possible.  The c h i l d ' s needs must come f i r s t . I would attempt t o advocate t o use t h e o p t i o n 'best' f o r t h e c h i l d whether i t be p r o f i t and/or non-profit. Respondents who i n d i c a t e d a p r e f e r e n c e f o r n o n - p r o f i t c o n t r a c t o r s / a g e n c i e s d i d so due t o t h e f a c t t h a t they  felt  61 t h a t a p r o f i t motive when c a r i n g f o r c h i l d r e n was a deterrent  to providing high q u a l i t y service.  Commitment t o  c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e was viewed as based on i n t e g r i t y and commitment r a t h e r than r e c e i v i n g a p r o f i t .  I don't b e l i e v e i n c o n t r a c t i n g o u t MSS work. I f we must then a t l e a s t i t s h o u l d be n o n - p r o f i t due t o moral i s s u e s . P r o f i t motive when c a r i n g f o r c h i l d r e n i s ' a d e t e r r e n t t o p r o v i d i n g adequate s e r v i c e s . A c c o u n t a b i l i t y was r a i s e d by one respondent i n t h a t a non-profit  agency,  has a board o f d i r e c t o r s which, i f f u n c t i o n i n g w e l l , adds another l e v e l o f a c c o u n t a b i l i t y t o t h e d i r e c t o r — a c c o u n t a b i l i t y under t h e S o c i e t i e s A c t . P r o f i t motive i s n o t as ever p r e s e n t . One respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t h i s / h e r o f f i c e contracts with non-profit agencies/contractors  only  and t h e  d e c i s i o n was made a t t h e s e n i o r management l e v e l . Respondents who i n d i c a t e d t h a t they would r a t h e r a c h i l d i n a f o s t e r home c o n t r a c t e d by a p r o f i t contractor c i t e d the e f f o r t , cooperation, p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m of the p r o f i t sector. was d e s c r i b e d as h a v i n g ,  place  agency/  f l e x i b i l i t y and  The p r o f i t  sector  62 Greater f l e x i b i l i t y both i n program/service d e l i v e r y and a b i l i t y t o c r e a t e a r e s o u r c e t o meet the needs o f t h e c h i l d , cheaper, l e s s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , few p e o p l e t o d e a l w i t h and keeps c o s t s down. I b e l i e v e ' p r o f i t ' c o n t r a c t o r s do n o t c a r r y i n e f f e c t u a l p e o p l e i n t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n s as frequently. They c o n t i n u a l l y , i n my e x p e r i e n c e a r e more p r o f e s s i o n a l , cheaper, and o f f e r b e t t e r q u a l i t y service. Another respondent q u e s t i o n s t h e term  "profit"  i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e system i s made up o f p e o p l e p r o f i t i n g off  o f o t h e r p e o p l e s ' problems:  T h i s i s n o t an i s s u e r e a l l y i n terms o f q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e o r wages b e i n g p a i d t o c a r e g i v e r s . We a l l ' p r o f i t ' from p e o p l e ' s problems . . . When you r e a l l y l o o k a t i t . I t ' s j u s t a m a t t e r o f who pays us and how. S o c i a l workers would n o t have employment i f t h e r e were no c l i e n t problems. I t ' s a m a t t e r s t i l l o f management always g e t t i n g p a i d more than t h e worker bees w i t h p u b l i c s e r v i c e , N i s h a n o n - p r o f i t o r Orenda. Does your o f f i c e read p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home studies?  O v e r a l l , , respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e y seldom  (on a  f i v e p o i n t L i k e r t s c a l e M = 2.11, SD = 1.30; 2= seldom) r e a d p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes s t u d i e s .  The r e g i o n a l  d a t a r e v e a l e d t h a t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers have d i f f e r e n t  63  s t a n d a r d s and p o l i c i e s f o r r e a d i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home s t u d i e s a c r o s s d i f f e r e n t r e g i o n s . Two themes emerged from t h e q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a as t o whether r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers were aware i f t h e i r o f f i c e s  r e a d p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home s t u d i e s : a wide v a r i a t i o n was  described  i n terms o f i n t e r n a l o f f i c e p o l i c i e s  p r a c t i c e ; and t h e o p p o s i t e p r a c t i c e was t h a t  guiding  resource  s o c i a l workers had no knowledge o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home s t u d i e s . I n t e r n a l o f f i c e p o l i c i e s when c o m p l e t i n g f o s t e r home s t u d i e s i n c l u d e d a c o l l a b o r a t i v e p r o c e s s between t h e M i n i s t r y and a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s .  We now have a r e s o u r c e s o c i a l worker from our o f f i c e d o i n g t h e s a t e l l i t e home s t u d i e s . R e c e n t l y we have s t a r t e d t o work w i t h t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r on j o i n t l y c o m p l e t i n g home s t u d i e s . Our g u i d e l i n e s a r e f o l l o w e d and t h e l i a i s o n worker does t h e f i n a l r e v i e w and agreement. D i s t r i c t Supervisor  approves.  These p o l i c i e s appear t o have p l a c e d r e s o u r c e  social  workers i n t h e p o s i t i o n where they have d i r e c t knowledge o f what s t a n d a r d s t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r i s u s i n g t o a s s e s s potential foster carers.  One o f f i c e ' s p o l i c y was t o use a  . 64 s e t o f p r e - d e s i g n e d forms and o u t l i n e s the p r i v a t e  sector  contractor  t h a t were g i v e n t o  t o use when c o m p l e t i n g  home s t u d i e s .  J o i n t c o m p l e t i o n o f home s t u d i e s  private  i n a collaborative  sector  foster  with the  approach was a l s o  expressed.  They a r e j o i n t l y conducted and completed by M i n i s t r y and c o n t r a c t o r s t a f f . One  respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t he/she does t h e e n t i r e  f o s t e r home s t u d y and then g i v e s t h e study t o t h e agency who p r o v i d e s t h e d i r e c t f o s t e r c a r e  services.  Resource s o c i a l workers whose o f f i c e s d i d n o t have c l e a r p o l i c y on t h e r e a d i n g o f p r i v a t e studies  sector  f o s t e r home  indicated t h e i r experiences:  Private contractors studies.  don't l i k e t o share home  They a r e r a r e l y i f ever made a v a i l a b l e .  To my knowledge - I have q u e s t i o n e d whether we s h o u l d be a l l o w e d and so f a r have been t o l d no, we don't have t h e r i g h t . The  i s s u e o f c o n f i d e n t i a l f o s t e r home s t u d i e s  expressed:  was a l s o  65 I t a p p a r e n t l y i s seen as an i s s u e o f c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . We can have i n f o r m a t i o n on c a r e g i v e r ' s s k i l l s , a b i l i t i e s and e x p e r i e n c e b u t to a c t u a l l y read t h e i r home s t u d y has been d e c l i n e d i n my e x p e r i e n c e . Are you g i v e n the q u a l i f i c a t i o n ( s ) o f the person i n the p r i v a t e s e c t o r who i s conducting the f o s t e r home study.  Two o p p o s i t e t r e n d s emerged i n respondents' q u a l i t a t i v e comments w i t h r e g a r d s t o q u a l i f i c a t i o n s o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r s t a f f : r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers were aware o f the persons' q u a l i f i c a t i o n s i n t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r ; and t h e second theme which emerged was t h a t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l  workers  had an arms-length r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e c o n t r a c t o r / a g e n c y and r e l i e d on t h e c o n t r a c t o r / a g e n c y t o ensure t h e i r  staff  had t h e a p p r o p r i a t e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s needed i n o r d e r t o complete  f o s t e r home s t u d i e s .  Respondents who i n d i c a t e d t h a t they were aware o f t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r s t a f f persons' q u a l i f i c a t i o n s appear t o have a partnership r e l a t i o n s h i p with the agency/contractor p r o v i d i n g f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s .  Most c o n t r a c t o r s have a well-known and e s t a b l i s h e d r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h MSS, u s u a l l y as p r e v i o u s MSS f o s t e r p a r e n t s o r community professionals. We o n l y d e a l w i t h two o r t h r e e s o c i e t i e s t h a t o p e r a t e t h e homes and we know t h e s t a f f c o n d u c t i n g t h e home s t u d i e s .  66 We u s u a l l y know them as we have a w o r k i n g relationship. Resource s o c i a l workers t h a t were n o t aware o f t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r worker's q u a l i f i c a t i o n s appeared t o have had an' a r m s - l e n g t h r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e c o n t r a c t o r s / a g e n c i e s .  G e n e r a l l y , we have an a r m s - l e n g t h arrangement w i t h c o n t r a c t o r s . They are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r making sure t h e i r c a r e g i v e r s f i t the p r o f i l e d needs o f c h i l d t o be p l a c e d .  Another respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t : The u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s t h a t i f you don't t r u s t t h e c o n t r a c t o r s then don't d e a l w i t h them. There seems t o be no m o t i v a t i o n t o m o n i t o r qualifications. I t i s a pass/fail exercise. The per-diem r a t e o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes i s : g r e a t e r ; the same; o r l e s s than M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes.  The m a j o r i t y  (76.90 p e r c e n t ) o f respondents i n d i c a t e d  t h a t the per-diem r a t e o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes i s g r e a t e r than M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes. Q u a l i t a t i v e w r i t t e n comments i n d i c a t e d t h a t respondents viewed the p r i v a t e s e c t o r as e n s u r i n g foreseeable  that  all-  e x t r a s were i n c l u d e d i n c o n t r a c t s w i t h t h e  M i n i s t r y f o r f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s , w h i l e the M i n i s t r y d i d not i n c l u d e the p r o v i s i o n t h a t f o s t e r p a r e n t s may have t o pay e x t r a s .  One respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t i t i s ,  67  to be e x p e c t e d i n t h a t p r i v a t e homes are a b l e t o r e c e i v e support s e r v i c e whereas MSS f o s t e r homes may need t o purchase such, i . e . r e l i e f g i v e n workloads o f s t a f f . A n o t h e r respondent i n d i c a t e d , MSS f o s t e r homes are o f t e n s u b j e c t t o f i n a n c i a l l i m i t s t h a t may not a d e q u a t e l y r e f l e c t the t r u e c o s t o f c a r i n g f o r youth. The p r i v a t e a g e n c i e s appear t o have t a k e n the e x t r a s i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n when c o n t r a c t i n g .  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s must r e q u e s t a d d i t i o n a l e x t r a s , as they are needed w h i l e the p r i v a t e s e c t o r accounted f o r them (on a s p e c i f i c b a s i s up f r o n t ) . The p r i v a t e s e c t o r budgets d i f f e r e n t l y : H i r e s s t a f f and . . . a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c o s t s . MSS homes do not i n c l u d e these e x t r a s so they are s u p p l i e d as needed. My o f f i c e uses the same agency/contractor when the d e c i s i o n has been made t o use a p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home.  Q u a l i t a t i v e r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e r e was no c l e a r t r e n d w i t h r e g a r d s t o o f f i c e s u s i n g the same agency/ c o n t r a c t o r when the d e c i s i o n had been made t o use a p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home. Many respondents' q u a l i t a t i v e comments i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e i r o f f i c e s used a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s  who were p r e v i o u s l y  known t o them. We use what we are f a m i l i a r w i t h and what can meet the c h i l d ' s s p e c i f i c needs.  A g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s were viewed as m a i n t a i n i n g a positive reputation Ministry's  by meeting t h e c h i l d ' s and t h e  needs and t h e r e f o r e they c o n t i n u e d t o be used  p r o v i d e f o s t e r care  services.  We have s e v e r a l track record.  contractors  who have a proven  Good p a s t performance. Given the Choice t o use a M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home o r a p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home, which would you use?  G i v e n t h e c h o i c e t o use a M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home o r a private  sector  f o s t e r home, 89.50 p e r c e n t o f respondents  i n d i c a t e d t h a t they p r e f e r r e d The f o l l o w i n g  u s i n g M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes  f o u r themes were e x t r a c t e d  from  respondents q u a l i t a t i v e statements i n r e g a r d s t o whether they would use a M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home o r a p r i v a t e f o s t e r home: c o s t ;  accountability;  sector  the best i n t e r e s t s of  the c h i l d ; and a v a i l a b i l i t y . As p r e v i o u s l y  d i s c u s s e d M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes were  d e s c r i b e d as b e i n g l e s s e x p e n s i v e than p r i v a t e  sector  f o s t e r homes.  Respondents i n d i c a t e d t h e r e was no e x t r a  administrative  c o s t s t o pay when w o r k i n g w i t h M i n i s t r y  f o s t e r homes.  69  Resource s o c i a l workers viewed t h e i r p r a c t i c e M i n i s t r y foster carers  with  as "hands-on" and " d i r e c t " .  D i r e c t access and c o n t a c t w i t h c a r e g i v e r s g i v e s me a b e t t e r knowledge o f t h e day-to-day operation. I f I c o u l d p r o v i d e t h e support e t c . I would n o t use p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes. There i s no middleman t o pay o r add t o t h e l i s t of p l a y e r s i n v o l v e d i n c h i l d r e n ' s l i v e s . Though I l i k e t h e n a t u r e and q u a l i t y o f support that agencies provide t o t h e i r caregivers, I f e e l t h a t a "hands-on" w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h caregivers i s very important i n order t o track the needs o f our CICs [Children-In-Care]. The was  d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p with M i n i s t r y foster  carers  a l s o viewed as c r e a t i n g c l e a r l i n e s o f a c c o u n t a b i l i t y .  I believe  there i s better  accountability.  D i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e f o s t e r home. C l e a r l i n e s o f a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . M i n i s t r y o r i e n t e d and trained. Payment c o n s i s t e n t w i t h c l e a r guidelines. The MSS home i n v o l v e s l e s s people and thus improves communication. Less cumbersome f o r g o a l s e t t i n g and e v a l u a t i o n . Respondents i n d i c a t e d how i m p o r t a n t i t was t h a t  they  themselves and t h e i r M i n i s t r y c o l l e a g u e s had completed t h e f o s t e r home s t u d y .  Standards o f s t u d i e s i s known. variable.  Less unknown  P r e f e r t o be s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e i n r e c r u i t i n g , c o n d u c t i n g homestudy, l i a i s i n g and m o n i t o r i n g as i s t h e case i n s t a r t i n g - u p a MSS f o s t e r home. There was a s t r o n g p r e f e r e n c e t o p l a c e c h i l d r e n w i t h the  f o s t e r c a r e r who i s a b l e t o meet t h e s p e c i a l needs o f  c h i l d , be i t a M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home o r a p r i v a t e f o s t e r home.  sector  A number o f respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t they  would use t h e f o s t e r home which b e s t met t h e c h i l d ' s needs foregoing a l l other considerations.  Three respondents  commented t h a t they,  would use what I c o n s i d e r t o be t h e b e s t placement, match, * f i t ' o f c h i l d - i n - c a r e and placement i_f I had a c h o i c e . Depends which type o f placement b e s t meets t h e c h i l d ' s needs. Depends on t h e c h i l d , t h e d i f f i c u l t y o f b e h a v i o u r s and t h e a v a i l a b i l i t y o f t h e r e s o u r c e . Another respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t ,  t h i s i s a d i f f i c u l t c h o i c e t o make and s t i l l r e s p e c t t h e needs o f t h e c h i l d . The a v a i l a b i l i t y o f placements was t h e f i n a l theme expressed.  A number o f r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers  indicated  71 t h a t they p l a c e d c h i l d r e n i n homes t h a t were a v a i l a b l e . Two  respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t :  No preference-depends on s u p p l y and demand and what i s a v a i l a b l e . Our r e a l i t y i s t h a t when s e l e c t i n g placements we f i r s t see what i s a v a i l a b l e then ( i f we have a choice) we d e c i d e i f the needs of the c h i l d match the s k i l l / e x p e r i e n c e of the c a r e g i v e r . Choosing between MSS and p r i v a t e s e c t o r i s not an i s s u e - a v a i l a b i l i t y i s the more immediate problem. What i s your o p i n i o n about the q u a l i t y of p r o v i d e d by the p r i v a t e s e c t o r ?  service  Respondents were asked to g i v e t h e i r o p i n i o n on q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e p r o v i d e d  by the p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  themes emerged from the statements of r e s o u r c e  the Two  social  workers w i t h r e g a r d to t h e i r views of the q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e p r o v i d e d by the p r i v a t e s e c t o r . s e c t o r was  F i r s t , the p r i v a t e  viewed as p r o v i d i n g a s i m i l a r s e r v i c e t o  the  M i n i s t r y , but they were viewed as p r o v i d i n g a d d i t i o n a l support t o c a r e g i v e r s .  The  second theme t h a t emerged  q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e depended on the  was  specific  contractor/agency. In the o p i n i o n of respondents, the p r i v a t e s e c t o r able to provide  q u a l i t y s e r v i c e due  S m a l l e r manageable  t o a:  process/task.  was  72  Yet, t h e s k i l l s o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s were viewed as s i m i l a r t o M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s :  S e r v i c e p r o v i d e d by t h e a c t u a l home i s o f t e n s i m i l a r t o MSS l e v e l s . What makes t h e d i f f e r e n c e i s t h e b u i l t i n c r i s i s response, t r a i n i n g e t c . They seem t o be a b l e t o p r o v i d e b e t t e r support t o t h e i r homes. The homes themselves a r e n o t much different. The support t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r was a b l e t o p r o v i d e t o t h e i r f o s t e r homes was l i s t e d as a p r e - r e q u i s i t e t o q u a l i t y service.  One respondent commented t h a t h i s / h e r :  O v e r a l l i m p r e s s i o n i s t h a t p r i v a t e s e c t o r homes have a g r e a t e r l e v e l o f s o c i a l worker support and t h i s i s r e f l e c t e d i n q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e . A s k i l l e d , q u a l i f i e d contractor/agency  who has a  p o s i t i v e w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e M i n i s t r y was viewed as c o r r e l a t i n g t o q u a l i t y s e r v i c e i n a d d i t i o n t o w e l l q u a l i f i e d and s u p e r v i s e d  staff.  Have had good s e r v i c e from s e l e c t e d c o n t r a c t o r s . A key i s h a v i n g good w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . and t r u s t w i t h t h e c o n t r a c t o r — s h a r e d philosophy. Our c o n t r a c t o r i s a l o c a l p e r s o n , committed t o the community and t o p r o v i d i n g us w i t h good s e r v i c e . V e r y r e s p o n s i v e t o any MSS c o n c e r n s .  73 When the c o n t r a c t o r i s s k i l l e d and v e r y q u a l i f i e d , having l o t s of c a r e g i v i n g experience the s e r v i c e s can be g r e a t and v e r y q u a l i f i e d . What i s your o p i n i o n about the q u a l i t y of p r o v i d e d by the M i n i s t r y ?  service  I t was e x p r e s s e d t h a t the burden of h i g h c a s e l o a d s p r e c l u d e d r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers from p r o v i d i n g q u a l i t y service to f o s t e r carers.  F o s t e r homes i n the M i n i s t r y  system were d e s c r i b e d as h i g h q u a l i t y , y e t respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e r e i s l i t t l e a b i l i t y t o support them due to w o r k l o a d  issues.  Not enough time t o a d e q u a t e l y p r o v i d e support t o foster parents. Q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e i s h i g h but undermined by w o r k l o a d demands. The average c a s e l o a d i n our o f f i c e i s about 28 t o 30 homes/resources. So your a b i l i t y t o m o n i t o r and support your c a r e g i v e r s i s l i m i t e d . One  respondent commented t h a t ,  f o s t e r homes by and l a r g e are t r e a t e d b a d l y by the MSS system, u n d e r v a l u e d . 7Another respondent i n d i c a t e d t h a t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l work support i s ,  74 i n c o n s i s t e n t . Too much work . . . t h i s c o n t r i b u t e s t o my support o f our c o n t r a c t o r . The l a c k o f support  i s d e s c r i b e d by one r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l worker as c r e a t i n g a c l i m a t e where f o s t e r c a r e r s are, becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y angry a t t h e l a c k o f time f o r support and thorough work i . e . c r i s i s management. One o f f i c e has t r i e d t o a m e l i o r a t e i t s l a c k o f support by h i r i n g , a p r i v a t e b e h a v i o u r a l c o n s u l t a n t t o support Ministry foster carers. Recommendations f o r t h e Future Use o f P r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y F o s t e r Homes Please p r o v i d e any a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t you consider relevant.  Resource s o c i a l workers were g i v e n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y a t the end o f t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e t o p r o v i d e a d d i t i o n a l r e l e v a n t information. responses:  Two themes emerged from t h e i r  qualitative  t h e M i n i s t r y can p r o v i d e t h e same s e r v i c e as  a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s , and i f a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s  are going  t o be p r o v i d i n g f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s , they must adhere t o the same standards Ministry.  o f a s s e s s i n g f o s t e r c a r e r s as t h e  75  Respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t i f t h e y were a b l e t o access the same r e s o u r c e s as the p r i v a t e s e c t o r , then t h e y would not need t o c o n t r a c t out f o s t e r c a r e s e r v i c e s .  I f we had adequate s t a f f i n g i n r e s o u r c e teams t o a l l o w a g r e a t e r f o c u s on a l l a s p e c t s o f r e s o u r c e work: r e c r u i t m e n t , s t u d y i n g , t r a i n i n g , placement s u p p o r t , m o n i t o r i n g and e v a l u a t i o n we wouldn't need t o c o n t r a c t out these o t h e r s e r v i c e s . Another respondent  stated:  There would be no reason t o use p r i v a t e a g e n c i e s i f budgets f o r f o s t e r home support c o u l d i n c l u d e the use o f a p o o l o f c h i l d c a r e workers, money t o t r a i n on an ongoing b a s i s and f l e x i b i l i t y t o p r o v i d e e x t r a s when r e q u i r e d . Resource workers' c a s e l o a d s would a l s o need t o be reduced t o the s i z e where t h e y would be a b l e t o have the k i n d o f supportive r e l a t i o n s h i p s necessary to maintain d i f f i c u l t placements.  A number o f respondents e x p r e s s e d t h a t t h e r e i s a p l a c e f o r b o t h the p r i v a t e s e c t o r and the M i n i s t r y t o work together.  Yet, s t a n d a r d s must be i n p l a c e . I f p r i v a t e s e c t o r resources/homes are t o be an o p t i o n they must be s e l e c t e d and m o n i t o r e d u s i n g the same s t a n d a r d s as those f o r MSS resources.  Respondents who  f a v o r e d the use of b o t h p r i v a t e  p u b l i c f e l t t h a t q u a l i t y and s t a n d a r d s need t o be more c o n s i s t e n t l y .  and  applied  76  I would l i k e t o see r e c r u i t i n g , o r i e n t a t i o n and d o i n g the a c t u a l home s t u d i e s c o n t r a c t e d out a l t h o u g h MSS s o c i a l workers s h o u l d p l a y a p a r t i n a l l 3. For the p a s t 20 months [name of respondent's r e g i o n ] has been e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h the use of s a t e l l i t e care homes as an a d j u n c t t o our MSS f o s t e r homes. As a r e s u l t of the experiment we are coming t o the f o l l o w i n g c o n c l u s i o n s : - P r i v a t e s e c t o r c a r e g i v e r s are l e s s s k i l l e d and e x p e r i e n c e d than MSS c a r e g i v e r s ; - R e c r u i t i n g and r e t e n t i o n i s a s i g n i f i c a n t problem f o r b o t h MSS and p r i v a t e s e c t o r ; -Support t o c a r e g i v e r s i n the form of 24hour response s e r v i c e , r e s p i t e s e r v i c e , day programming and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n s e r v i c e , and c l i n i c a l supervision i s c r u c i a l . The p r i v a t e s e c t o r has been a b l e to p r o v i d e these s u p p o r t s something l a c k i n g f o r MSS c a r e g i v e r s ; -Our most d i f f i c u l t k i d s are o f t e n g o i n g to the l e s s e x p e r i e n c e d p r i v a t e s e c t o r homes. This o c c u r s because MSS c a r e g i v e r s w i l l not take these d i f f i c u l t k i d s . They might be w i l l i n g to take these k i d s i f t h e y had the s u p p o r t . - I d e a l l y we need t o meld the good p a r t s of p r i v a t e s e c t o r homes ( i . e . : support s e r v i c e s to c a r e g i v e r s ) w i t h the good p a r t s of MSS homes ( i . e . : s k i l l s and e x p e r i e n c e ) . The  f o l l o w i n g t a b l e d i s p l a y s resource  s o c i a l workers'  views of the advantages and d i s a d v a n t a g e s of M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes and r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers'  views of p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t f o s t e r care  services.  77  P r i v a t e S e c t o r Advantages - e x t r a support 24-hours a day - i n d i v i d u a l i z e d programs -increased s k i l l l e v e l -professional attitude - a v a i l a b l e homes f o r c h a l l e n g i n g children -flexible -on-going t r a i n i n g -encouragement t o i n c r e a s e s k i l l -more s k i l l e d c a r e g i v e r s -particular expertise - t a k e d i f f i c u l t placements -use o f support workers -no s e t f e e s t r u c t u r e P r i v a t e S e c t o r Disadvantages -higher cost - q u e s t i o n a b l e s t a n d a r d s and accountability - s k i l l l e v e l o f concern -communication and m o n i t o r i n g -question approval process - t h i r d - h a n d communication  Non-Profit - p r e f e r r e d by r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers - a c c o u n t a b l e t h r o u g h Board o f Directors  M i n i s t r y Advantages -knowing t h e home -assessment - h a v i n g f i r s t - h a n d knowledge o f caregivers s k i l l s -meeting government s t a n d a r d s and accountability -knowledge o f home s t u d y - d i r e c t working r e l a t i o n s h i p with home - a b i l i t y t o match c h i l d r e n  M i n i s t r y Disadvantages -do not have h i g h - s p e c i a l i z e d skills -unable t o p r o v i d e r e q u i r e d s u p p o r t - u n s k i l l e d caregivers -seldom a v a i l a b l e -unable t o o f f e r 24-hour s e r v i c e -not enough time t o s u p p o r t homes because o f h i g h c a s e l o a d s - t r e a t e d b a d l y by t h e M i n i s t r y -support i s i n c o n s i s t e n t -undervalued -set fee schedule f o r f o s t e r carers For-Profit -seen as a d e t e r r e n t t o q u a l i t y service - p r e f e r r e d by some r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers because o f : e f f o r t ; coo p e r a t i o n ; f l e x i b i l i t y ; and professionalism -seen by some as cheaper and o f f e r better quality service  Table 1. Resource S o c i a l Workers' Views Of The Advantages And Disadvantages Of M i n i s t r y And P r i v a t e s e c t o r F o s t e r Homes And Resource S o c i a l Workers' Views Of N o n - P r o f i t And F o r - P r o f i t F o s t e r Care S e r v i c e s .  78  Chapter S i x : A n a l y s i s and D i s c u s s i o n  Resource s o c i a l workers p r o v i d e d an overview  of the  s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s between . M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes and t h e reasons f o r t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e uses.  The s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s o f M i n i s t r y and  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes r a i s e q u e s t i o n s as t o when and how t h e homes a r e used. T h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s a d i s c u s s i o n and a n a l y s i s o f t h e d a t a from a q u e s t i o n n a i r e d i s t r i b u t e d t o r e s o u r c e workers i n B.C. on February  27, 1996.  This  p r e s e n t s an a n a l y s i s o f t h e f o l l o w i n g t h r e e  social  chapter research  q u e s t i o n s : 1) What r a t i o n a l e do r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers use when c o n t r a c t i n g w i t h a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s t o s u p p l y  foster  homes; 2) What do r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers see as t h e d i f f e r e n c e between M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes; and 3) Resource s o c i a l workers'  views on t h e  p r o c e s s , p r a c t i c e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s between r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers and p r i v a t e a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who p r o v i d e f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s .  As w e l l , t h e i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h e  study f o r p o l i c y , p r a c t i c e and s t a n d a r d s ;  training;  r e s o u r c e s ; permanency p l a n n i n g ; i d e a s f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h ;  79  l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e s t u d y ; and c o n c l u d i n g  comments w i l l be  discussed. What Do Resource S o c i a l Workers See As the D i f f e r e n c e Between M i n i s t r y and P r i v a t e S e c t o r F o s t e r Homes?  The  q u a l i t y o f s e r v i c e t h a t t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r was  able t o provide  t o t h e i r f o s t e r c a r e r s was viewed as  s u p e r i o r t o t h a t which r e s o u r c e were a b l e t o p r o v i d e .  Smaller  s o c i a l workers f e l t  they  caseloads o f p r i v a t e sector  support workers were viewed as c o r r e l a t i n g w i t h t h e support workers' a b i l i t y  to provide  a higher q u a l i t y of service t o  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s and c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e . The  24-hour support p r o v i d e d by p r i v a t e s e c t o r support  workers was viewed as u n o b t a i n a b l e f o r r e s o u r c e workers t o p r o v i d e  to Ministry foster carers.  social The  i n t e n s i v e support t h a t p r i v a t e s e c t o r support workers were viewed as p r o v i d i n g c o n t r a s t e d s e r v i c e s resource  s h a r p l y t o t h e support  s o c i a l workers i d e n t i f i e d themselves as  able t o o f f e r M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s . The  large caseloads resource  s o c i a l workers' c a r r i e d  were i d e n t i f i e d as c r e a t i n g p r a c t i c e i m p l i c a t i o n s t h a t n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t e d the s e r v i c e M i n i s t r y f o s t e r carers received. The  i m p l i c a t i o n s o f large caseloads i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s  study a r e c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t i n g t h e  80 d i f f i c u l t y s o c i a l workers have i n p r o v i d i n g q u a l i t y s e r v i c e with i n c r e a s i n g l y high caseloads  ( B r i t i s h Columbia  Government Employees' Union, 1985;  Foley,  1996).  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s were not p e r c e i v e d possessing  as  the same p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a t u s as p r i v a t e s e c t o r  foster carers.  Tinney (1985) argues t h a t p r o v i n c i a l  government p o l i c y does not s a n c t i o n f o s t e r c a r i n g as a p r o f e s s i o n a l undertaking.  Tinney (1985) recommends t h a t t o  i n c r e a s e the p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m of f o s t e r c a r e r s , t r a i n i n g through U n i v e r s i t i e s or Community C o l l e g e s  i s needed t o  r e a l i g n the r o l e and r e l a t i o n s h i p of f o s t e r c a r e r s . Contractors/agencies allowed  appeared t o be i n a p o s i t i o n t h a t  them to advocate f o r p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s  to r e c e i v e h i g h e r  funding  than M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s .  The  r e l a t i o n s h i p the M i n i s t r y has when e n t e r i n g agreements w i t h M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s i s based on p o l i c y t h a t d i c t a t e s s e t fees to be p a i d t o M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s . s c a l e f o r p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes.  There i s no  fee  Contractors/  a g e n c i e s are a b l e t o determine fees a c c o r d i n g  to t h e i r  views of a f a i r wage f o r themselves and t h e i r f o s t e r c a r e s . One  resource  s o c i a l worker i d e n t i f i e d  e x p e r i e n c e when o f f e r i n g p r o s p e c t i v e 1 r a t e of pay.  The p r o s p e c t i v e  his/her  foster carers a l e v e l  f o s t e r c a r e r s went to  a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r and were o f f e r e d the e q u i v a l e n t  to a  an  81 l e v e l 3 r a t e o f pay.  I f t h e need f o r p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r  care s e r v i c e s c o n t i n u e s ,  p r o s p e c t i v e and e s t a b l i s h e d  M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s may e x p l o r e t h e o p t i o n o f e s t a b l i s h i n g themselves under a p u b l i c o r p r i v a t e agency f o r monetary o r i d e o l o g i c a l r e a s o n s .  Resource S o c i a l Workers' Views On the Process, P r a c t i c e s and R e l a t i o n s h i p s Between Resource S o c i a l Workers and P r i v a t e A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s Who P r o v i d e F o s t e r Care Services.  When r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers i d e n t i f y t h e need t o  c o n t r a c t w i t h an a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r  to supply a p r i v a t e  s e c t o r f o s t e r home, c o n t r a c t s were i d e n t i f i e d as n o t tendered to the p u b l i c .  The c r i t e r i a f o r e n t e r i n g i n t o  a d d i t i o n a l c o n t r a c t s w i t h t h e M i n i s t r y was i d e n t i f i e d as based on t h e success o r f a i l u r e o f an  agency/contractor,  e i t h e r through "good" o r "bad" p a s t e x p e r i e n c e s . s o c i a l workers' p a s t e x p e r i e n c e  Resource  was viewed as t h e p r e c e d e n t  to renewing and e n t e r i n g new c o n t r a c t s w i t h agencies/contractors. C a l l a h a n and McNiven (1988) i d e n t i f y t h e r e l u c t a n c e s o c i a l workers may have i n changing c o n t r a c t o r s due t o t h e importance o f c o n t i n u i t y o f care f o r c h i l d r e n . notion that contracting increases competition  "Thus t h e  and d e c r e a s e s  82 c o s t may not be t r u e i n many s o c i a l s e r v i c e s i t u a t i o n s " ( C a l l a h a n and McNiven, 1988, p. 3 2 ) . The  c o n t i n u a l use o f a s e l e c t p o o l o f  agencies/contractors  t o p r o v i d e f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s w i t h i n  each M i n i s t r y o f f i c e would appear t o a l l o w t h e agencies/contractors Agencies/contractors,  to specialize their services. through t h e i r c o n t i n u e d d e l i v e r y o f  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s would have t h e a b i l i t y t o focus t h e i r s k i l l s on s p e c i f i c r e g i o n s '  identified  needs. Contracting with a s e l e c t pool of agencies/contractors to p r o v i d e f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s c o u l d impede t h e development o f a c o m p e t i t i v e market among a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s d e l i v e r i n g f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s . S e l e c t i v e l y c o n t r a c t i n g with a l i m i t e d pool of agencies/contractors  c o u l d l e a d t o t h e underdevelopment o f  other p o t e n t i a l agencies/contractors.  Borne (1988) v a l u e s  c o m p e t i t i o n among a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s  and suggests t h a t  c o m p e t i t i o n promotes h i g h q u a l i t y s e r v i c e i n t h e most c o s t e f f i c i e n t f a s h i o n (Borne, 1988). When t h e d e c i s i o n was made t o c o n t r a c t w i t h an a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r t o p r o v i d e f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s , r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers gave v a r y i n g views as t o whether t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l p r e f e r e n c e was t o p l a c e c h i l d r e n i n f o s t e r  83 homes t h a t were d e l i v e r e d by t h e p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t sector.  The b e s t i n t e r e s t o f t h e c h i l d was d e s c r i b e d as  the p r e v a i l i n g f a c t o r i f g i v e n a c h o i c e between p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s .  Resource s o c i a l workers  t h a t c i t e d t h e b e s t i n t e r e s t o f t h e c h i l d as t h e i r paramount c o n s i d e r a t i o n d i d not appear t o d i s t i n g u i s h between any i d e o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t p r o f i t and nonp r o f i t agencies/contractors A preference  may adhere t o .  f o r p l a c i n g c h i l d r e n i n f o s t e r homes r u n  by t h e n o n - p r o f i t s e c t o r was viewed as an advantage due t o the absence o f a p r o f i t m o t i v e . agencies/contractors  Non-profit  were p e r c e i v e d  as h a v i n g a commitment  t o c h i l d r e n based on i n t e g r i t y and commitment r a t h e r than working with c h i l d r e n i n order to r e c e i v e a p r o f i t .  Non-  p r o f i t a g e n c i e s w i t h a Board o f D i r e c t o r s were i d e n t i f i e d , as t h e mechanism needed t o ensure checks and b a l a n c e s under The  Societies Act.  A n o n - p r o f i t s t a t u s may have p o s i t i v e  advantages such as e l i g i b i l i t y f o r tax-exempt d o n a t i o n s from i n d i v i d u a l s and c o r p o r a t i o n s . agencies/contractors  may have access t o d o n a t i o n s t h a t can  be used t o fund f o s t e r c a r e r s . increases businesses  Non-profit  f o r r e c e i v i n g grants (Shostack, 1987).  As w e l l , t h e p o s s i b i l i t y from f o u n d a t i o n s  and  84 Those r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers t h a t p l a c e d a  preference  f o r u s i n g the n o n - p r o f i t s e c t o r are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h i d e o l o g y of MacDonald (1984) who  r e a c t s i n an  the  instinctively  n e g a t i v e manner to the n o t i o n of o r g a n i z i n g s o c i a l s e r v i c e s as p r o f i t - m a k i n g e n t e r p r i s e s .  MacDonald's (1984)  p r o f e s s i o n a l v a l u e system i s b u i l t on the p h i l o s o p h y  that  the w e l l - b e i n g of s o c i a l s e r v i c e r e c i p i e n t s s h o u l d not  be  compromised by measures t h a t c o u l d r e s u l t i n e x p l o i t a t i o n f o r another's b e n e f i t .  Resource s o c i a l workers may  form  more p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s i f they p e r c e i v e them as a l t r u i s t i c e n t e r p r i s e s  (Shostack,  1987). An i d e o l o g i c a l p r e f e r e n c e a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s was p r o f i t s e c t o r was  the m i n o r i t y view expressed.  i d e n t i f i e d as h a v i n g f l e x i b l e  e f f e c t i v e p r o f e s s i o n a l s who q u a l i t y care.  to use o n l y p r o f i t  and  made an e f f o r t t o p r o v i d e  Working c o o p e r a t i v e l y w i t h r e s o u r c e  workers i n the M i n i s t r y was  The  high  social  viewed as a p o s i t i v e  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the p r o f i t s e c t o r . The m a j o r i t y of r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers i d e n t i f i e d  c h i l d r e n ' s b e s t i n t e r e s t s as the foremost c o n s i d e r a t i o n as opposed t o p e r s o n a l i d e o l o g i c a l p r e f e r e n c e s when s e l e c t i n g a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s who  are p r o f i t and n o n - p r o f i t .  This  f i n d i n g c o n t r a d i c t s the w i d e l y assumed p o s i t i o n t h a t the  s o c i a l work f i e l d has been p r o f e s s i o n a l l y s o c i a l i z e d t o accept that n o n - p r o f i t p r o v i s i o n of c h i l d welfare i s most a p p r o p r i a t e , competition field  services  and t h a t market concepts such as  and p r o f i t have no p l a c e i n t h e s o c i a l work  (Borne, 1988). There appears t o be acceptance o f b o t h p r o f i t and non-  p r o f i t d e l i v e r y o f f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s i f each s e c t o r i s able t o serve the best i n t e r e s t s of c h i l d r e n . An a r m s - l e n g t h r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  agencies/contractors  p r o v i d i n g f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s r a i s e d a number o f concerns with resource  s o c i a l workers as t o t h e agency's  / c o n t r a c t o r ' s assessment t h a t t h e i r f o s t e r homes were s a f e and  appropriate  for children.  Goal s e t t i n g and m o n i t o r i n g homes was viewed as d i f f i c u l t  private sector foster  due t o t h e t h i r d - h a n d  communication and t h e e x t r a p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n v o l v e d i n t h e d e l i v e r y o f f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s .  The a d d i t i o n a l  p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n v o l v e d i n t h e day-to-day o p e r a t i o n s o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes were viewed as c r e a t i n g a p a r a l l e l bureaucracy to that of the M i n i s t r y . The numerous p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n v o l v e d i n t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r home's day-to-day a c t i v i t i e s c r e a t e d an environment i n which r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers d i d n o t f e e l  they were kept a p p r i s e d o f events i n t h e placement.  This  86  was v i e w e d a s m a k i n g  i td i f f i c u l t  O f t e n , o n l y when a c r i t i c a l sector  to monitor  children.  event occurred i n a p r i v a t e  f o s t e r home, w o u l d r e s o u r c e s o c i a l w o r k e r s be  c o n t a c t e d and brought i n t o t h e dynamics  of the c h i l d ' s  placement. The d i r e c t h a n d s - o n k n o w l e d g e operations of Ministry positive practice foster carers  o f the day-to-day  foster carers  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c when w o r k i n g w i t h  that  enhanced  the r e l a t i o n s h i p  r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers and M i n i s t r y The h a n d s - o n , workers had w i t h creating  was v i e w e d a s a Ministry  between  foster  carers.  d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p resource s o c i a l  Ministry  foster carers  was v i e w e d a s  a forum i n w h i c h r e s o u r c e s o c i a l w o r k e r s were  to track  able  children-in-care.  A s e n s e o f s e c u r i t y was d e s c r i b e d b y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l w o r k e r s when p l a c i n g  children  First-hand  of the foster carer's  knowledge  i n Ministry  f o s t e r homes. skills,  and  t h e i r s t r e n g t h s and l i m i t a t i o n s were v i e w e d as p o s i t i v e characteristics of Ministry  f o s t e r homes.  An a r m s - l e n g t h r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h carers  private  was v i e w e d a s a p o s i t i v e p r a c t i c e  resource s o c i a l workers. i d e n t i f i e d p o s i t i v e l y with  Resource  sector  by the m i n o r i t y  s o c i a l workers  f o s t e r care  of  that  arms-length r e l a t i o n s h i p s  agencies/contractors providing  foster  services  with  87  d e s c r i b e d t h e focus o f t h e i r j o b as a d m i n i s t r a t i v e .  An  a r m s - l e n g t h r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r was viewed as a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e t o d i r e c t support s e r v i c e due t o resource  s o c i a l workers' l a r g e c a s e l o a d s .  time t o p r o v i d e  appropriate  With l i m i t e d  services to a large  p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r care was viewed as a l l o w i n g  caseload, resource  s o c i a l workers t o focus on a d m i n i s t r a t i v e t a s k s . A p a r t n e r s h i p approach t o c r e a t i n g p o l i c i e s and s t a n d a r d s was p r a c t i c e d by t h e m i n o r i t y o f r e s p o n d e n t s . The p a r t n e r s h i p approach between M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e sector agencies/contractor  i n v o l v e d t h e development o f a  number o f systems i n c l u d i n g : M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e o f f i c e s developing  forms f o r t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f f o s t e r home s t u d i e s ,  and p r o v i d i n g t h e forms t o t h e a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r ,  resource  s o c i a l workers c o m p l e t i n g f o s t e r home s t u d i e s and then p r o v i d i n g them t o t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r , and t h e a g e n c y / c o n t r a c t o r c o m p l e t i n g t h e f o s t e r home s t u d y and p r o v i d i n g i t t o the M i n i s t r y d i s t r i c t supervisor f o r approval. Previous  recommendations have been made t o t h e  M i n i s t r y w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e absence o f s t a n d a r d s when c o n t r a c t i n g with the p r i v a t e sector.  The Annual Report o f  the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly o f B r i t i s h Columbia  (1992)  recommended t h a t t h e M i n i s t r y a p p l y t h e same s t a n d a r d s i t  88  has  for assessing  the s u i t a b i l i t y o f M i n i s t r y f o s t e r  to a l l agencies/contractors system.  carers  within i t s service delivery  The Annual Report o f the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly o f  B r i t i s h Columbia (1992) recommendations towards t h e d e l i v e r y o f standards f o r agencies/contractors i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the views e x p r e s s e d by the m a j o r i t y o f r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers. What R a t i o n a l e Do Resource S o c i a l Workers Use When C o n t r a c t i n g With A g e n c i e s / C o n t r a c t o r s t o Supply F o s t e r Homes?  P r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e s e r v i c e s were u t i l i z e d when r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers r e q u i r e d a placement f o r a c h i l d who  displayed challenging behaviours.  Private  f o s t e r c a r e r s were viewed as p r o f e s s i o n a l  sector  caregivers  w i l l i n g and a b l e t o t a k e c h a l l e n g i n g c h i l d r e n i n t o t h e i r homes.  Q u a l i t y s e r v i c e was i d e n t i f i e d as 24-hour a day  support from p r o f e s s i o n a l support workers, h i g h e r  l e v e l s of  t r a i n i n g and an a r r a y o f s e r v i c e s f o r c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e such as: day programs, one-to-one workers, c o u n s e l l i n g ,  school  programs, and l i f e s k i l l s / w o r k e x p e r i e n c e programs. Resource s o c i a l workers i n d i c a t e d t h a t i f these s e r v i c e s were p r o v i d e d  t o M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s , t h e y would a l s o be  able t o care f o r c h a l l e n g i n g  children.  89 The program c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s d e s c r i b e d  i n t h i s s t u d y are comparable t o  those documented i n the l i t e r a t u r e as program c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of s p e c i a l i z e d f o s t e r care Meadowcroft, 1989; 1994;  Van  Den  (Baker,  1989;  Meadowcroft, Thomlison & Chamberlain,  B r i n k , 1984;  W e l l s & D'Angelo, 1994).  S p e c i a l i z e d f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e  24-hour a  day  support to f o s t e r c a r e r s ; r e c r u i t f o s t e r c a r e r s who, supportive  with  s e r v i c e s , have the a b i l i t y to implement  b e h a v i o u r change; p r o v i d e  co-ordinated  multisystemic  programs c r e a t e d t o f i t the needs of c h i l d r e n and  their  f a m i l i e s ; f o s t e r c a r e r s are t r e a t e d as p r o f e s s i o n a l s and p a r t of the s o c i a l work team; and are p r o v i d e d carers  s p e c i a l i z e d foster carers  w i t h a h i g h e r wage than t r a d i t i o n a l f o s t e r  (Baker, 1989;  Meadowcroft, 1989;  Thomlison & Chamberlain, 1994;  Van  Den  Meadowcroft, B r i n k , 1984;  Wells &  D'Angelo, 1994). The m i n o r i t y of respondents i n d i c a t e d t h a t p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s ' s k i l l l e v e l / e x p e r i e n c e was concern. s k i l l s may  as  of  Those p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e r s w i t h l i m i t e d be a b l e to p r o v i d e  c h a l l e n g i n g b e h a v i o u r s due services provided  care t o c h i l d r e n w i t h  t o the a d d i t i o n a l support  by p r i v a t e s e c t o r support w o r k e r s .  When c h i l d r e n a r e p l a c e d i n M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes, programs f o r c h i l d r e n a r e a r r a n g e d by r e s o u r c e  social  workers, t h e c h i l d ' s s o c i a l worker and t h e f o s t e r c a r e r s . The  support p r o v i d e d  services provided  by t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r and t h e a r r a y o f  and a r r a n g e d f o r c h i l d r e n i n p r i v a t e  s e c t o r f o s t e r homes were i d e n t i f i e d as making a d i f f e r e n c e i n resource  s o c i a l workers' day t o day j o b  r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , i n that resource  s o c i a l workers were a b l e  t o spend t h e i r work time on a d m i n i s t r a t i v e t a s k s , as opposed t o d i r e c t support t o f o s t e r c a r e r s . Contracting with agencies/contractors f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s f o r c h i l d r e n w i t h  to provide  challenging  behaviour w i l l continue  as l o n g as r e s o u r c e  s o c i a l workers'  c a s e l o a d s remain h i g h .  Both p r i v a t e and p u b l i c s e c t o r  f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s o f f e r programs t h a t have b o t h p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e  i m p l i c a t i o n s t o t h e c h i l d r e n they s e r v e and  the a d u l t s p r o v i d i n g t h e 24-hour a day c a r e .  P o l i c y , P r a c t i c e and S t a n d a r d The  Implications  lack of province-wide p o l i c y with respect t o  private sector agencies/contractors s e r v i c e s i s absent.  There a r e no s e t s t a n d a r d s t h a t  private agencies/contractors f o s t e r home s t u d i e s .  p r o v i d i n g f o s t e r care  a r e t o f o l l o w when c o m p l e t i n g  T h i s l a c k o f p o l i c y appears t o have  91 l e f t r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers q u e s t i o n i n g t h e i r a c c o u n t a b i l i t y f o r the e x p e r i e n c e s and i n private sector  outcomes of  children  f o s t e r homes.  Resource s o c i a l workers were concerned about the of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y a p p l i c a b l e that p o l i c y applicable  to a g e n c i e s / c o n t r a c t o r s g i v e n  to M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s  imposed on p r i v a t e s e c t o r  lack  f o s t e r homes.  is  not  Numerous  respondents i n d i c a t e d t h e i r o f f i c e s c r e a t e d p o l i c y  that  appears to ensure some l e v e l of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i s p l a c e d upon the p r i v a t e  sector.  Resource s o c i a l workers i n d i c a t e d t h a t i f p r i v a t e sector  f o s t e r homes c o n t i n u e to be used they must f o l l o w  the same s t a n d a r d s which M i n i s t r y f o s t e r c a r e r s The  majority  adhere t o .  of r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers i n d i c a t e d  t h e y would p r e f e r to use  that  a M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home i f p r o v i d e d  w i t h a c h o i c e between M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r  foster  homes. Providing s e c t o r was  a s i m i l a r s e r v i c e to t h a t of the  private  viewed as a p o s s i b i l i t y f o r r e s o u r c e s o c i a l  workers, but  they would need to be p r o v i d e d w i t h  adequate  s t a f f i n g i n M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e o f f i c e s to a l l o w a g r e a t e r focus on a l l a s p e c t s of r e s o u r c e work. A d d r e s s i n g the concerns e x p r e s s e d by r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers i n t h i s s t u d y might be remedied by h i r i n g  92 a d d i t i o n a l resource  s o c i a l workers, yet the b a r r i e r s t o  h i r i n g a d d i t i o n a l resource  s o c i a l workers would appear t o  be g r e a t  ( B r i t i s h Columbia, 1993a).  Training  Implications  Resource s o c i a l workers' s p e c i a l i z e d e d u c a t i o n a l background would appear to i n d i c a t e t h a t they would be t o o f f e r t r a i n i n g t o f o s t e r c a r e r s on the emotional,  s o c i a l , educational,  needs of c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e .  diverse  c u l t u r a l and  developmental  The p r i v a t e s e c t o r  was  d e s c r i b e d as a b l e to p r o v i d e  t h e i r foster carers  a d d i t i o n a l t r a i n i n g t h a t was  not a v a i l a b l e t o M i n i s t r y  foster carers.  The  roadblock to resource  p r o v i d i n g t h i s s e r v i c e was l a r g e workloads and  described  able  with  s o c i a l workers  as the by-product of  l i m i t e d time to p r o v i d e a d d i t i o n a l  training. There i s no b a s i s i n t h i s s t u d y t o suggest t h a t resource  s o c i a l workers need a d d i t i o n a l t r a i n i n g i n r e g a r d s  to s u p p o r t i n g  foster carers.  Resource I m p l i c a t i o n s I t does not appear t h a t the need f o r f o s t e r c a r e r s w i l l decrease as the r a t e of c h i l d r e n r e q u i r i n g out-of-home care c o n t i n u e s  to  increase.  Therefore i t could  be  93 b e n e f i c i a l f o r t h e M i n i s t r y t o engage i n p r o f e s s i o n a l relationships with foster carers.  With a d d i t i o n a l  resource  support and s m a l l e r c a s e l o a d s t h e M i n i s t r y c o u l d p o t e n t i a l l y have t h e a b i l i t y t o p r o v i d e  a s i m i l a r l e v e l of  care t o t h a t o f t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  Permanency P l a n n i n g  Implications  Permanency p l a n n i n g promotes s t a b i l i t y i n t h e l i v e s o f children-in-care  (Maluccio,  be d i f f i c u l t f o r r e s o u r c e  F e i n & Olmstead, 1986).  I t may  s o c i a l workers t o t r a c k c h i l d r e n  i n p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes as t h e r e may n o t be d i r e c t c o n t a c t w i t h t h e f o s t e r c a r e r s and thus a r e d u c t i o n i n t h e resource  s o c i a l workers' knowledge o f t h e day-to-day events  i n t h e f o s t e r home.  Maluccio,  F e i n and Olmstead (1986)  i n d i c a t e t h a t c o l l a b o r a t i o n and c o - o r d i n a t i o n i n a p a r t i c u l a r placement can make o r break a permanent p l a n . Resource s o c i a l workers i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e b e s t i n t e r e s t s o f t h e c h i l d were t h e d e t e r m i n i n g  factorsi f  p r o v i d e d w i t h t h e c h o i c e between a p r i v a t e s e c t o r o r M i n i s t r y f o s t e r home placement.  Perhaps i f t h e b e s t  i n t e r e s t s o f t h e c h i l d were t h e p r e v a i l i n g f a c t o r s i n f o s t e r home placement c h o i c e , a r e d u c t i o n i n i n a p p r o p r i a t e placements would o c c u r .  Appropriate  could lead to c h i l d r e n maintaining  placement  choices  permanency i n t h e i r  94  placements as w e l l as an i n c r e a s e d p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e f o s t e r c a r e r would be a b l e t o f o l l o w through on t h e g o a l s t h a t they a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r promoting i n t h e c h i l d ' s permanent p l a n .  Ideas f o r Future  Research  Further i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s necessary to explore the cost of o p e r a t i n g p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r care s e r v i c e s compared with the cost of h i r i n g a d d i t i o n a l M i n i s t r y s t a f f to p r o v i d e a s i m i l a r and equal s e r v i c e . The r e l a t i v e success o f t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r c a r e system needs t o be e x p l o r e d .  T h i s c o u l d be  achieved  through q u a l i t a t i v e as w e l l as q u a n t i t a t i v e methods t o ensure t h a t e x p e r i e n t i a l data i s c a p t u r e d . c h i l d r e n - i n - c a r e who have e x p e r i e n c e d  Former  placements i n b o t h  M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes c o u l d be i n c l u d e d i n f u t u r e s t u d i e s t o r e c e i v e i n p u t from t h e i r i n b o t h f o s t e r care systems.  F i r s t Nations  experiences  p e o p l e need t o  be i n c l u d e d i n f u t u r e r e s e a r c h s t u d i e s on M i n i s t r y and p r i v a t e s e c t o r f o s t e r homes t o i n s u r e t h a t questions Nations  research  a r e developed t o e x p l o r e t h e views o f F i r s t  c h i l d r e n i n b o t h f o s t e r care  systems.  95  E x p l o r i n g the views o f f o s t e r c a r e r s who  have worked  b o t h w i t h the M i n i s t r y and the p r i v a t e s e c t o r would p r o v i d e d a t a on the d i f f e r e n c e s between the two  systems.  A r e p l i c a t i o n of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e used i n t h i s c o u l d be conducted over time.  t o e x p l o r e i f respondents'  study  views changed  I t would a l s o s e r v e t o t e s t the r e l i a b i l i t y  of  the s t u d y . The views of M i n i s t r y r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers compared w i t h the views o f p r i v a t e s e c t o r support to  c o u l d be workers  e x p l o r e t h e i r views and e x p e r i e n c e s i n d e l i v e r i n g  foster  care s e r v i c e s .  L i m i t a t i o n o f the The  foremost  Study l i m i t a t i o n of the study was  that i t only  asked the views of r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers w i t h i n the Ministry.  I t does not i n c l u d e the views o f any o t h e r  p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n v o l v e d i n the M i n i s t r y or the p r i v a t e sector f o s t e r care  system.  A l i m i t a t i o n of the s t u d y was which the s t u d y took p l a c e .  the l i m i t e d time i n  A r e p l i c a t i o n o f the s t u d y  c o u l d e x p l o r e whether responses v a r i e d a c c o r d i n g t o workload, forces.  time o f year, geographic a r e a , and o t h e r e x t e r n a l T h i s would a l s o serve t o t e s t the r e l i a b i l i t y  v a l i d i t y of the f i n d i n g s .  and  96  G i v e n d i f f e r e n t c i r c u m s t a n c e s , people responded d i f f e r e n t l y t o the same q u e s t i o n .  T h i s was seen w i t h  w r i t t e n comments t h a t accompanied c e r t a i n q u e s t i o n s , i n d i c a t i n g that issues  a r e f a r from c l e a r .  The  issues  s u r r o u n d i n g the c o m p l e x i t y o f comparing p r i v a t e and p u b l i c sector  f o s t e r homes would perhaps be b e t t e r  through an e x p l o r a t o r y  examined  study.  R e c e i v i n g feedback from r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers w i t h regards t o the f i n d i n g s  and d i s c u s s i o n  f u r t h e r enhance c o n f i r m a b i l i t y .  o f t h e s t u d y would  Also t r i a n g u l a t i o n of  q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a sources by c r o s s - c h e c k i n g c o n s i s t e n c y o f i n f o r m a t i o n from s e v e r a l  d i f f e r e n t s o u r c e s , f o r example  o b s e r v a t i o n , and i n t e r v i e w s the  would g i v e more c r e d i b i l i t y t o  findings. Different  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f o r each g e o g r a p h i c a r e a  make comparison d i f f i c u l t . and Vancouver I s l a n d , homes.  For example, South E a s t B.C.  seldom used p r i v a t e  sector  foster  As w e l l , d i f f e r e n t areas o f B.C. have d i f f e r e n t  p o p u l a t i o n s i z e s w i t h d i f f e r e n t socio-economic p r o f i l e s i n each community.  T h i s would a l s o a f f e c t the number o f  p e o p l e who f o s t e r c h i l d r e n , and the amount o f c h i l d r e n requiring  care.  The q u e s t i o n n a i r e used i n t h e study d i d n o t ask respondents t h e a c t u a l number o f f o s t e r homes n o r o t h e r  97 w o r k l o a d requirements o f t h e i r c a s e l o a d s .  This l i m i t e d the  study i n t h a t I was n o t a b l e t o c o r r e l a t e  respondents'  answers w i t h t h e s i z e o f t h e i r c a s e l o a d s . A q u e s t i o n must be asked as t o whether t h e responses would' have been markedly  d i f f e r e n t o f t h e people who d i d  respond v e r s u s those who d i d n o t .  There i s t h e s t r o n g  p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t those w i t h h e a v i e r c a s e l o a d s would be l e s s l i k e l y t o respond.  T h e i r views c o u l d p o t e n t i a l l y d e v i a t e  from r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers who might have had s m a l l e r caseloads.  Concluding  Comments  The major f i n d i n g s o f t h i s study a r e t h a t : - t h e ' m a j o r i t y o f Resource s o c i a l workers  (89.50  p e r c e n t ) i n d i c a t e d a p r e f e r e n c e f o r M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes; -the p r i v a t e s e c t o r p r o v i d e s a b e t t e r q u a l i t y o f s e r v i c e because o f : 24-hour a day s u p p o r t , t r a i n i n g t o f o s t e r c a r e r s , i n d i v i d u a l programs, s k i l l e d c a r e g i v e r s , and an a b i l i t y t o p r o v i d e c a r e t o h i g h needs c h i l d r e n ; - t h a t i n making d e c i s i o n s about t h e use o f p r i v a t e and M i n i s t r y f o s t e r homes, r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers would p r e f e r t o have the a b i l i t y t o choose a placement t h a t i s a b l e t o meet t h e b e s t i n t e r e s t o f t h e c h i l d ; and  98  - r e s o u r c e s o c i a l workers b e l i e v e tha.t w i t h a d d i t i o n a l r e s o u r c e support and s m a l l e r c a s e l o a d s the M i n i s t r y c o u l d provide  a comparable s e r v i c e t o t h a t of the p r i v a t e s e c t o r .  99  Bibliography A n a s t a s , J . 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S u c c e s s f u l f o s t e r p a r e n t r e c r u i t m e n t : A v o l u n t a r y agency e f f o r t . Child W e l f a r e , 67, 137-146. Smith, S. R., & L i p s k y , M. (1993). N o n p r o f i t s f o r h i r e : The w e l f a r e s t a t e i n t h e age o f c o n t r a c t i n g . M a s s a c h u s e t t s : Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . Shostack, A. L. (1987). Group homes f o r t e e n a g e r s : A p r a c t i c a l g u i d e . New York: Human S c i e n c e s P r e s s , I n c . Thomlison, B. (1990). C o n t i n u i t y o f c a r e : F a m i l y , development, and attachment needs o f c h i l d r e n i n l o n g term f o s t e r c a r e . I n B. Galaway, D. M a g l a j l i c , J . Hudson, P. Harmon, & J . McLagan (Eds.), I n t e r n a t i o n a l p e r s p e c t i v e s on s p e c i a l i s t f o s t e r f a m i l y c a r e (pp. 131-159). M i n n e s o t a : Human S e r v i c e A s s o c i a t e s . Tinney, M. (1985). Role p e r c e p t i o n s i n f o s t e r p a r e n t a s s o c i a t i o n s i n B r i t i s h Columbia. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 1, 73-79.  10 Van  Den B r i n k , S. (1984). Expanding the o p t i o n s f o r d i s t u r b e d youth and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . C h i l d r e n Today, 13(2), 32-35.  Welbourn, L. supply.  (1997, May 6 ) . Good f o s t e r homes i n s h o r t Harbour C i t y S t a r , A l .  W e l l s , K., & D'Angelo, L. (1994). S p e c i a l i z e d f o s t e r c a r e : V o i c e s from the f i e l d . S o c i a l S e r v i c e Review, March, 127-144. Whitelaw, R.A. (1995). C h i l d w e l f a r e c o n t r a c t e d s e r v i c e s i n B r i t i s h Columbia: F i n a l r e p o r t . B r i t i s h Columbia: Author.  Appendix A: Questionnaire  107  QUESTIONNAIRE DEFINITIONS Private sector: The private sector refers to an agency, society or contractor who contracts with MSS to provide a service. Private sector foster homes: This refers to foster homes which are operated by the private sector. The private sector does a foster home study and supports the foster home. These homes can also be referred to as satellite homes, privatized foster homes or contracted foster homes. MSS Foster Homes / Public Sector Foster Homes: These foster homes' work with MSS resource social workers. MSS resource social workers complete foster home studies on the potential foster homes, and support the foster homes. The terms: private sector foster homes and MSS foster homes are used throughout the study. Please feel free to comment on any particular question as you are completing the questionnaire. There are no right or wrong answers, what is important is your opinion and your experiences. You are ready to start, please turn over the page!  over*  108  A.  W O R K RESPONSIBILITIES A N D USE O F P R I V A T E S E C T O R F O S T E R HOMES.  This information seeks to determine what your job responsibilities are and whether you and your office use private sector foster homes. Please put a check mark in the box indicating your response and fill in an answer on the blank provided:  1. What are your job responsibilities? Check all that apply: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  recruiting foster homes recruiting group home parents conducting foster home studies liaising and providing support to foster homes liaising and providing support to group homes liaising with a district office liaising with societies/agencies liaising with private contractors liaising with institutions locating foster home placements for children (0-12) locating foster home placements for adolescents (12-18) foster home investigations group home investigations supervising resource social workers other (please specify):  2. List the top two reasons why you would use: Private sector foster homes:  MSS foster Homes:  1.  1.  2.  2.  3. List the top two reasons why you would not use: Private sector foster homes:  MSS foster Homes:  1.  1.  2.  2.  over*  109 4. Does your office use private sector foster homes? • Yes  • No (go to section F, question #1, page 9)  5. Under what circumstances and conditions does your office authorize the use of private sector foster homes?  B. PRACTICE AND SERVICES OF PRIVATE SECTOR FOSTER HOMES COMPARED WITH MSS FOSTER HOMES. This section questions you on your experience with private sector foster homes compared with MSS foster homes. Please circle your answer using the following scale: KEY: l=never  2=seldom  3=sometimes  4=often  5=always  1. To what extent does your office use private sector foster homes? 1  2  3  4  5  2. To what extent does your office use MSS foster homes? 1  2  3  4  5  3. Does your office read private sector foster home studies? 1  2  3  4  5  Comments:  4. Are private sector foster home studies available to your office if resource social workers want to read them? 1  2  3  4  5  overv  110 5. Are you given the qualification(s) of the person in the private sector who is conducting the foster home study? r  1  2  3  4  5  Comments:  Please circle the answer which indicates the extent (within your office) to which you agree or disagree with the following statements and fill in an answer on the blank provided: KEY: l=never  2=seldom  3=sometimes  6. The private sector recruits First Nations foster homes. 1 2  3 4 5  8. The private sector provides culturally diverse foster homes for First Nations children. 1 2 3 4 5 10. The private sector is providing adequate support to their foster parents. 1 2 3 4 5 12. Placement breakdown occurs in private sector foster homes. 1 2 3 4 5  4=often  5=always  7. MSS recruits First Nations foster homes. 1 2 3 4 5 9. MSS provides culturally diverse foster homes for First Nations children. 12  3 4 5  11. MSS is providing adequate support to their foster parents. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Placement breakdown occurs in MSS foster homes. 1 2 3 4 5  overv  Ill  14. What is your opinion about the quality of service provided by the private sector.  15. What is your opinion about the quality of service provided by M.S.S.  C.  PROFIT OR NON-PROFIT FOSTER H O M E S .  This section asks about your office's practice and your opinion on the use of profit and non-profit private sector foster homes. Please put a check mark in the box indicating your response.  1. When it has been decided to use a private sector foster home, does your office use: • • • •  Non-profit agencies/contractors Profit agencies/contractors Both Unsure  2. If you had the chance to work with a profit or non-profit agency/contractor in regards to a foster home placement for a CIC, which would you use? • • • • • Why?  Non-Profit agency/contractor Profit agency/contractor Neither Unsure This is not an issue [  ;  overv  112  D.  MONETARY DATA.  This section asks for your opinion on monetary arrangement with the private and public sector. Please put a check mark in the box to indicate your response: 1. The per diem rate for private sector foster homes is homes.  •  than M.S.S. foster  • Greater • Same • Less 2. Requests for additional funding from private sector foster homes occurs: • Frequently • Sometimes • Never  3. Requests for additional funding from MSS foster homes occurs: • Frequently • Sometimes • Never  Comments:  E. WHY THE PRIVATE SECTOR? The following section asks for your opinion regarding your office's use of private sector foster homes and MSS foster homes. Please put a check mark in the box indicating your response and fill in an answer on the blank provided. 1. Given the choice to use an MSS foster home or a private sector foster home, which would you use? • •  Private sector foster home MSS foster home  Why?  overv  113  2. 1 feel that I need to use private sector foster homes because: Check all that apply: • • G • • • •  I do not have time to recruit foster homes 1 do not have time to study foster homes once they have been recruited the agency/contractor provides support to the home therefore giving me more time for recruitment, studies and supporting MSS homes the private sector provides good homes while requiring less of my time none of this applies to me none of this applies to my office other (please specify):  Comments:  Please circle the answer which indicates the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements using the following scale and fill in an answer on the blank provided: KEY: l=strongly disagree  2=disagree 3=neutral 4=agree 5=strongly agree  3. My office often uses the same agency/contractor when the decision has been made to use a private sector foster home. 1  2  3  4  5  Comments:  4. The private sector is able to help my office by having a readily available number of foster homes. 1  2  3  4  5  Comments:  overv  114  5. The private sector is able to help my office by taking the pressure off us in terms of recruiting and studying foster homes. 1  2  3  4  5  Comments:  6. Private sector foster homes make my job easier. 1  2  3  Comments.  7. List two advantages of using: Private sector foster homes:  MSS foster Homes:  1.  1.  9  1  8. List two disadvantages of using: Private sector foster homes:  MSS foster Homes:  1.  1.  2.  2.  overv  115 F.  STATISTICAL INFORMATION  YOU ARE ALMOST DONE! This section provides a context in which to interpret the study's results as well as a profile of who is using or not using the services of the private sector. Please fill in the appropriate response on the line provided and please put a check mark in the box indicating your response: 1. How many years have you worked for MSS?  2. How many years have you worked for MSS as a resource social worker?  3. Do you have any post-secondary education? • No (go to question # 4)  • Yes  If yes, (check all that apply): ^ • • • • •  • M.S.W. • M.A. • M.Sc.  B.S.W. B.A.B.Sc. B.Sc.N Other:  • D.S.W. • Ph.D. • Doctorate (please specify)  4. In what region of B.C. do you work? • Lower Mainland • Central Interior / Northern  • Vancouver Island • Southeast  5. What is the approximate population of the city/town in which you work? •  0-1000  •  1000-10 000  •  10 000 and over  Please use page 10 if you have any additional comments. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to this questionnaire. Please use the stamped self addressed envelope provided to return the survey as soon as you have completed it. When completed, the results will be given to the MSS library in the fall of 1996.  overv  116 Please provide any additional information which you consider relevant on this page.  117  Appendix: B L e t t e r of I n i t i a l  Contact  119  Appendix C. Explanatory Letter  Appendix D. Postcard  123  Appendix  E.  E t h i c a l A p p r o v a l and Consent from the M i n i s t r y  

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