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Termination of service by foster homes in a child-placing agency : a review of one hundred closed foster… Anderson, Mamie Sybil 1955

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TERMINATION OF SERVICE BY FOSTER HOMES IN A CHHD-FL~ING AGENCY A Review of One Hundred Closed Foster Homes of the Children's A i d Society of Vancouver, B.C.  by MAMIE SYBIL ANDERSON  Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment of the Requirements Corresponding to the Master of S o c i a l Work Course i n the School of S o c i a l Work.  Accepted as conforming t o the' required standard  SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK  19& The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia  iv ABSTRACT A REVIEW OF THE PROBLEM OF TERMINATION OF SERVICE BY FOSTER HOMES IN A CHILD-KACING AGENCY Issues i n foster home recruitment and maintenance i n a childplacing agency are considered i n this thesis. References are made to literature about the historical development of the foster home method of child care and this includes the set-up of the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver. There is the recognition that foster home placement is not the only plan for each child in agency care but that i t is one important answer. Placement problems are raised and discussed. Specific factors in the closing of 100 foster homes are examined and t h 9 reasons are discussed. Records of 100 closed used foster homes are studied from the standpoints of reasons for closing, motives for boarding children, length of time of service, and number of children placed. A comparison is made of the number of homes closed for avoidable and unavoidable reasons and tables are drawn up to i l l u s trate the factors examined. Case illustrations are used from Children's Aid Society records. The study found that approximately one-third of the homes closed for practical reasons while two-thirds closed for reasons bearing further examination. The largest group closed because of nonacceptance of foster children and their families, and the next largest group closed because of the difficult behaviour of foster children. A considerable number decided they wanted children on a more permanent basis than foster home placement. Over half of the closed homes served the Agency less than one year and a l i t t l e less than half boarded only one child before closing. A large group stated their original motives for boarding a child as "company for own only c h i l d . w Conclusions reached about foster homes are around three basic topics; namely the recruitment of homes, the home study, and placement practices. The most important factor in getting good foster homes is a better selection of applicants in the f i r s t place. This can more easily be done by treating foster parenthood as a job with preparation and satisfying remuneration. A thorough home study can be facilitated when there is a better selection of homes from which to choose and when skilled, experienced homefinders have ample time to complete the study satisfactorily. With this groundwork good follow-up placement practices such as pre-placement conferences and casework service after placement should do much to recruit and maintain a higher standard of foster homes*  V  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  The w r i t e r expresses appreciation to Mr* If.  Dixon  and Mrs* Helen Szner f o r t h e i r guidance and constructive criticism. Thanks are given to Miss Dorothy Coombe f o r permission to use the necessary records to make t h i s study. Acknowledgment i s due to Mr* S. H. Plnkerton f o r reading the study f o r p o l i c y content, to Mrs. Donna Hunt f o r i n t e r ested suggestions, and to Miss V i v i a n Fredrickson f o r s p e c i f i c information about placements.  ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1.  Development of Foster Home Care  Chapter 2.  Foster Care Programme of Children's Aid Society of Vancouver.B.C.  Page Trend away from institutions to care in a family setting child's individual needs and kinship ties emphasized* Historical development from the beginning of the use of free foster homes to the time of paid board and case records* The history of foster home care i n Children's Aid Society Vancouver from 1901 to the present* Some of the special problems that arise i n foster home planning for children. The d i f f i c u l t y of finding a supply of homes available. The need for homes suitable to the children. The need for continuing casework after placement* General description of the study of 100 foster home records* •••••••••••••o 1*  Present programme policy i n foster home placement* Homes must meet needs of children to be placed - aims i n looking for homes* Purpose of Foster Home Committee of C*A.S. of Vancouver. B.C. Policy about board rates. The homefinding process. Placement planning. The total placement picture and special problems i n availability and suitability of homes. Difficult groups to place. Recruitment a necessity. Standards in foster homes and qualities of homefinders. Factors in closing of homes. 15. Chapter 3. An Analysis of Seasons for Homes Closed Closed because of changes in foster family plans - own or adopted child, moved away, want permanent or adoption, special for one child. Closed because unsuitable for further use - non-acceptance of foster children and parents, overcrowding, d i f f i c u l t behaviour, financial motive, marital d i f f i c u l t y , non-acceptance of agency, accommodation, age, health, working. Motives - Time. •••••••*.••• 33. Chapter 4. Conclusions and Recommendations Comments on homes closed for practical reasons* Discussion of other reasons for closing of foster homes with the observation that largest groups close for reasons around non-acceptance and d i f f i c u l t i e s with foster children and their parents. Examination of motives and length of time foster homes used. Specific recommendations around recruitment for placement needs, home-studies, and effective use of foster-homes with emphasis on casework with foster parents. Summarized recommendations. ••».....•.•..••••*••  55.  iii  Appendices: A.  Sample Forms. 1. 2. 3. 4.  Ifege Manual for Foster Parents.................... 85. Foster Home Agreement Form .................. 86. Newsletter to Foster Parents • 87. Map of Districts 88.  B. Home Finding Institute C.  *  89.  Letter Concerning Oregon School f o r Boys  D. Bibliography  95.  :  96.  TABLES IN THE TEXT Table 1. Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, B.C. Placement Picture from Sept. 1952 to June 1954. Table 2. Total Used Foster Homes Closed Table 3. Seasons for Foster Homes Closing Table 4. Motives f o r Boarding Children Table 5. Length of Time Closed Homes Used  25. 33.  ...............o.o*24.  49. .51.  Table 6. Number of Placements in Closed Foster Homes ........52.  A REVIEW OF THE PROBLEM OF TERMINATION OF SERVICE BY FOSTER BOMBS IN A CHIID-PIACING AGENCY  CHAPTES 31 Development of Foster Home Care  Since h i s t o r y has been written, s t o r i e s are t o l d of c h i l d r e n who have been reared by persons other than t h e i r own parents. Moses was cared f o r by Pharoah's daughter.  In Bible times  In feudal times dependent  children were the concern of one man, the l o r d of the manor.  By the Middle  Ages, a f t e r the breakdown of the f e u d a l i s t i c system, these growing numbers o f children were cared f o r by the church i n i n s t i t u t i o n s . Towards the end of the nineteenth century e f f o r t s were being made to place dependent children i n f o s t e r family homes rather than i n i n s t i t u t i o n s on the p r i n c i p l e that most children deprived o f t h e i r own parents were better o f f under the care of foster f a m i l i e s than i n i n s t i t u t i o n s .  "The f o s t e r  home agencies emphasized the needs of the i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d under care, recognized the importance of maintaining kinship t i e s and urged that only children without family were to be separated permanently.  n  ^  ti  The quickening twentieth century conscience translated into law "2 benefits and services r e l a t e d to the needs of these c h i l d r e n .  During the  early twenties there was considerable controversy between f o s t e r home care as against i n s t i t u t i o n a l care.  There were those who thought that i n d i v i d u a l  foster care was the only answer and others who thought that a l l foster c h i l d r e n should be placed i n i n s t i t u t i o n s . made between the two plans.  The f e e l i n g existed that a decision must be  The choice would then be used f o r a l l children  who could not l i v e i n t h e i r own homes.  The majority of c h i l d care workers  now recognize the importance of both types of care with the objective o f both 1. Richman, Leon H., ^Foster Care", Ottawa, Canadian Welfare Council, 1948, Pamphlet. 2. This i s a quotation used i n the exhibit of Department of Health and Welfare, B r i t i s h Columbia, at P a c i f i c National Exhibition,1955.  to make easier the personal and s o c i a l adjustment of the c h i l d who  comes f o r help.  Placement planning must be based on the understanding of the needs of the i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d .  For some children i n d i v i d u a l care through f o s t e r home  placement might be better, while f o r other children group care would be more suitable.  Success i s due to the a b i l i t y of the c h i l d f o r growth and the cap-  a c i t y of the foster parents to help the c h i l d  develop.  Foster home care i s one of the answers of s o c i a l workers of today to the question, 'What i s the best we can o f f e r a c h i l d to make up i n part f o r r e moval from h i s own home?"  Through t h i s thesis "foster home" means a home used  by the C h i l d r e n ^ A i d Society f o r boarding children i n t h e i r care and does not include adoption homes. 1 H i s t o r i c a l Development of Foster Home Care C h i l d welfare services have been b u i l t on a foundation of l e g i s l a t i o n and i n Canada t h i s i s the "protection of c h i l d r e n " acts of the various provinces. Besides many other services i t includes foster care f o r children.  These acts put  into statute form the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the s t a t e to assume guardianship of c h i l d ren who are i n need of p r o t e c t i o n . These acts provided f o r o f f i c i a l s and s o c i e t i e s to carry out the provisions and assume guardianship of the c h i l d . "The E n g l i s h influence on our s o c i a l h i s t o r y e s p e c i a l l y i n the period 2 before 1860, has been very great." was  At the beginning of the 19th century work  considered the best type of t r a i n i n g f o r children dependent on p u b l i c r e l i e f  and "the children paid f o r t h e i r own support by t h e i r d a i l y t o i l . idea behind the  This was  the  work program of the early i n s t i t u t i o n s f o r dependent c h i l d r e n . "  1. Abbott, Grace, The C h i l d and the State, Chicago U n i v e r s i t y Press, Chicago, 1938, 2 vols. 2. The Canadian Welfare Council, Child P r o t e c t i o n i n Canada, A Report of a Committee on C h i l d Protection of the C h i l d Welfare D i v i s i o n , Ottawa. The Council, 1954. 3.  Abbott, Grace, op. c i t . p. 82.  Abuses and national scandals when c h i l d r e n worked i n cotton-mills were popular arguments against the apprenticeship system.  This i s the be-  ginning of c h i l d labour l e g i s l a t i o n and the forerunner of c h i l d protection laws. C h i l d labour was one of the e v i l s of the i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n . There was  3erious exploitation of children i n large m i l l s and workshops and  there was a persistent f i g h t f o r the r i g h t s of children and c h i l d labour reform. "Great e f f o r t was made to bring the c h i l d labour and compulsory education laws into harmony so that each would r e i n f o r c e the other".^ The story of c h i l d labour l e g i s l a t i o n shows how protection of children from some parents. century a new  the state began to take over the By the close of the nineteenth  conception of the o b l i g a t i o n of the state to provide general  protection f o r children was f i n d i n g recognition i n the United States and other countries. The use of free f o s t e r homes was at f i r s t i n a wholesale manner and then on a "one by one" basis with follow up supervision. At f i r s t there was a sympathetic, sometimes sentimental a t t i t u d e , where placement of children was concerned.  Stories are heard of young f o s t e r children singing at concerts  i n an e f f o r t to a t t r a c t foster parents and get a home. Gradually, because so many placements d i d not turn out s u c c e s s f u l l y . people began to examine the plan and ask "What does the c h i l d r e a l l y need?" This was the beginning of case records about the boarding out of children and 2 was designed to r e l i e v e the e v i l s of indenture. 1.  Ibid.  I t commenced to be recognized  p. 264  2. Indenture means that a child was bound out to some reputable family where as soon as he was able he was expected to earn h i s way u n t i l the age of 21.  that each c h i l d has different needs.  Thus began the gradual development of  the complete foster home study which i s undertaken i n reputable c h i l d - p l a c i n g agencies with high standards. The Home-Study In  the f i r s t years of foster home placements there was  little  emphasis on any supervision of the c h i l d after he was once placed, and i t seems apparent from s t o r i e s of that time that many of the c h i l d r e n placed were l o s t and never contacted again.  In recent days i t i s notable that  standards f o r f o s t e r family care emphasize not only placement but following casework supervision.  The C h i l d Welfare League of America recommends that  "There should be a continuous process of evaluation of the c h i l d ' s adjustment throughout the period of placement." It  1  i s also recommended i n the same pamphlet that "A home suitable  to the p a r t i c u l a r needs of each c h i l d should be selected f o r him and pre2 pared f o r h i s coming into i t . "  For a c h i l d who  cannot f i t into family l i f e  a small cottage-type i n s t i t u t i o n with a home-like atmosphere might w e l l be the answer.  So i t must not be assumed that every c h i l d can f i t himself comfortably  into a f o s t e r home. Although i t i s the hope that, through foster home care, agencies have come nearer to meeting a c h i l d ' s t o t a l needs, every s o c i a l worker knows that t h i s does not always prove to be the case.  I t i s i n an e f f o r t to d i s -  cover some of the causes of the termination of the use of c e r t a i n agency f o s t e r homes that t h i s study i s being done. The i n i t i a l choice of a f o s t e r home f o r a p a r t i c u l a r c h i l d i s most important.  By the time the c h i l d has reached the c h i l d placing agency he has  1. C h i l d Welfare League of America, Excerpts from Standards f o r Children's Organizations Providing Foster Family Care, New York, The League, 1947. P.7 2.  Ibid.  P.l  been taken from M s own home, faced the separation from h i s own parents, come to the new strange surroundings and people of the agency, and perhaps also the receiving home.  One of the main jobs of the homefinder i n the  agency i s the s e l e c t i o n and continuing maintenance of h e l p f u l f o s t e r homes. In most cases multiple placements of children i n f o s t e r homes are regarded as harmful to h i s t o t a l welfare. In the maintenance of foster homes the best basis i s the choosing of a s a t i s f a c t o r y home to begin with.  Some homes are judged by s k i l l e d  workers, f o r different reasons, to be incapable o f s a t i s f y i n g the child's needs and they must be refused.  For other reasons, homes once used are  closed. A great deal of time and e f f o r t goes into the f i n d i n g of a foster home, and such a home plays a large part i n shaping the l i f e of the c h i l d who comes to the Agency's care.  Therefore i t would seem good  business t o examine some of the homes which no longer work with the Agency i n an e f f o r t to discover reasons f o r t h e i r closing and to make some recommendations f o r possible future economy. This proposes then to be a study of 100 approved f o s t e r homes at Children's A i d Society of Vancouver which were closed f o r use i n the period September 1952 to June 1954. I t i s hoped to discover some e f f e c t i v e means of conserving more homes f o r a longer period of usefulness. Homefinding i n Children's A i d Society  1  VJhen the Children's A i d Society of Vancouver f i r s t  1901  came into being,  1. Angus, Ann Margaret, Children's A i d Society of Vancouver. B.C. - 1951. Vancouver, Children's A i d Society, 1952.  - 6 -  children were maintained i n large homes and i n s t i t u t i o n s , s i m i l a r to orphanages, u n t i l suitable free foster homes could be found f o r them.  The 1901  annual meeting reported that 29 children had been taken into care and planned for by the s o c i e t y .  The number of children i n care gradually  increased,  bring-  ing with i t the problem of r e c o n c i l i n g the expense of t h e i r care with the c o l l e c t i n g of s u f f i c i e n t money by the d i r e c t o r s . At that time children from any part of the province were sent to Vancouver f o r placement and no one was under obligation to pay f o r t h e i r maintenance, which was then raised mainly by charitable donations.  Other c h i l d r e n  were sent from Vancouver to f r e e foster homes i n a l l parts o f B r i t i s h Columbia where committees of l o c a l c i t i z e n s were foimed t o v i s i t wards i n foster homes and advise the Children's  A i d Society of t h e i r conditions.  Repeated repre-  sentation to the p r o v i n c i a l government of the need f o r f i n a n c i a l maintenance of a l l wards brought r e s u l t s when i n 1930 the t o t a l f i n a n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was assumed by the provincial government and was shared by m u n i c i p a l i t i e s in 1931. This action d i r e c t l y affected the position of foster homes as i t was the beginning o f a b i l i t y to guarantee board payment f o r a c h i l d . In the f i r s t three decades of the 1900*s a c h i l d placing committee did i t s utmost to f i n d suitable permanent free homes and, i n the case o f older boys and g i r l s , precautions were taken to t r y to ensure that they were not being used as unpaid labour. by l o c a l committees.  Supervision of a sort was  exercised  This same c h i l d placing committee went over a p p l i -  cations o f f e r i n g homes f o r children and about a t h i r d were refused year.  1  1. Minutes of the C h i l d Placing Committee Children's Society, Vancouver, B. C.  Aid  each  - 7 Children were kept at the agency's home on Wall Street u n t i l s u i t able f o s t e r homes were found.  Sometimes there was a tendency to keep the  older ones too long, perhaps because they were more d i f f i c u l t to place.  In  straitened times i t seemed hard to o f f e r free homes f o r older g i r l s and boys due  to the high cost of l i v i n g ,  and g i r l s .  fhare was a s t a t i c population of older boys  Sometimes there were boarders who l i v e d there i n d e f i n i t e l y and  without a future plan. During the 1920's the idea was developing that homes were better than i n s t i t u t i o n s i n caring f o r children.  Serious consideration to t h i s  was given by the Children's A i d Society and the recommendation was made a t annual meetings that attention be given to supervised f o s t e r homes rather than large i n s t i t u t i o n s t o care f o r c h i l d r e n . In 1927 interested c i t i z e n s of Vancouver, l e d by board members of the Children's A i d Society, requested an evaluation of the whole plan of c h i l d welfare i n the province with a view to i t s reorganization i n the i n t e r e s t s of better service to c h i l d r e n .  Miss Charlotte Whitton, then  ^Executive Secretary of the Canadian Council f o r C h i l d Welfare, was asked to undertake t h i s survey.  The survey committee, with members from service  clubs and s o c i a l agencies, was' asked to appoint an executive o f f i c e r to carry out recommendations of the survey report.  At that time there were no trained  professional workers a v a i l a b l e i n the province and, because of t h i s , s o c i a l workers from eastern Canada were consideredo Following the survey many recommendations f o r improved services to children were made.  Among other things, the members strongly urged that there  should be greater emphasis on e f f o r t s to keep children i n t h e i r own homes  - awhenever p o s s i b l e .  Up to t h i s time i n s t i t u t i o n a l care was emphasized rather  than boarding homes with casework services.  I t was stressed that, i f the  l a t t e r plan were u t i l i z e d , i t would not only improve the service to the c h i l d but would r e s u l t i n reduced expenditure f o r buildings. In 1925 there i s the f i r s t recorded mention of home-finding and a recognition of i t s importance.  In Miss Whitton's study of 1927 she s a i d i n  part "...and foster home placements were i n i l l repute i n B.C. as a l l are free or wage homes and supervision i s carried out i n a haphazard manner."  1  The survey recommended that c a r e f u l l y selected boarding homes be used and that the home study be done with the greatest care and consummate s k i l l .  The  survey recommended trained workers and a f o s t e r home scheme as opposed to i n s t i t u t i o n a l care. At f i r s t there was much opposition and part acceptance;  some c i t i -  zens and Children's A i d Society members thought an i n s t i t u t i o n was s t i l l the better place as there seemed no guarantee that children i n f o s t e r homes would receive proper care and attention*  However, Miss Laura Holland and her four  trained assistants who had come to B r i t i s h Columbia  from Ontario to carry out  survey recommendations of Miss Whitton, placed a l l the children i n paid boarding  homes except four who were placed i n i n s t i t u t i o n s and s i x placed i n indus-  t r i a l schools. Over a period of time the Children's A i d Society medical s t a f f , who examined the children i n foster homes, indicated that there was a great improvement i n t h e i r general well-being.  The foster home program was w e l l  launched by the end of 1928, although the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r care and maintenance of wards was only f i n a l l y accepted by the B r i t i s h Columbia  1.  op. c i t . , P. 28.  provincial  government i n 1930 and by the Vancouver c i t y council i n 1931. In 1930 Miss Holland t o l d the annual meeting of the Children's Aid  Society that a v i s i t o r could only adequately supervise 35 to 50 c h i l d -  ren i n foster homes while, at that time, workers were expected to be r e sponsible f o r approximately 80 children.  She recommended that an extra  worker be added to the s t a f f i n order to a t t a i n minimum standards. Between 1940 and 1946 f o s t e r homes became scarcer and three r e ceiving homes were established to help the s i t u a t i o n .  The agency s t a f f  members became keenly aware of the need i n Vancouver of supervised boarding homes f o r boys i n t h e i r f i r s t jobs who- could not meet the f u l l cost o f decent maintenance. Previous to 1928 homes were found and decided on by the c h i l d p l a c i n g committee.  Immediately a f t e r 1928 homefinding was done by a worker and volun-  teers, and a l l homes were approved by the c h i l d p l a c i n g committee.  Still  l a t e r , when s o c i a l workers were assigned to certain d i s t r i c t s , a worker d i d her own homefinding  i n her own area.  In some ways t h i s proved unsatisfactory  as a p p l i c a t i o n s were apt to be neglected f o r emergencies.  Also, i n some  d i s t r i c t s there was a more suitable supply of foster homes than there were i n other d i s t r i c t s .  For instance homefinders report that they f i n d fewer  foster homes i n the i n d u s t r i a l area than they do i n the section of the c i t y east of Ontario Street. A f t e r 1949 there was a f u l l time professional homefinder, and i n 1950 one other professional worker. home-finding  In 1954 there were four workers doing  under her supervision.  During the past f i f t y years the planning of the Children's A i d  - 10 Society f o r dependent children has swung over from i n s t i t u t i o n a l care to the use of foster home care f o r most children, with some exceptions when the c h i l d cannot f i t into a f o s t e r home. Along with t h i s change i n methods of c h i l d care come new  problems peculiar to t h i s plan.  Some of the Problems that A r i s e "In a technical sense home f i n d i n g consists i n discovering families w i l l i n g to accept one or more children f o r f o s t e r care, either without charge (for example, possible or prospective adoptive parents) or i n return f o r the 1 payment of stipulated sums f o r the board of the  child.  n  Miss P h y l l i s Burns, secretary of the Canadian Welfare Council, spoke about foster home-finding at the Children's A i d Society on February 5,  1953.  At that time she observed: "The f a c t s t i l l remains that i n most of our c h i l d placing agencies there i s an inadequate supply of the kind of homes we would l i k e to have.  I t i s also generally conceded that once you are able to estab-  l i s h the f e e l i n g that t h i s i s a s a t i s f y i n g job f o s t e r parents r e c r u i t foster  new.  parents." Taking a c h i l d into one's home i s fraught with d i f f i c u l t y .  Not  a l l children have the capacity to take on the r e l a t i o n s h i p that i s required 2 i n a f o s t e r family. rather than to give.  They cannot respond and they expect to be given to To f o s t e r parents the most disturbing of t h e i r ex-  pressions of unhappiness are enuresis, s t e a l i n g and sex problems. So f o s t e r home service cannot meet the needs of a l l children and i n the attempt to do so l i e s one of the causes of the breakdown of many f o s t e r homes. Press, New  To o f f s e t t h i s some agencies experiment with temporary homes  1. K l e i n , P h i l i p , A S o c i a l Study of Pittsburgh, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y York, 1938, P. 687. 2.  Hichman, l o c . c i t .  - 11 to determine whether or not disturbed children and their parents can take placement.  The effectiveness of foster homes w i l l be enhanced i n d i r e c t  r a t i o to our understanding and s k i l l i n determining what children can best benefit by this form of care. In the past i t was the practice f o r agencies to stress altruisms as "Foster parents are considered mercenary when they request compensation commensurate with t h e i r service.""*" Mr. Richman expresses the view "foster parents who  are rendering a service to the community as w e l l as to a par-  t i c u l a r agency should expect reasonable compensation f o r actual costs and service."  Most s o c i a l workers agree with t h i s opinion but the problem that  arises i s the one of added cost to budgets.  I t i s a long and d i f f i c u l t pro-  cess to increase board rates and yet i f low board rates exist and there i s a high turn-over i n f o s t e r homes, a poor impression i s created about being foster parents. Again, sometimes foster parents f e e l resentful that they put so much into the care of a c h i l d and then must give him up.  They have been  aware of t h i s a l l along but i t i s part of the d i f f i c u l t y of the job that the f i n a l parting comes as a p a i n f u l experience. give up.  Some f i n d i t too hard and  Some f i n d i t impossible to give enough of t h e i r feelings and  warmth under these conditions and conclude they cannot continue to care for foster children. Some of the d i f f i c u l t i e s which foster parents f i n d concern foster childrens  1  parents.  Foster parents f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to give up children.  They wish to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s not t h e i r own. of discouragement  1.  There are often periods  and i f they do not get s a t i s f a c t i o n i n some form they w i l l  Ibid.  p.8  - 12 -  terminate the r e l a t i o n s h i p with the agency. Foster homes wear out too f a s t by overcrowding.  There may  be  lack of consideration f o r f o s t e r parents and they are not helped enough at f i r s t and at the time of c r i s i s .  Foster parents become discouraged by  an e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t c h i l d and the extra laundry b i l l ;  they become i l l  and have to give up children sometimes only temporarily. Because of these s p e c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s "the agency owes to f o s t e r parents regular and continuing case work help to support them i n t h i s con1 f l i c t as well as i n other areas."  Even then some foster parents cannot  work w e l l under supervision, and because they f e e l that t h i s casework s e r v i c e i s interference these people stop serving the agency.  An obser-  vation i s that "foster parents can accept and use such help only within 2 the framework of a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p with the caseworker."  This  implies that homefinders and workers must have s u f f i c i e n t time and to form these r e l a t i o n s h i p s and to o f f e r casework help.  skill  In agencies where  workers have large and a c t i v e caseloads t h i s i s hard to do i n every case and f o s t e r parents may  be l e f t to manage alone, while something more press-  ing takes up the worker's time. Casework S k i l l s i n Use of Foster Homes Suitable foster homes are valuable i n a c h i l d p l a c i n g agency but i t i s sometimes hard to remember that, once found they should be used economically.  "As i n a l l casework s i t u a t i o n s , diagnosis and evaluation both  of c h i l d and foster parents are a continuous process serving a t the outset to help us select the r i g h t home f o r the c h i l d , and l a t e r guiding the t r e a t ment plan and determining the casework s k i l l s to be used to maintain the placement."  T.  3  Ibid.  pTll  "  —  —  2. I b i d . p.12 3. KLine, Draza and Overstreet, Helen Mart, Maintaining Foster Homes Through Casework S k i l l s . N a t i o n a l Conference of S o c i a l Work,New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press,1948, p.340  - 13 Speaking of continuing casework Dorothy Hutchinson says "Really e f f i c i e n t evaluation w i l l only take place a f t e r a c h i l d i s placed and the foster parent i s a c t i v e l y engaged i n the new r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . "  1  She con-  cludes that agencies "must not expect t o f i n d perfect homes f o r there a r e none and they should remember that a l l foster parents ... are a l i t t l e 2 neurotic even as we a l l a r e . "  Other writers maintain that "the educible  f o s t e r parents who make homes f o r disturbed children need s p e c i a l under3 standing and care."  There i s also the necessity to r e a l i z e that "other  f o s t e r parents need but cannot use casework s e r v i c e s .  In these instances  the caseworker's s k i l l l i e s i n her a b i l i t y to make such an evaluation, and then to exert s p e c i a l care to place only a c h i l d who f i t s into the home as 4 i t i s , since we cannot expect the f o s t e r parents to change."  tt These same writers also emphasize that the preplacement preparation of foster parents plays an essential r o l e i n determining the success of the placement."  Agencies are under great pressure so use f o s t e r homes too soon.  They also use them before the c h i l d i s known w e l l enough.  Often t h i s has to  be done because the c h i l d needs immediate shelter and there are no such temporary provisions.  These homes have to be used as an expediency measure and  perhaps not f o r t h e i r most useful purpose. "Another f a c t o r which tends to interfere with the caseworker's  g application of s k i l l s i s her i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the c h i l d . " 1. Hutchinson, Dorothy, Homefinding Trends, Child Welfare, Journal of the C h i l d Welfare League of America, New York. V o l . XXXEI, May 1953. 2. I b i d . 3. KLine and Overstreet, op. c i t . , p. 341. 4. I b i d . p. 340, 5. I b i d . p. 342. 6. I b i d . p. 341.  - 14 The agency's purpose i s of course to see primarily to the welfare of the c h i l d , but sometimes the worker makes t h i s f e l t so urgently that she forgets that the foster parent i s a person interested i n the c h i l d too.  The worker  needs to remember that "to be of p o s i t i v e value t o the c h i l d , we need to become adept at meeting the feelings of the foster parents, and recognizing when they are psychologically ready to l e a r n . "  1  I t sometimes takes a long  time to r e a l i z e that while " a l l children have the same basic needs ... the need to love and to be loved, the need to be secure and the need to achieve," yet "not a l l children can take love from f o s t e r parents or give i t i n return. The main problems that arise i n maintaining foster homes seem to be around the s c a r c i t y of a supply of homes, the evaluation of the homes used and the use of approved foster homes.  4  This study concerns foster homes  which have terminated service with the agency, i n the hope that some l i g h t may be thrown on reasons f o r homes c l o s i n g .  1.  Ibid.  p. 342.  2.  Richman, op. c i t . p. 11.  3.  Ibid.  - 15 -  CHAPTER I I  FOSTER CARE PROGRAMME OF CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF VANCQU7ER, B.C.  Present Programme P o l i c y In Foster Home Plaoement "One of the functions of a Children's A i d Society o r other c h i l d ren's agency i s to provide temporary or permanent care f o r children who can 1 no longer be cared f o r i n their own homes."  I t i s generally agreed that  f o r many younger children the best type o f substitute care i s offered by f o s t e r parents who care f o r them i n t h e i r own home.  Care on t h i s boarding  basis i s paid f o r at a c e r t a i n rate by the agency, which r a t e usually covers food, with c l o t h i n g and medical care supplied extra.  The boarding r a t e  generally varies with the age of the c h i l d and the r a t e f o r older c h i l d r e n i s increased.  I t i s based on the actual expenses involved and does not as  a r u l e reimburse the foster parents f o r s e r v i c e s .  A sound f o s t e r home  programme requires a l l types of f o s t e r parents of d i f f e r e n t ages, o f varied i n t e r e s t s , and i n various s i t u a t i o n s ; Foster parents assume a large r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the child's t o t a l well being.  So i t i s of the utmost importance that i n coming to a decision  about using a prospective foster home the f o c a l point i s the p a r t i c u l a r need of the children f o r whom the agency i s wanting foster homes.  * Stubbins, Lorene, "Foster Home Care" Canadian Welfare Council Ottawa, 1951, p . l . 1  - 16  The Home-Study Process The aim of the agency*s Homefinding Department i s to meet the needs of any c h i l d removed from h i s own home.  home who  requires a f o s t e r  I t i s an art or s k i l l which involves a home study made by the  s o c i a l worker.  I t i s b a s i c a l l y a process of getting to know people  well enough so that i t can be determined whether or not any p a r t i c u l a r family i s suitable as a f o s t e r home f o r any c h i l d .  This resource i s  expected to provide homes f o r a l l the kinds of children who care. new  come into  I t involves provision f o r a shelter, a treatment service, and  permanent family f o r the c h i l d who  needs to become part of  a  one.  In r e a l i t y children cannot be categorized but each has p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l needs which must be met The homefinding section  by the i n d i v i d u a l f o s t e r homes. 1  finds a l l f o s t e r boarding homes  except the ones that children f i n d f o r themselves or s p e c i a l ones which workers f i n d .  Boarding homes are temporary or permanent.  basic aim i s eventually to have a choice of homes.  The  In that case i t  i s most important to know the needs of the workers i n each of the geographic units into which the Children's A i d Society t e r r i t o r y i s divided. Homes must be found f o r children r e q u i r i n g temporary, per* manent, or i n d e f i n i t e care with or without family contacts.  For  instance, short or sometimes long term care i s provided for the who  child  i s a victim of such a c r i s i s as the mother taken ill»  1. 'Homefinder" & "homefinding s e c t i o n " throughout t h i s study r e f e r to those of the Children's A i d Society, Vancouver, B.C*  - 17 When she makes a home study the homefinder aims mainly a t f i n d i n g homes which approach the normal i n family l i f e and. l i v i n g ; However although the home study i s done on the b a s i s of the general needs of children, the choosing of a c h i l d s home should be a p a r t i c f  ular study.  So i n the home study homefinders discuss children i n  general with applicants, even though they may use a p a r t i c u l a r child's story to i l l u s t r a t e . aged Chinese g i r l .  She may speak of the need f o r a home f o r a teenNot necessarily w i l l this produce such a home, but  i t may r e s u l t i n f i n d i n g one f o r another c h i l d . In order to understand homefinding i t i s necessary to know what we are aiming f o r i n a home. be f u l f i l l e d  Every c h i l d has needs which must  i f he i s to develop into a s a t i s f a c t o r y adult.  There-  fore some homes which are not average and normal might meet the needs of a p a r t i c u l a r c h i l d and be u s e f u l . Good parents meet the need f o r a f f e c t i o n by t h e i r r e l a t i o n ship with the c h i l d i n the home.  Other emotional needs are met by  g i v i n g him a share i n family work and play.  By l e t t i n g him make some  of h i s own decisions and encouraging him i n school work and other worthwhile tasks they help him to stand on h i s own f e e t .  They give  him praise and show confidence i n him; Foster parents must have additional s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s to meet the s p e c i a l needs of f o s t e r children. of  In addition to the needs  children i n t h e i r own home, the f o s t e r c h i l d needs to be convinced  that he has a place i n the home and hearts of the f o s t e r parents. Moreover, the f o s t e r c h i l d needs understanding and help i n r e l a t i o n  - 18 to h i s sensitivityjab.Qut placement and h i s f e e l i n g s of discrimination* Ee needs help with h i s mixed feelings of resentment against h i s own parents coupled with divided l o y a l t i e s and c o n f l i c t s .  He needs help  and understanding to meet the emotional shock of separation from h i s own home; he also must face what h i s past experiences and deprivations have meant to him. In order t o meet these problems, f o s t e r parents must have s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s i n addition to those of any good parent.  They must  accept and recognize that no matter how fond they become of a f o s t e r c h i l d he can never be t h e i r own;  and yet they must f e e l a reasonable  possessiveness which results from genuine a f f e c t i o n .  They must have  the a b i l i t y to face f a c t s r e a l i s t i c a l l y and should not f e e l hurt i f the c h i l d does not accept them completely. Ideally f o s t e r parents should not resent the natural parents f o r t h e i r claims on the c h i l d .  They w i l l need to recognize that the  child's love must be waited f o r - not taken f o r granted as with natural children.  In short, they must r e a l i z e that being a f o s t e r parent means  that they must have many special q u a l i t i e s added to those of good own parentso Homefinders f e e l that there should be two parents of a s u i t able age generally young enough to have been able to have n a t u r a l l y the c h i l d placed. who  These parents should be understanding, warm-hearted adults  l i v e happily together.  Foster parents' ages are factors i n terms of  health and the duration of placement.  I t i s desirable, as f a r as possible,  to avoid replacements, and so placement should be where the c h i l d can secure normal family care f o r as long as he needs i t .  Thus people  who  - 19 -  are i n t h e i r s i x t i e s are not encouraged to foster young children as a permanent plan. Exceptions to the rule of a home with two parents are where the c h i l d has special problems or needs a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Per-  haps at times a c h i l d benefits from an "aunt" "grandparent" r e l a t i o n f o r a s p e c i f i e d length of time; sometimes he needs a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n ship with one parent and here widows have a r e a l contribution.  Such a  home might also be used f o r emergency care f o r short periods of time where health i s good and age does not interfere with the c h i l d ' s normal activities.  Also i n such a case kindness and warmth i s very important*  The situation must be c a r e f u l l y assessed i n terms of both the c h i l d and the foster parents. In s p e c i a l cases single women are used as foster parents when an "aunt" relationship i s desirable but t h i s i s usually a r e l a t i v e . Such arrangements are f o r short periods of care by competent, mature women. At the Children's Aid Society the Foster Home Committee has a twofold purpose, f i r s t l y that of interpretation and l i a i s o n between community and professional persons, bringing to both and giving back to both; secondly i t proposes to give d i r e c t i o n of programme, a s s i s t i n g i n implementing programmes needed, and laying down p o l i c y as to how these needs should be met. • Recently  1  t h i s committee recommended that an exception be  made to the standard rule of a home with two parents.  These homes are  to be chosen on the basis of careful selection and discrimination. 1. Minutes of Committee on Foster Homes and Adoptions, Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, May 21st 1954.  They  -  2 0  -  propose t o be used f o r emergency type of care f o r short periods of time and the homes should measure up t o usual standards of p h y s i c a l and emotional care. The Agency's present p o l i c y concerning boarding home rates paid i s that higher rates are paid f o r temporary care of babies than f o r permanent care.  This i s done i n the b e l i e f that the former does  not b r i n g with i t the same s a t i s f a c t i o n s that come to f o s t e r parents who  o f f e r a c h i l d a permanent home.  This d i s t i n c t i o n has not yet been  made between older children as they are generally i n care on a more permanent b a s i s .  A l l c h i l d - c a r i n g agencies seem t o be f a c i n g t h i s same  problem of whether or not t o pay f o r services.  In t h i s agency the prob-  lem i s now met by paying s p e c i a l rates, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n reference to c h i l d ren with severe medical problems and f o r emotionally disturbed c h i l d r e n . Recently a sub-committee of the f o s t e r home committee has been set up t o study board r a t e s . As an a r t or s k i l l , homefinding involves basic minimum c r i t e r i a i n the e f f o r t to assess the value of each home. The applicants must be respectable; the income must be adequate t o care f o r the c h i l d ; f o s t e r parents must be young enough t o give care f o r the length of time necessary and to avoid replacements; health must be reasonably good t o ensure that replacements w i l l be avoided f o r t h i s reason.  I d e a l l y there should  be two parents i n the home but there are exceptions i n the case of c h i l d ren who require s p e c i a l homes.  One example might be the neurotic c h i l d  who needs a motherly widow or a grandparent  relationship.  Before a f o s t e r home i s accepted the Children's Aid Society homefinder checks references a f t e r having seen f o s t e r parents together  - 21 and separately and having made at least one home v i s i t t o the whole family.  U n t i l September 1952 a committee gave t h e i r f i n a l d e c i s i o n t o the  approval of a f o s t e r home but since that date they have given consultant advice only on doubtful homes, Foster parents who board a c h i l d under the age of seven i n Vancouver require a c i t y permit costing one d o l l a r , and renewable each year.  Sanitary and f i r e regulations require that there s h a l l be no  dual occupancy which includes boarders and basement suites i n f o s t e r homes.  There should be no overcrowding and t h i s means adequate room  space and a separate bed f o r each c h i l d . ensure good p h y s i c a l care.  Housekeeping standards should  Wiring, heating and plumbing must be i n safe  condition. After the child's placement, f o s t e r parents sign an agreement which i s a contract between the agency and themselves regarding boarding of the c h i l d .  I t requires that the caseworker be. informed of changes i n  the home and i n the health of the c h i l d . from boarding other children p r i v a t e l y .  Foster parents are discouraged I t has been found from exper-  ience that t h i s leads t o d i f f i c u l t i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y because of the cont r a s t between children with and without responsible parents.  This agree-  ment includes s p e c i f i c a l l y the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and r i g h t s of both agency and f o s t e r parents with emphasis on treatment of the f o s t e r c h i l d as a member of the family. Placement Planning In order t o use t h i s f o s t e r home t o best advantage, a caseworker v i s i t s the home at i n t e r v a l s before and a f t e r the c h i l d i s placed. She  - 22 offers professional assistance to the foster parents while asking them to follow certain agency policies and regulations,, It i s hoped that a frank working relationship will be established amongst the three involved, namely, the child, the foster family and the social worker. The caseworker chooses a home which she thinks particularly suits the child to be placed and then plans for the placement well ahead of time through a pre-placement conference, preparatory talks and visits with child and his parents, and the foster family. This preparation cannot take place in emergency placements, but the latter should occur rarely and only when unavoidable. Board is paid by cheque, and continues regularly at the middle of the month following which the child has been placed. Half the usual board payments are paid for the first ten days a child is at camp, and f u l l board payments are made for the first seven days of a child's stay in hospital. AH clothing is supplied by the agency by means of a voucher system with foster mother purchasing the clothing at any one of several department stores in and near Vancouver. Out of the Family Allowance the Agency pays $4.00 monthly for an increase in the basic boarding home rate. The balance is kept in a trust account for the child's special use. If the placement i s likely to continue, a l l the Family Allowance may be sent directly after the first year to the foster parents to provide benefits not included in ordinary maintenance. Rental of school books is paid for from Agency funds. Some larger school items may be provided for from Fami l y Allowance trust funds. Children in the care of the Agency are covered for medical, surgical, dental including orthodontic and optical needs, besides drugs.  - 23 They are encouraged to have religious training and are expected to attend school regularly and the schools are encouraged to deal with them as they would with children and natural parents. "The foster parent, the school and the social worker are a team working in the best interests of the child,, In most school matters the foster parents should be dealt with by the school as in the case of natural parents. If, for some reason, this does not seem advisable the social worker may recommend otherwise. The school should always feel free to ask for the social worker's participation.  11  1  In many situations children keep in touch with their own parents so plans for visits with them are talked over with foster parents beforehand. Sometimes, i f convenient, the parents visit in the foster home, but i f this does not work out, office visits are arranged. If a placement has to be terminated, the caseworker discusses this as far in advance as possible with the foster family. In turn, i f foster parents wish to discontinue, the Agency likes to know soon i n order to plan for the child. The Foster home agreement states in part: They shall maintain the child in their care so long as both parties hereto are satisfied with this arrangement; should they desire to return the child they shall give to the Society two weeks' notice of their intention so to do.  ;  2  Special Problems in Availability of Foster Homes The selection and continuing supply of enough foster homes,within the limitations of agency policy and standards, from the applicants who want to be foster parents i s the total homefinding job.  1. April 1953. 2.  Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, B.C., Policy Manual, Children's Aid Society Form F.H. k  - 24 -  ular."  1  The development of "homefinding "has been spasmodic and irregThe methods used vary from place to place and agency to agency.  However, one thing most child-placing agencies have in common is a general shortage of foster homes, "There are times when the need for homes is so much greater than the supply that the agency may experience a sense 2 of hopelessness," The major selection problem is generally one of scarcity; homefinders agree that there are just never enough homes since approximately sixteen to eighteen out of every twenty applicants are rejected for obvious .3 reasons. During the month of April 1954, which is considered an average month for foster home applicants, the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver received 130 applications. Out of these 82 were withdrawn or immediately rejected(63,08$); 12 were awaiting decision; 22 were uninvestigated; 14(10.77$) were approved for use. If only the 63.08$ were considered the total unapproved homes could then only possibly: be  36,*92$  accepted. It is also quite likely  that of the 10.77$ already approved one or two may s t i l l withdraw. The fact is clear that most child placing agencies have an inadequate supply of the right kind of foster homes.  1. Hutchinson, Dorothy, In Quest o f Foster Parents, New York; Columbia University Press, 1943, p.3. 2. F i s h , C*, Some Practices i n Home Finding, New York; Child Welfare League of America, 1942,p,30. 3. Burns, P h y l l i s , speaking at Children's Aid Society o f Vancouver on February 5> 1953, said that 80$ or more was considered an average number of rejections i n Canadian c h i l d - p l a c i n g agencies.  Table 1. CMIdren's Aid Society of Vancouver, B.C. Placement Picture from Sept.1952 to June 1954  Date  Admissions  x True Placements  Discharges  Children in Foster Homes  Foster Homes Applications ulosed In Use & Reopenings Foster Homes .  1952  Sept Oct Nov Dec i _ i Jan Feb Mar Apr MayJune July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June  29 35 36  27 22 38  __. 131  _  45 37 31 25 21 31  26  44 30 20 21 _>  30  60 67 62  48 26 26 _  52 31 43 _t6  35 £1  169  40C  882 879  882 882  605  870 853 862 847 846 836 825  272  839 840 834 848 847 838  41  41  203  1  41 54 47 £8  875 873 877  40  39 37  33  191  55 3_  47 48 58 51  20 26 38  24 37 33 45  23 22  13i  24  367  880  41  41 31 29  32  884  37  (Average 859)  554 546 559 570  31 24  570 557 556 530 566 559 538 543 551 548 537 536  23  530 529 543 539 522  ... (Average 547]  19 22 30 34  26 20  23 18  22 22 20 22 21 9 15 32 17 19 19  19 11 7 24  28 25 65  .40  20:: 19 11 23 20 20 59  25 19 29 30  23  25.  493  _i  560  x True placement means any permanent placement of a child into a foster home, and does not include a hospital stay, a camp holiday, placement in a subsidized boarding home, or any short temporary move.  - 26 The Agency's placement job i s d i f f i c u l t t o describe a l l y as there are some nebulous f a c t o r s .  statistic-  During the period from Septem-  ber 1952 to June 1954 i n c l u s i v e , 689 children were admitted t o care and. 735 c h i l d r e n were discharged from care.  However some of the c h i l d r e n a l -  ready i n care were replaced t o other f o s t e r or adoption homes. of true placements during t h i s period studied was  The number  1,046. The average  number of children i n f o s t e r homes during each month was 859 and the average number of homes i n use during each month was 547. During t h i s time there were 493 f o s t e r home applications and r e openings ( t h i s does not mean homes approved f o r use) and 560 homes were closed (this includes applications used and unused homes).  As f i g u r e s  f o r approved homes during t h i s period are not a v a i l a b l e , assume that 20$, a high percentage, i s approved f o r use.  This would r e s u l t i n 98.6 o r 99  new approved homes. During t h i s same period there were approximately 100 closed used homes so that t h i s number p r a c t i c a l l y equals the number o f new approved homes. These figures mean l i t t l e unless the kind of placement requests are known, whether they were f o r w e l l c h i l d r e n , c h i l d r e n i n need of prolonged medical treatment, babies or older boys and g i r l s , w e l l adjusted or emotionally upset c h i l d r e n . provided f o r 1,046  I n d i v i d u a l l y suited f o s t e r homes had t o be  children during the period studied.  Hcmiefinding departments do not always a t t r a c t the r i g h t f o s t e r parents i n the f i r s t place f o r f i n a n c i a l as w e l l as many other reasons. "With some f o s t e r parents there i s pressure t o increase board rates and the request bears consideration.  Increasingly s o c i a l work thinking i s  modifying from suspicion of such motives t o a frank examination." ^  1. Ibid  Why should foster parents not ask to be paid f o r service rendered. S o c i a l workers who were once i n c l i n e d to question the motives of applicants interested i n the f i n a n c i a l aspect of boarding children, f i n d that this a t t i t u d e can be examined more f r u i t f u l l y when there i s a good r e l a t i o n s h i p between foster parents and worker.  This indicates  s k i l l on the part of the worker i n giving supportive help i f rates cannot be raised. In Ontario i n 1953 York County Children's A i d Society decided not to increase board rates but to increase the s t a f f as a means of improved s e r v i c e .  In Toronto where board rates have been increased, a l l  the child-placing agencies i n that c i t y should f i n d the answers to the questions, "To what extent i s the job not worthwhile f i n a n c i a l l y ? " w i l l i t affect the supply of foster homes?"  •Bow  Board rates should be high  enough so that foster parents w i l l not only not be asked to subsidize but also that they w i l l be paid f o r s e r v i c e . "If there i s an a t t r a c t i v e board r a t e a value i s attached to the job done; otherwise we demean the status of the Job."  1  I t would be  i n t e r e s t i n g to note what would happen i n terms of a v a i l a b i l i t y i f a better than average rate were o f f e r e d . Homefinders f i n d d i f f i c u l t y i n a t t r a c t i n g professional o r semiprofessional people whom they wish to r e c r u i t , as these persons are sometimes not interested because they f e e l the job i s not i n good repute. In certain areas boarding of children does not have community approval perhaps due to one unfortunate unfavourable experience.  B i l l , aged 9, an  agency ward whose own parents had separated, responded to placement with  1.  Ibid.  - 28 an i n a b i l i t y to l i k e h i s new foster-parents. He continually ran away and sometimes was found and brought back by the p o l i c e .  Radio announce-  ments asked help i n finding him. Friends and neighbours may  conclude  from t h i s that the job i s too d i f f i c u l t and f i l l e d with anxiety. Another basic problem i n foster home operation i s the "own family contacts."  This needs to be c a r e f u l l y observed so that a c h i l d ' s  parents do not impose on the f o s t e r parents' home l i f e beyond t h e i r convenience.  This can be controlled through the worker.  I f i t i s too not-  iceable to the point of possessiveness of a temporary f o s t e r - c h i l d , the foster home should be re-evaluated. Perhaps, because of the s c a r c i t y of a v a i l a b l e foster homes there i s not enough preparation f o r the job o f being f o s t e r parents* They are needed so urgently and are used too soon.  A disturbed c h i l d  may be placed and then these people are sometimes l e f t to work out the problem by themselves.  They may not have been forewarned that with  many foster children return of a f f e c t i o n i s usually slow i n coming due to former experiences. Foster children have t h e i r own peculiar problems which are not the same as those of natural c h i l d r e n .  For instance there are the matters  of h i s relationships to h i s own parents, to h i s foster parents and to the new community i n which he now l i v e s .  I f help i s not given i n these areas,  some foster parents give up the struggle as too much f o r them. In some communities f o s t e r home care i s not recognized as a service but censure i s quick when something goes wrong.  I f there i s not  enough support from the beginning, foster parents w i l l be i n c l i n e d to give up the job as not worthwhile.  » 29 Homefinders have found that " d i f f i c u l t to place" c h i l d r e n present the greatest challenge* In t h i s group the rejected, emotionally disturbed c h i l d i s the most troublesome and least understood* controlled and conforming  One boy, Bob, aged 10, shy, over-  had parents who are divorced and no longer  interested i n him.  He f e e l s but cannot express h i s anxiety about what  w i l l happen to him.  I t w i l l take him a long time to t r u s t these new  parents enough to r i s k showing them a f f e c t i o n * A s p e c i a l problem i s the f i n d i n g of a foster home f o r the teen** ager who does not f i t i n t o the average home*  Present day thinking points  to more consideration o f the group l i v i n g home or subsidized boarding home f o r these children but t h i s i s a service f o r which we must pay more* The 1  questions to be answered are "Can t h i s c h i l d adjust i n a f o s t e r home?** "If so can a home be found to meet his needs?" Other children who are often i n need of f o s t e r care are those g mentally retarded who are not e l i g i b l e f o r Woodlands School.  To the  majority of foster parents t h i s group of children do not o f f e r enough s a t i s f a c t i o n i n return f o r care given. with s p e c i a l patience and understanding.  They require more supervision A minority of people w i l l agree  to board them and then often expect a higher board rate*  However one  agency foster mother has cared f o r three boys classed as d u l l normal, f o r several years, and has managed to give them a f e e l i n g of t h e i r own worth, and that t h i s i s their home.  They are adjusting w e l l and t h e i r  1. Reid, Aubrey, Placement F a c i l i t i e s f o r Teen Age Boys i n C.A.S. Vancouver. M.S.W. Thesis, 1953. 2. B r i t i s h Columbia p r o v i n c i a l r e s i d e n t i a l school f o r mentally defective children.  30 -  attainments are i n keeping with c a p a c i t i e s . Homes must be found f o r a c h i l d of mixed r a c i a l background, babies awaiting adoption, an abandoned baby who ren  needs emergency care.  Some c h i l d -  are abandoned and taken to police s t a t i o n by neighbours when there i s no  parent to be found, so must be planned f o r without delay.  The rare instance  of physical cruelty to a c h i l d on the part of parents, where the c h i l d must be immediately removed, means that a f o s t e r home must be a v a i l a b l e f o r him at that time and there can be no waiting. There i s the p h y s i c a l l y handicapped  c h i l d , such as a c h i l d with  cancer, an e p i l e p t i c boy, a g i r l with cerebral palsy or a deaf c h i l d .  Alice,  8, a l i v e l y red-haired g i r l of a t t r a c t i v e appearance and superior i n t e l l i g e n c e spent her pre-school days i n a f o s t e r home which she now regards as her only home. Now  at school age she attends the School f o r the Deaf during the week  and goes home every weekend and on holidays. Some children come from suburban areas to Vancouver f o s t e r homes while receiving s p e c i a l medical treatment.  I t has been the practice of the  homefinding department to advertise i n d i v i d u a l l y f o r a s p e c i a l home f o r such a c h i l d . On June 25, 1954, the following advertisement was placed i n the c l a s s i f i e d section of the Vancouver Sun: PROTESTANT SOCIAL AGENCY REQUIRES FOSTER HOMES FOR HANDICAPPED CHILDREN Help them help themselves by giving them normal family l i v i n g . Martin, age 6, cannot walk now, but w i l l be helped to walk with the encouragement of understanding foster parents. He i s a t t r a c t i v e and cheerful and there will be sati s f a c t i o n i n helping a c h i l d who r e a l l y needs you. Agency pays s p e c i a l board, supplies clothing and medical care. Apply Box 1643,Sun.  - 31 Results from t h i s advertisement were not considered successful.  From the thirteen r e p l i e s received a suitable home was not found  f o r Martin although i t i s possible that from the applicants a t l e a s t one or two foster-homes were l a t e r used f o r other children.  From time  to time such advertisements are placed i n the paper and along with other methods are a gradual means of interpretation of the need f o r foster homes. Because of the shortage of f o s t e r homes a problem sometimes a r i s e s when a home does not meet p o l i c y standards, but has many other values which make the application most acceptable from a l l other aspects. The question then becomes one of whether sound p o l i c y which has been set down f o r good reason should ever be deviated from and whether because of need of homes exceptions should be made.  For instance basement bedrooms  f o r foster children have not been acceptable and otherwise s a t i s f a c t o r y homes have been refused f o r t h i s reason. Related to the problem of keeping homes i s the problem of keeping homefinders.  "It i s no accident that homefinders themselves are hard  to f i n d and once found, hard to keep.  There are r e a l reasons f o r t h i s . "  1  The homefinder must be a p a r t i c u l a r l y mature person, with s k i l l i n diagnosing the complex motives of applicants, with knowledge and precision i n coming to a decision as soon as p o s s i b l e . She does not have the s a t i s faction of a long term (contact, with her c l i e n t and there i s always pressure to produce homes f o r c h i l d r e n who so badly need them.  She must f e e l  conviction when a c l i e n t i s refused.  1. Hutchinson, Dorothy, In ^uest of Foster Parents, Columbia University Press, New York, 1943, P.5.  - 32 Scarcity of enough suitable foster homes to meet the basic needs of every c h i l d who comes into foster home care i s the main problem of homefinding departments.  Once a foster home has been chosen i t s c l o s -  ing f o r other than p r a c t i c a l reasons may be because of many reasons. Community misunderstanding and lack of status i n the job can prevent desirable people from applying at a l l .  F i n a n c i a l d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n also deters another  group who would make good f o s t e r parents,  lack of agency support e s p e c i a l l y  around the time of placement and c r i s e s w i l l cause homes to close when they might otherwise have continued.  Overcrowding has caused some f o s t e r parents  to f e e l that the job i s too hard.  Invasion of the home by many workers and  the child's parents caused others to close t h e i r home f o r f o s t e r home use. 'Multiple placements of a c h i l d i n foster homes are regarded by s o c i a l workers as harmful to the c h i l d . "  1  So, apart from the f i n a n c i a l l o s s ,  the e x p l i c i t reasons f o r closed f o s t e r homes w i l l be examined with the hope of better future service t o children i n foster homes.  1. E l l i s , Vivian, Multiple Placements of Foster M.S.W. Thesis, 1949, p. 28.  Children,  CHAPTER 3 An Analysis of Reasons Why Homes Closed Daring the period ohosen for study, September 1952 to May 1954, 105 approved used for study.  x  homes were closed and 100 of these have been chosen  Five were omitted as information was incomplete or circumstan-  ces changed suddenly so home was never used.  Some of these homes were  chosen by the agency, and in some others service was terminated by the foster parents.  The following i s an examination of factors i n their clos-  ing and their service to the agency. Only the most noticeable reasons w i l l be explored but i t i s understood that there are other corollary factors such as intense religious interest and occupation, which w i l l not be treated here except i f outstanding.  The purpose i s to indicate  future direction in the availability and use of foster homes. Table I I Total Used Foster Homes Closed..••••• •• Closed because of change i n foster family plans •• Closed as unsuitable for further service to agency  100 x .35 .65  Of the one hundred homes examined 35 were closed because of a change in plan on the part of foster parents, and 65 were considered no longer suitable to serve the agency. However, i t must be understood that in some cases where homes are unsatisfactory foster parents are encouraged to withdraw and the agency i s satisfied to close the home. In other cases, when satisfactory foster parents terminate their service with the agency,  s "used"- means child placed there. x Source - Children's Aid Society, Vancouver, B.C. records a l l quotations in this chapter,are from these records.  i t i s with regret that the agency closes the homes. So in classifying these homes this thought has been in mind* It i s sometimes d i f f i c u l t to t e l l exactly why foster parents terminate service.  Often i t i s less embarrassing to give a practical  reason for a deeper feeling of discomfort. Based upon the written records, categories have been made to designate the apparent reasons for the closing of these homes* •>  Table III Reasons for Foster Homes Closing Has own or adopted child ..« 6 Moved away ••.•••••.••••»••...........•........•••••••.13 Want permanent or adoption 12 Special for 1 child * 4 Total  .35  Non-acceptance of foster children and their parents ...25 Overcrowding « . . . o . * * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Difficult behaviour of foster children.... 10 Financial only • * 4 Marital d i f f i c u l t y ......•*• .4 Non-acceptance of agency *•»•••*..... ••••• 1 Accommodation 4 Age • 3 Health (includes pregnancy) 6 Working ••••••• 1 Total  ...........65  In the f i r s t group of Table III, 35 homes were closed for service with the agency for apparently practical reasons.  Six families,  now with own or adoptive children gave up caring f o r foster children, as they felt they had enough to do in caring f o r their own* 13 families moved away; 12 wanted only a permanent plan or a child on adoption basis.  - 35 It should be explained here that the latter twelve homes are transferred to the adoption department so are not lost to agency use*  Four were  special homes for a particular child and were not available for the use of any other*  These four homes should be i n a special category and not  listed as agency resources* Care of Natural or Adoptive Children (6) T»o foster families which f i r s t requested adoption took some children to board for temporary care while waiting* After placement of children on an adoption basis these homes were not available for placement purposes* A third family helped out temporarily for a two-week period with adequate care but this foster mother had always stated her intention of not continuing as she had three children of her own.  A fourth who  gave short term care to three young children said that, besides having too much work to do with her own three children, her husband objected to foster children. In the case of a f i f t h family the placement of three d i f f i c u l t teenagers proved too much for a foster mother who also had to look after her own children.  In a sixth foster home, where there are five own child-  ren, the foster mother understandably says she has enough to do, but she also objects to low board rates and teen-age g i r l ' s behaviour* Moved Away (13) Of the thirteen foster families who moved away three foster parents took the foster children with them, either on adoption or permanent foster home basis, so they could be considered as continuing although not with this agency. A fourth "did a good job with one d i f f i c u l t teen-age*  1  for one and a half years before giving her up on leaving the province* Two other foster parents who moved away served the agency satisfactorily for one short temporary period each* Another Negro family gave excellent temporary care to babies, with five placements in five months bat moved away leaving no address* In these two situations the question is whether the move was planned beforehand and known to the agency*  I f so, could the permanency of  service to the agency have been better known at the time of the homestudy? Another family which had boarded several difficult teen-age boys for the agency moved away and switched to operating an old people's home*  Before moving, this family boarded a boy who was severely dis-  turbed; they tried to co-operate with weekly play Interviews and natural parents' participation, but the whole experience had a great deal to do with their decision to change the type of care offered, although financ i a l consideration was also involved* Two other families gave doubtful care and would have required re-evaluation i f the agency had continued to use them*  One of these was  a widow who seemed unsettled and her move was called "impulsive" by the worker* Three foster families moved away and two of these were transferred to provincial supervision as continuing foster homes*  In the  other home, the foster mother, a nurse, gave satisfactory short term care to a 2& year old boy recovering from polio, before she joined her husband away from Vancouver* However before she went she asked that the boy be removed as both she and her daughter were i l l *  Recording  - 37 does not clearly indicate the worker's opinion as to whether this i l l ness seemed to be associated with rejection of the child placed there* Homes of widows or fatherless homes are accepted for agency use only under special circumstances*  In this case i t was because of the foster  mother's nursing experience and the short placement planned f o r the boy* Want Permanent or Adoption(12) In this group of twelve closed homes the parents applied for children to be placed permanently with a view to adoption*  They seemed  to have heard through friends that this might be a quicker way to get an adopted child*  They may also be in the low preference group of adopting  parents due to age or income* The above homes were a l l used by the agency as temporary, sometimes emergency, placements and in a l l but one case foster parents eventually withdrew*  The basis of foster placement here i s not sound i f the  foster parents think that by boarding foster children they earn the right to adopt a child later* Three families gave practical reasons such as "change i n c i r cumstance,", "boarding the teacher," "taking children privately." Five helped out the agency with temporary placements but finally said they did not wish to continue on this basis and would "wait for a permanent child." In another home an older g i r l was placed at her own request as a part-time domestic helper but the placement broke down in five days. Tet  this foster mother's health did not permit younger children being  placed and she withdrew her request* as "she seemed a perfectionist."  The agency was content to l e t her  This home would not l i k e l y have been  - 38 used but for the older girl's request and was on the verge of being refused before the withdrawal. In two cases foster parents appeared to withdraw completely. Both f e l t i t was too hard to part with children and seem to have been hurt by the experience.  The f i r s t who took a child i n temporarily,  supposedly for ten days, but actually longer, said i t was "too hard to part with children."  The other foster parents boarded two children for  three years and became very attached to them. When the time came for the foster children to return to their own parents both foster parents helped them in a mature way and the return was made easier for the c h i l dren. However, the foster parents withdrew and the foster mother said i t was "too much for them" and that she had "lost her maternal instinct.'' There i s a need here for preparation of the foster parents from the beginning of the placement plan, against the time when the children w i l l be leaving.  Even then i t i s hard but at least i s not so unexpectedo  One home was closed because the child boarding there was adopted by the foster parents. Although sometimes other foster c h i l dren are placed to board i n such homes, the agency f e l t that these foster parents should not take more children. Special for one Child  (4)  In this group four homes were special placements for particular children and were not interested In any others. In the case of the f i r s t home the foster children's parents knew and contacted the foster parents. As parents were now capable of taking on more responsibility for their children and at the request of the foster parents the home was used as a private boarding home with  - 39 -  own parents paying the board* Mother home was found by a teen-age g i r l with people especially interested in her. Here she received much understanding and affection and s t i l l looks on this as her home although she i s away working*  These  foster parents are not interested i n any other children* In the two others the teen-age g i r l s who found the homes began working and paid their own board i n these homes which were most satisfactory for them* Non-acceptance of Foster Children and Parents (25) In the home-studies of the above homes, several factors are noticeable*  In nearly a l l the homefinder had questioned the real sincer-  i t y of foster parents interest in children*  In some homes, the husband's  attitude i s antagonistic, not interested or not known* It i s significant that in a l l these closed homes the homefinder expressed doubts about one or both parents concerning their real acceptance of foster children and their families*  Noticeable in the records are remarks as "uncertain about  foster children", "wants conformity", "no feeling", "woman neurotic although husband a strength", "foster mother nervous, overconcerned about foster children's health and husband dominant", "asked removal on Christmas Eve", "had difficulty with own children now grown up." It i s notable that five of this group stated their motive for boarding children as companionship for an own only child*  In each case  a complete home study was done with specific recommendations for the kind of child to be placed and for placement preparation before and after* In a l l five there was Inability on the part of either foster parents or their own children to accept the foster child*  Such recordings as "own child  too insecure to accept foster child", "own child jealous of foster child",  - 40 "neither foster mother or daughter could accept foster child's behaviour". There i s a need to examine successful foster homes of this kind to determine the predominance of termination, or i f they continued, how much they permit the normal growth of the child.  Whether there i s removal or not.  there i s placement damage to the child when coldness, overdemand for conformity, nervousness, abnormal jealousy and neurotic attitudes exist on the part of foster parents. In a sixth home the foster father was unable to accept foster children and on reviewing i t appears that approval of this placement was doubtful at f i r s t and then the home was suddenly used without the worker feeling the study had been completed satisfactorily.  This shows the im-  portance of assessing the foster father's attitudes and giving them weight in acceptance or otherwise of the home. Here i t i s also strongly recommended by the writer that the following workers who v i s i t i n any foster home should participate in the continuing evaluation, and that their observations be recorded regularly on the foster home record. In another home used as an emergency placement, the home "seemed to have strengths" but "unfortunately the foster parents knew the family of this boy and they requested his removal", saying they were no longer interested in foster children.  Another family showed i n a b i l i t y to accept  ties with parents. In an issue of the Social Casework magazine, Dorothy Hutchinson remarks that "The foster child old enough to have developed strongly etched images of his own parents takes these with him to the foster home where they continue to plague him, his foster parents, and the worker." Later she comments, "The only way such a child i s able 1  to turn to them (foster parents and worker) i s for him to see that they like his parents, that they think well of his parents, that they act kindly about his parents' mistakes." Foster parents and workers, too, Tl Hutchinson,Dorothy, "The Placement Worker and the Child's Own Parents," Social Casework,Vol.22X7,July 1954.,P.295. 2  2. ToIT.  - 41 j  need help with the acceptance of these statements so that they can put., them into practice from the very beginning of placement planning. When parents t e l l their child about going to a foster home and the reasons for him going, he w i l l benefit more from the stay there* If the same worker who places him also v i s i t s his parents, arranges for their visits with him and t e l l s them and the foster parents kindly about mother and father, the two sets of parents can better serve the children* There is the need of the foster family's acceptance of the child's parents with understanding and so the worker must present a positive picture of natural parents.  1  This i s as important i n foster home placement as i n  adoption* The foster mother of one home in this group had herself been a foster child.  Within a short time of placement of a teen-age g i r l ,  a rivalrous situation developed between them*  The tension increased to  such an extent that foster mother requested closing "as she was caring for her mother-in-law".  The agency was satisfied that she was unable to  be a foster mother as i t too closely resembled her own situation*  The  worker's task here i s to assess whether she can help the foster mother use her own experience to identify with and help the g i r l , but not become rivalrous*  I t i s important to observe how the foster mother had  dealt with her own problems and help her to use this same way to give help to the g i r l .  This enabling of the foster parent requires skilled  casework help from the worker*  1. Kohlsaat, Barbara and Johnson, Adelaide, "Some Suggestions for Practice i n Infant Adoptions", Social Casework, Vol. XXXV, March 1954, pps 91 to 99. The authors discuss what the social agency should or should not reveal to adoptive parents about the baby's background, and believe that any personal history not pertinent to the baby*s future development should be withheld.  I  - 42 Overcrowding (7) Some foster homes close and the reasons given are "overcrowding" or "overused".  Two homes were "overused"by numerous d i f f i c u l t placements  and one health problem with a foster child*  In the latter case an emer-  gency placement gave the worker no chance to prepare f o r this* One foster home was f i r s t known as a private adoption home i n 1940 and then as a foster home in 1949*  The foster mother mentioned  during the home-study that her "husband wanted her to take children", and said that her own motive in boarding children was to help her loneliness*  This woman's motive in boarding children was focussed on her  own need and the worker's task i s to assess whether this is infantile or mature* A l l people have needs but when the emphasis i s on hers and not the childrens* this i s a danger signal*  Why was she lonely, and  what was the meaning of her wish for many babies regardless of their needs?  The workers of various children who were placed here looked on  this as a satisfactory foster home although one said that she "noticed she gets upset and should not have too many"* This foster-mother found i t hard when the babies had to leave the home. Her own physical strength was not too great but she constantly said that the babies helped her* Because of this foster mother's willingness to take i n babies at short notice the home was overloaded and finally a serious family disagreement resulted in the closing of the home by the agency* I t became evident that the husband in this home bad not been consulted i n the plan to board children*  It was also eventually clear that the foster  - 43 mother was boarding children to make up f o r lacks i n her own home l i f e as she had s a i d .  She welcomed the overloading o f her home with c h i l d r e n ,  u n t i l the s i t u a t i o n became so tense that i n the interests of her health her service was terminated.  This c l o s i n g was brought on by overcrowding  i n a home where the m a r i t a l s i t u a t i o n was not too s a t i s f a c t o r y .  In t h i s  home the husband's a t t i t u d e should have been cheeked e s p e c i a l l y caref u l l y to f i n d out why he was w i l l i n g that h i s wife should be so busy. D i f f i c u l t Behaviour (10) Some o f the reasons given i n the records f o r c l o s i n g homes are " c h i l d badly disturbed", "could not manage", "took two very d i f f i c u l t girls",  "quarrelled". Some foster parents agree to board teen age children although  t h i s has not been t h e i r o r i g i n a l request.  Four such f o s t e r homes with-  drew as teen age children were placed and i t was too much f o r them. One of the homes took a t separate times two d i f f i c u l t teen age g i r l s , while awaiting completed adoption of two younger c h i l d r e n placed i n t h e i r home. Foster mother dealt w e l l with both g i r l s but foster father f i n a l l y objected to any more older g i r l s i n the home. though they continued f o r a while with short emergency placements, f i n a l l y withdrew from s e r v i c e as a foster home.  Al-  they  The Agency f e l t that  t h i s home had given excellent s e r v i c e over a period of four years. However the general r u l e i s that there should be no placement of f o s t e r children i n pending adoption homes either i n the year of probation or too soon a f t e r completion of adoption.  In t h i s home there i s the p o s s i -  b i l i t y that the g i r l s would f e e l e s p e c i a l l y l e f t out, with the other two children becoming the foster parents* own. There i s , too, the importance of respecting the applicants* interest and t h e i r feelings about where they  - 44 can best serve*  !  I f the plan i s not agreeable to them and they f e e l the  c h i l d i s not appealing they cannot help him. Another home i n t h i s group was chosen by the teen age boy hims e l f , but he quarrelled with the foster mother who showed "not too much insight into teen age behaviour".  She was hurt by the experience and  s a i d she was "no longer interested". In three others where the 3tated motive was companionship f o r own children, d i f f i c u l t younger children were placed and proved too much f o r the f o s t e r home. "companionship".  1  The need i s to ascertain what they meant by  Their meaning may be to keep the own c h i l d busy or  from taking up mother's time, or to overprotect t h e i r own c h i l d .  They  may want to keep the own child from needing to mix i n the neighbourhood outside.  The thought may be to "make own c h i l d appreciate how w e l l o f f  he i s , " or "make him u n s e l f i s h , " or "set him a good example." One family gave good care to a teen age boy f o r i j - years a f t e r previously serving the agency f o r 13 years.  "Although s t i l l  interested  i n t h i s boy he outgrew the place and h i s d i f f i c u l t behaviour, such as extreme cruelty to the farm animals, l e d them to recommend and help with his t r a n s f e r " .  "They helped with h i s move with understanding and accept-  ance and s t i l l inquire about him*  Excellent f o s t e r parents."  Two other homes "appeared to be unable to cope with f o s t e r children's d i f f i c u l t  behaviour."  1. A l l quotes i n t h i s paragraph are from f o s t e r parents a p p l i c a t i o n s , unpublished material c o l l e c t e d by Mrs. Helen Exner.  - 45 Recently an experiment  i s being carried on at the Boy's Indus-  t r i a l School of Oregon with s p e c i a l placements of d i f f i c u l t  boys on farms.  Caseloads are kept a t f i f t e e n or below so that close supervision i s possible 1 and work i s done e s p e c i a l l y with f o s t e r fathers. F i n a n c i a l Only (4) Four used homes were closed as unsuitable f o s t e r homes as the foster parents p l a i n l y showed their i n t e r e s t i n nothing but the f i n a n c i a l angle and were described as "not understanding beyond physical c a r e , or n  "boys placed worked too hard on farm,  n  "cheap help - not much to o f f e r as  a foster parent", and a g i r l " f e l t l i k e a boarder."  Although the f i n a n c i a l  aspect i s an important consideration, people who board children f o r t h i s motive alone, without an accompanying concern f o r t h e i r welfare, are not considered desirable foster parents and the Agency closes them* Homes Closed Due to M a r i t a l D i f f i c u l t i e s (4) In one home closed because "the husband-wife relationship was lacking", the husband was Chinese and wife was Occidental* P o s s i b l y the s c a r c i t y of Chinese f o s t e r homes influenced the approval of t h i s home i n the f i r s t place.  This foster mother eventually t o l d her worker about her  lack of s a t i s f a c t i o n i n the marriage and her i n a b i l i t y to accept f o s t e r children. Another f o s t e r mother applied i n 1950 f o r a teen-age "as husband i n the A i r Force and busy".  In 1953 t h i s home was  girl closed  as foster parents divorced. In a t h i r d home where the o r i g i n a l motive f o r taking children was f o r company, the homefinder stated that she suspected "teen age cheap labour" and the husband "seemed complying with wife's wishes"* 1.  See Appendix C.  One person  - 46 seen as a reference said.about t h i s couple's marriage r e l a t i o n s h i p "seems to be O.K. now".  These f o s t e r parents asked removal of a thirteen year  o l d g i r l placed there and then they separated. In the l a s t home both f o s t e r parents were warm understanding persons but the foster father's own family interfered with the home relationships.  I t became Impossible t o continue using the home u n t i l  as one worker put i t "father develops maturity to outgrow h i s mother's interference with h i s wife".  Note here the high incidence of m a r i t a l  difficulty. Non-acceptance o f Agency (1) One home could not accept working with the Agency nor i t s board r a t e s .  The worker f o r the home records "puts own needs before  c h i l d ' s needs", " i s not warm and accepting".  The f o s t e r parents here  found i t impossible to continue working with the Agency and t h i s home had to be closed but there was also i n a b i l i t y to give to f o s t e r c h i l d r e n . Accommodation (4) Of the four homes closed because of lack of accommodation a l l seemed to have a d d i t i o n a l reasons which could point up other d i s s a t i s factions. One family requested c l o s i n g because of lack of accommodation and gave as t h e i r reason that they are now caring f o r r e l a t i v e s .  On  further examination, the record shows that t h i s family had given excellent care to an asthmatic c h i l d f o r two months but now t h e i r own daughter was not well*  Foster father was not w e l l enough to be considered f o r an  adoptive parent and so they said they might be interested i n boarding other children l a t e r .  In t h i s case one would think that health and  motives should be most c a r e f u l l y reviewed before using the home again.  - 47 -  An e a r l i e r review might have prevented the breakdown through the extra pressure of giving f o s t e r care. Three other homes were closed because of lack of accommodation. In one home the foster mother, a widow of poor appearance, had " l i t t l e to o f f e r but gives good care, i s kindly and puts h e r s e l f out to serve". Before her husband died they had boarded boys and since then she gave very good short term care to a disturbed c h i l d placed i n her home.  Although  she was h e l p f u l i n t h i s l a s t placement, the lack of a father i n the home, her l i m i t e d means and lack of accommodation forbade her continuing as a foster parent. In the next home where accommodation was given as the reason f o r c l o s i n g , understanding of a teen age boy placed there was Another home which even at  lacking.  first seemed to be doubtfully approved, due  to limited finances, was closed as «taoving to smaller l o c a t i o n " ; however f o s t e r mother was  "nervous" and f o s t e r father not understanding of par-  ents due to h i s own the c h i l d placed was  " b i t t e r background".  These f o s t e r parents said that  ''O.K. but a handful and want an older c h i l d " .  There  i s the question of exposing a f o s t e r c h i l d to t h i s nervousness and lack of understanding. Age  (3) Three foster homes were closed due to the advanced age o f the  f o s t e r parents, as a l l were i n t h e i r l a t e 60's or e a r l y 70's.  There i s  a s p e c i a l need to watch t h i s i n terms of c h i l d r e n who may need permanent or long-time homes, as the "unadoptable" children. Two homes gave short term care to teen agers and i n both cases the Agency found them w i l l i n g but unable to meet the children's needs and  - 48 to  understand teen age behaviour*  In the f i r s t case the f o s t e r mother  gave good boarding home care and was accepting o f the poor personal habits o f a d u l l employed teen age boy who was himself puzzled by t h e i r very r e l i g i o u s habits and objected to being influenced by them*  The  other placement of a teen ager where the f o s t e r parents had o r i g i n a l l y asked to care f o r a handicapped  c h i l d lasted f o r a week*  Again there  i s the importance of considering the foster parents own request. The parents of one foster home requested closing because o f t h e i r age but i n r e a l i t y i t had a l o t t o do with f o s t e r father*s r e l u c tance to continue.  In the f i r s t place, foster parents had come t o the  Agency o f f e r i n g a special home to a c e r t a i n teen age boy, while comp l a i n i n g of h i s care i n a f o s t e r home near them.  Foster father and t h i s  boy had been f r i e n d l y but l i v i n g i n the same home was too much f o r a l l of them*  I t i s safe t o say that t h i s home closed because of age and  a l s o non-acceptance of the boy's behaviour.  This i s one s p e c i a l place-  ment found by a teen age boy which d i d not work out. Health Including Pregnancy (6) Six  homes were closed because of health reasons although there  seemed to be other r e l a t e d f a c t o r s . One home closed a f t e r applying f o r eventual adoption of a girl.  When a baby g i r l was placed permanently with a view to adoption  i t was too much f o r f o s t e r mother and she asked f o r the baby's removal. Foster parents i n a second home found the care and giving up o f temporary  children to be, as expressed i n t h e i r own words, "too hard on the  nerves".  This f o s t e r mother had h e r s e l f been an abandoned c h i l d , knew  nothing o f her own background and was c r i t i c a l of foster ohildrens parents. The foster mother i n another home was affected with "a nervous condition" which "husband blames on boarding children", so they requested  - 49 that the home be closed. One home, closed because of i l l n e s s of a psychosomatic  nature ,  was a "kindly accepting one i n spite o f f o s t e r mother's neurotic need to be of service".  This home was closed on the basis of the f o s t e r  mother's previous health condition and i t s recurrence a f t e r the home had been used as a temporary emergency placement f o r an eleven year old  g i r l and a ten year o l d boy.  Removal was requested by the foster  mother who wished to continue boarding children, but the Agency declined. Two other homes closed because of f o s t e r mother's pregnancy. The f i r s t  " i s a good foster home f o r problem c h i l d r e n " and the recommen-  dation i n the record i s that i t be used again but a f t e r restudy.  The  second home was used as an emergency placement before the home-study was complete*  The Agency f e l t the foster father i n t h i s home to be an  unstable person but p r i o r to r e j e c t i o n , the f o s t e r parents withdrew and the home w i l l not be used again by the Agency. Working (1) In one home the f o s t e r parents helped out the Agency by taking a ten year o l d boy f o r two weeks.  I t was known that t h i s was only a  temporary arrangement as f o s t e r mother planned on working. Table 4.  Motives f o r Boarding Children  'Total homes closed Fond of children  .V.~.'.~.T' 100 ,  Financial  21 .....  19  Wanted adoption or permanent placement ...........  16  Company s e l f or own c h i l d  36  To s a t i s f y own needs  8  - 50 -  I t would appear from the records and the statements of homefinders that i t i s often d i f f i c u l t f o r foster parents to express i n words t h e i r motives f o r boarding children.  The motives i n the table  above are as stated by them unless i t i s obviously something more c l e a r l y stated by a worker. Out of the 100 closed foster homes 21 stated t h e i r motive as "fond of children" and yet also expressed a f i n a n c i a l need to board c h i l d ren,  or that need to augment the income was present.  There i s the need  to f i n d out how they v i s u a l i z e the c h i l d they are asking f o r and i n what ways they d i f f e r e n t i a t e the foster c h i l d from t h e i r own.  Nineteen were  boarding children mainly to help out with finances and were without understanding of the children.  These f i r s t two categories of motives are o f t e n  very d i f f i c u l t to separate as usually both elements are present to a degree in a f o s t e r home. However i n Table 3 i n only four cases was t h i s stated as the main reason. In 16 homes the stated motive was adoption or they wished to keep the c h i l d permanently with a reasonable hope of adoption l a t e r .  These  parents, when studied, could be helped t o the adoption department and the s o c i a l worker's job i s to help them conclude t h i s . T h i r t y - s i x foster parents o r i g i n a l l y stated t h e i r motive as being company f o r s e l f or own  c h i l d and of these 20 asked f o r a c h i l d as  a companion f o r an own only c h i l d .  I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g to study separ-  a t e l y the r e s u l t s of a research project on the success of placements i n such instances and as to what was r e a l l y meant by such companionship.  Of  these homes closed eight f o s t e r parents applied to board c h i l d r e n as a means of building up t h e i r own self-esteem or to bolster a shaky family situation.  They d i d not o r i g i n a l l y state t h i s motive but i t came t o l i g h t  - 51 -  a f t e r the home was used.  In a l l f a i l u r e s i t i s necessary to examine  s i m i l a r successful f o s t e r homes i n use. Table 5. Length of Time Closed Homes Used  Time  t  No. of homes  Less than 1 1  3 4 5 6 9 10 11 13  Table 5 shows the length of time the closed homes served the Agency.  The largest number of homes closed i n l e s s than a year.  As  the majority of closed homes were terminated at the request o f f o s t e r parents i t can be assumed that many of these foster parents found that looking a f t e r a f o s t e r c h i l d was not what they expected or desired . -  and so decided not to continue.  I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g to nave some  estimate of the extent of c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the job done before placement.  To what extent d i d workers help them to understand placement of  foster children? Table 6.  Number of Placements i n Closed Foster Homes  Number of Placements  Homes  1 child  48  2 children  16  3 children  8  4 children  2  5 children ................  4  6 children  -  7 children  1  8 children  1  9 children  -  10 children  1  11 children  2  12 children  1  Unclassified  16 Total  100  Table 6 shows the number of children who boarded i n the f o s t e r home during the length of time the agency was served. boarded one c h i l d .  48$ o f the homes  I t can also be assumed that many i n t h i s f i r s t group  - 53 -  are amongst the f i r s t group i n Table 5 who served the agency for less than one year. The examination of used closed foster homes reveals that 65$ are closed as no longer suitable for agency use. 35$i  A f a i r l y large group,  closed for p r a c t i c a l reasons because of changes i n plans.  Other  than thatj one of the largest closed groups was for reasons of nonacceptance of foster children and parents.  There are also noticeable  groups i n those who close because they r e a l l y want adoption or because of d i f f i c u l t behaviour of foster children or overcrowding. An examination of the o r i g i n a l motives reveals that those who apply to take a foster child for company for their own' child are the largest group, 3 6 . Over hall' of the hundred homes studied were closed within the f i r s t year of service and nearly half of the number of closed homes, 4 8 , have boarded only one c h i l d .  Chapter 4.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CLOSED HOMES EXAMINED  Importance of Home-Study Process The concern of t h i s study has been with reasons f o r c l o s i n g of foster homes used by the Children's A i d Society of Vancouver during the period September 1952 to June 1954,  inclusive,  m  t h i s examination  there i s acceptance of the importance of placing children i n normal, happy homes where the parents have the a b i l i t y to give s u f f i c i e n t love to foster children end to recognize i n d i v i d u a l needs*  Assuming t h i s ,  the s i g n i f i c a n c e of a thorough study and evaluation of a home becomes clear; also the b e l i e f i s that f a i l u r e to know the foster home and the c h i l d accounts f o r repeated replacements*  Thus the homefinding process  i s important i n maintaining f o s t e r homes as w e l l as i n f i n d i n g them. Part of t h i s study has been concerned with the homes which closed within 12 months a f t e r they were opened.  I f we are to believe  that the home study i s i n any way r e l a t e d to the length o f time a home remains open, then i t seems indicated that the more thorough a method, and the more s k i l l e d the home-study, the more worthwhile i t i s . In t h i s chapter the purpose i s to study the home to the point .of i t s closing i n order to f i n d out the reasons f o r closing, so that the knowledge w i l l be of use i n the homefinding process. Conclusions About Homes Closed f o r P r a c t i c a l Reasons In Table 2 - Page 3 3 -  i t i s notable that 35 homes closed because  of change i n plans i n f o s t e r f a m i l i e s and these can usually be considered  - 55  -  "acts of God" and not to be foreseen at the time the home was accepted f o r use* Closed homes which have adopted children are not r e a l l y f o s t e r homes; nor can permanent homes with a view to adoption be considered true f o s t e r homes.  In general people who want to adopt a c h i l d do not make  good foster parents.  1  The b i r t h of a natural c h i l d should not make a difference i n a good foster home, but sometimes a young woman w i l l give a baby temporary care before she has children of her own.  Otherwise one would question the  motive i n taking f o s t e r c h i l d r e n u n t i l own children come, and then g i v i n g them up. Homes where the f a m i l i e s move away a f t e r a reasonable length of time of service are unavoidably closed unless the move i s impulsive a f t e r a short term of service; i n that case one would expect t h i s to have been assessed i n the home-study. Some homes where the mother begins working close but here a l s o t h i s might be expected to have been picked up i n the home-study.  It is  l i k e l y that the o r i g i n a l motive was p a r t l y to augment income and d i d not r e a l i z e t h i s wish or her r e a l wish. Special homes f o r one c h i l d serve that one c h i l d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y and t h e i r closing i s to be expected.  Sometimes health comes under t h i s  heading unless the s i t u a t i o n could have been cleared during the homestudy. Approximately one-third then o f the homes examined closed f o r p r a c t i c a l reasons and there would seem to be no purpose i n t h i s study to examine them f u r t h e r .  1. Charnley, Jean, The Art of C h i l d Placement, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1955. p. 150  - 56 -  Further Reasons f o r Closing Foster Homes Under the reasons which we a r e interested i n examining further then come such things as health, age, accommodation, non-acceptance o f f o s t e r children and parents, interested only f i n a n c i a l l y , want permanent or adoption, d i f f i c u l t behaviour and overcrowding. Out of 100 closed homes there are 65 closed f o r such reasons because they are unsuitable f o r further service to the agency. Thirty of the 65 f o s t e r homes requested t h e i r own c l o s i n g or withdrew of t h e i r own accord.  With some of these the agency would no  longer have been able to use them even i f the f o s t e r parents had so wished i t .  T h i r t y - f i v e had to be refused.  The focus of the job i s on  the c h i l d and i n cases when the applicant i s i n f a n t i l e or there i s the prospect of i n j u r y to a c h i l d the agency must take a stand and say "No", definitely. lExcept f o r some problems of health, pregnancy and working i t i s questionable whether some of the homes closed because of the avoidable reasons should have been o r i g i n a l l y accepted f o r use by the agency. On the other hand could homes closed because of placement of too d i f f i c u l t children and overcrowding be saved f o r future agency use?  1.  Families Who Moved Away  Two foster families mentioned on Page 34 who moved away continued to serve as foster homes i n p r o v i n c i a l d i s t r i c t s . Of the 13 families mentioned on Page 35 who moved away, 8 can be deemed s a t i s f a c t o r y i n t h e i r service to the agency.  I n the case of the  remaining f i v e the plans of the f o s t e r family do not seem well-known; one home gave only a few months s e r v i c e ; another move was "impulsive" and  - 57 another closed p a r t l y because of d i f f i c u l t behaviour of f o s t e r c h i l d as w e l l as the f i n a n c i a l consideration.  In these situations i f the o r i g i n a l  home-study had produced information about the possible permanency of these people the homes would not L i k e l y have been used.  The impulsiveness of  the one move could be an i n d i c a t i o n of restlessness or loneliness on the part of that f o s t e r mother, a widow, as the record states that she suddenl y went away to l i v e with r e l a t i v e s .  Could t h i s have been discovered  e a r l i e r i f there had been more time spent i n making a thorough home-study? Was t h i s fatherless home used f o r a s p e c i a l purpose? In the case of the closed home which boarded d i f f i c u l t  teen-age  boys, ( P . 3 6 ) , the questions are "Should such c h i l d r e n be placed i n f o s t e r homes rather than i n treatment centres?" handle severely disturbed boys?" the f o s t e r parents?"  "How many and what homes can  "What happens to the c h i l d r e n and t o  "What does the agency gain or lose by doing t h i s ? " 1  The home mentioned above was closed to agency service but t h i s i s not convincing proof that closing happens i n every instance. There i s need f o r further research than can be included i n t h i s study t o f i n d the answers to these questions.  I f such homes do not close to agency service,  do they ask removal of the d i f f i c u l t c h i l d or are they operating successf u l l y as f o s t e r parents?  Could the home mentioned on P. 44 which had  served the agency f o r 13 years have been saved f o r further use i f i t had not been used f o r the disturbed teen age boy who was l a s t l y placed i n t h i s home? 2.  Accommodation  Lack of accommodation i n a home should o r d i n a r i l y be a reason f o r r e j e c t i o n before a home i s used. reason i t may be unavoidable.  When used homes are closed f o r t h i s  At other times i t may be a s u p e r f i c i a l  - 58 reason given f o r a deeper d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n .  Four homes which closed be-  cause of not enough room (P.46) stated that they were taking i n r e l a t i v e s or friends instead but on further examination there proved t o be other reasons.  In one the health of f o s t e r father was doubtful, two  others appeared unable t o cope with d i f f i c u l t behaviour and the other seemed unable t o deal with f o s t e r c h i l d r e n .  I t should have been p o s s i -  ble t o discover these f a c t o r s i n the home-study and the homes would not have been used. On P. 47 i n homes closed because of lack of accommodation the f o s t e r parents* p e r s o n a l i t i e s also seem unsuitable with " l i t t l e t o o f f e r " , "lacking understanding" and "nervous".  One home was "doubtfully approved".  One wonders why such homes are o r i g i n a l l y used but since these are,,findings  which"come vout^affcer' tbe\vfianr '±s~ used, there i s a need t o reexamine the home study content.  Also i n a c h i l d p l a c i n g agency the temptation t o t r y  them i s great when the supply of homes i s short.  However the " t r i a l and  e r r o r " method i n home assessment.can be p r a c t i c a l l y replaced by s k i l f u l home-study p r a c t i c e s . 3.  Pregnancy and Health  One home (P. 49) which closed because of a pregnancy was f i r s t used emergently before the home-study was complete.  Later when the f o s t e r  father was f e l t t o be an unstable person, they were helped t o withdraw. On P. 48 i n another home the husband objected t o f o s t e r c h i l d r e n and another home was closed f o r health reasons.  I t i s reasonable to say that some of  these factors should have been known before the homes were used.  This i s  also the case i n the home mentioned on P. 48 where the c h i l d r e n were "too much f o r nerves".  - 59 4.  Working Parents  The home mentioned on P. 49 where the mother f r a n k l y planned on working was used by the agency as an expediency measure.  As a rule  when the mother i n the home i s working i t i s not used f o r a f o s t e r home. This points up the s c a r c i t y of homes f o r use i n emergency s i t u a t i o n s . 5.  Age  The homes mentioned on P. 48 closed because of age would not l i k e l y have been used i n the f i r s t place i f alternative resources had been available f o r teen age boys. emergency placement"  One home was used f o r a "temporary  and then closed. This was done because of an urgent  need f o r a home and was frankly recognized as such by the worker.  Some  f o s t e r parents gave t h e i r c l o s i n g reason as being on account of o l d age. On further examination i t proved to be d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the presence of the f o s t e r c h i l d i n the home. 6.  Non-acceptance of Foster Children  On P. 39 there i s described a group of f o s t e r parents who were unable to accept f o s t e r children or t h e i r f a m i l i e s .  During the home-  study i n some cases the worker was undecided about whether t o use these homes and i n a l l cases the recommendation was f o r the placement of a w e l l adjusted c h i l d with c a r e f u l placement preparation before and a f t e r . one case a home was used suddenly on expediency b a s i s .  True  In  non-acceptance  of f o s t e r children contradicts the r o l e of f o s t e r parents but i n some of these homes would good supervision and more work with the f o s t e r parents have held the homes? In the group of homes refused f o r further service because they are unsatisfactory a f t e r placement there are the ones who close because  - 60 they f i n d the c h i l d r e n too d i f f i c u l t .  A notable one i s on P. 36 when  the record states that the f o s t e r family changed from looking a f t e r teenagers to operating an Old People's home.  At f i r s t t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n teen-  agers had been keen but they f i n a l l y became too discouraged when a d i s turbed boy was placed with them.  What placement f a c i l i t i e s do we have  i n Vancouver f o r disturbed youngsters?  This study cannot attempt t o  answer that but can point out that 13 f o s t e r homes out o f 100 closed because of d i f f i c u l t behaviour of the c h i l d r e n placed there. The above s i t u a t i o n also holds true i n the case o f the young boy  (P.48) who could not adjust i n a f o s t e r home but might have b e n e f i t t e d  from l i v i n g i n a group home.  This lack of placement accommodation not  only concerns t h i s agency (C.A.S.) but i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the whole coinmunity and the province. In the case of the teen-age g i r l by her own f r i e n d s was notably successful.  (P.39) her placement o f f e r e d I t i s the opinion of workers  and homefinders that there i s a higher degree of success i n teen-age placements i n proportion t o t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the plan.  R i t a , 15,  a pretty brown-haired tomboyish g i r l who came t o Vancouver from the East chose f o r h e r s e l f a home of quiet somewhat conservative standards.  Her  worker doubted the wisdom of the choice but wisely l e f t i t t o her.  How-  ever R i t a s e t t l e d completely with t h i s family, went through high-school,  1 got a job and married from the home as she would have with an own family. Another group of closed homes (12) asked f o r permanent o r adoptive children.  On exceptional occasions the agency has e n l i s t e d the help  of these f o s t e r parents i n emergency temporary placements.  Although t h i s  group was closed f o r service to the agency some homes have operated 1.  Children's Aid Society of Vancouver records.  - 61 successfully on t h i s b a s i s .  Only r a r e l y can a home not acceptable as an  adoptive home be considered f o r use as a temporary shelter f o r children awaiting permanent placement.  The s p e c i a l f e e l i n g of f r u s t r a t i o n r i s e s  from t h e i r f e e l i n g that the agency has been "paid" and now they expect returns. One f o s t e r home (P.43) served the agency i n l i k e manner while awaiting adoption of two children already placed i n t h e i r home. The recommendation here i s that the f o s t e r home be most c a r e f u l l y assessed before so using.  Also, i f a temporary placement i s requested of them, when they o r i g -  i n a l l y requested a more long-term plan, i t should be made quite c l e a r to the f o s t e r parents where they stand and whether the agency plans t o place a c h i l d with them l a t e r .  I t i s never a good practice t o use them temporar-  i l y when you know that eventually they w i l l be rejected.  For instance (P.38)  one c h i l d was so placed f o r 10 days and the placement dragged out u n t i l f o s t e r parents became attached and found i t hard t o part with him. f o s t e r parents were l o s t to agency service.  These  The planning here was no doubt  unexpected but nevertheless i s bad f o r public r e l a t i o n s . On P. 38 the f o s t e r parents who had the two c h i l d r e n f o r two years had o r i g i n a l l y asked f o r permanent children and although i t had not been e x p l i c i t l y promised they hoped t o adopt the c h i l d r e n .  Long term planning  f o r these children was not d e f i n i t e and these f o s t e r parents d i d not know t h e i r p o s i t i o n c l e a r l y or of the n a t u r a l parents' i n a b i l i t y t o give them up. Even though such situations are sometimes unavoidable, there i s s t i l l the adverse p u b l i c i t y when neighbours and friends hear about i t .  There i s then  the necessity f o r as clear-cut a diagnosis as possible i n the o r i g i n a l planning f o r the c h i l d . Some f o s t e r parents consent t o board teenagers although t h i s was not the o r i g i n a l request.  I t i s accepted by experienced workers that the placement  - 62 -  of a teen-ager i n a f o s t e r home needs s k i l f u l preparation, planning and guidance a f t e r placement.  Before placement i s decided on the question  should be answered, "Can t h i s c h i l d benefit from a f o s t e r home or does he need some other resource?"  borne teenagers cannot l i v e i n a family  other than t h e i r own as they do not wish to take on new parents. In one home (P.47) the record states that understanding of a teen-age boy was l a c k i n g .  The record also states that two older f o s t e r  parents gave care t o teen-agers and although w i l l i n g were unable to understand t h e i r behaviour or meet t h e i r needs but gave good boarding home care. This l a s t home could possibly be used f o r a working boy but not a younger disturbed boy needing treatment. 7.  Desire f o r Permanent Children  On P. 37 mention i s made of a group of f o s t e r parents who i n a l l y applied f o r permanent c h i l d r e n with a view to adoption.  orig-  A l l these  closed homes were used f o r temporary placements and a l l but one f i n a l l y withdrew.  I t i s obvious that these f a m i l i e s were helping out the agency  by taking children but f i n a l l y e i t h e r became discouraged about ever getting a c h i l d or decided to take only permanent c h i l d r e n .  I f the agency cannot  place a child, permanently with such a family, should the f o s t e r parents not be t o l d as soon as possible?  Also i f the agency plans eventually t o place  a c h i l d , should the f o s t e r parents not know?  In other words, the agency's  planning f o r the use of the f o s t e r home should be f r a n k l y shared with the f o s t e r parents.  The practice of using permanent homes f o r temporary place-  ments has not worked out i n 11 of these homes. The acceptance of "adoption parents" and "permanent f o s t e r parents" i s completely separate.  The  diffi-  c u l t y of separation makes the use of adoption homes f o r f o s t e r homes questionable.  - 63 However t h i s i s not always so as we read on P.43 of one home where the f o s t e r parents took two d i f f i c u l t teen-agers temporarily a l though i n t h i s case two adoptive children had also been placed i n the home.  This i s not a usual agency practice but an exception was made i n  this particular situation.  In another case on P. 38 a f t e r the c h i l d was  adopted the home was closed as a boarding home even though these parents wished t o continue. On P. 38 the reactions of the two sets o f f o s t e r parents showed t h e i r great hurt by the experience.  However i f these f o s t e r parents who  were considered excellent had been used f o r adoptive children or f o r c h i l d ren  staying more permanently might they not be s t i l l serving children? Speaking of one f o s t e r mother the worker said "she seemed a  perfectionist".  I f t h i s were proven t o be t r u e , how much time a s k i l l e d  homefinder would save t o assess t h i s as e a r l y as p o s s i b l e .  Occasionally  the only way t o f i n d out i s through the a c t u a l involvement of being a foster-parent.  As small a percentage as possible of homes should have t o  be t r i e d out i n t h i s way as homefinding s k i l l s and service sharpen.  The  concern f e l t i s f o r the e f f e c t f i r s t l y , on the c h i l d r e n placed and, secondl y , on the f o s t e r parents who are r e a l l y asking f o r a c h i l d of t h e i r own. The same consideration might w e l l be given t o homes which agree to take teen-agers while awaiting t h e i r o r i g i n a l request. closed as the experience was too much 'for them.  S i x such homes  As previously mentioned,  a study would need t o be made of such homes where possibly they are carrying on successfully. On P. 44 when d i f f i c u l t younger children were placed i n homes where the stated motive vras companionship t o own only c h i l d , three homes closed, which means that t h i s i s not what they had wanted and they do not  - 64 wish t o continue the experience. 8.  Overcrowding  Results of the overuse of homes by overcrowding as described i n two homes on P. 42 are so obvious that they need l i t t l e mention.  There  w i l l always be such times i n an agency u n t i l there i s a better supply of f o s t e r homes or some a l t e r n a t i v e .  In both these homes placements  termed  "emergent" were the means of termination of t h e i r service t o the agency. This brings the question t o mind "What constitutes an emergency and how often could these be prevented?"  "Gould there be temporary or r e c e i v i n g  homes f o r such situations?" On P. 46 the short term care of the 2g year o l d boy placed while s t i l l i l l appeared too much a f t e r both f o s t e r mother and her own c h i l d became i l l . It i s noticeable i n the above instances how hard i t i s t o get homes f o r temporary children.  Homefinders  maintain the supply of temporary homes.  constantly seek t o b u i l d up and  This i s a s i t u a t i o n which plagues  a c h i l d - p l a c i n g agency and u n t i l we develop t h i s service as a creative job i t i s doubtful i f there w i l l ever be enough such homes. Certainly they do not p r e v a i l now.  One of the reasons i s that t o many f o s t e r parents i t i s  a l e s s s a t i s f y i n g job emotionally.  Children are placed and then removed  just when an attachment i s beginning. A recent magazine a r t i c l e  1  written by a s o c i a l worker t e l l s the  experience of himself, h i s wife and daughter when f o r three years they offered t h e i r home as temporary care f o r f o s t e r c h i l d r e n .  Among other  i n t e r e s t i n g comments was the conclusion "We came out with the f i r m convict i o n that many children can have a creative experience under f o s t e r family  2 auspices." 1. Clepper,W.W.,"A Foster Parent's Experience with Temporary Care," C h i l d Welfare, V o l . XXXIV, May, 1955. 2. Ibid, P.16.  -  65  -  The job of being a f o s t e r parent to c h i l d r e n placed temporarily i s a j o i n t one, p a r t l y the f o s t e r parent's and p a r t l y the s o c i a l worker's. The focus of both i s around c e r t a i n main areas of help. meeting the i n i t i a l separation. and h i s needs. health.  They help i n  They share with the study of the c h i l d  Both, but e s p e c i a l l y the f o s t e r parent, b u i l d up the c h i l d ' s  Together they prepare f o r a permanent f o s t e r home and f o r the c h i l d  to go on.  These are the same ways that baby homes help. One home was overused because the f o s t e r mother was so w i l l i n g to  take i n babies i n any number on short n o t i c e .  This was convenient but r e -  sulted i n overloading and f i n a l l y c l o s i n g . In a l l used homes where workers question f o s t e r parents  1  inter-  est i n c h i l d r e n , are the homes used f o r expediency reasons and because of s c a r c i t y of homes?  Can we or should we i n most cases wait u n t i l a s u i t -  able home i s found before accepting a c h i l d i n t o care? the s e t t i n g of the Agency f o r b i d s .  The answer i s that  In a great many instances apprehension  of the c h i l d can be delayed f o r a time while a suitable home i s found but the agency operates under the "Protection of Children Act" which compels that any c h i l d i n need of protection s h a l l be taken i n t o agency care. Pressure forbids waiting as there are times when with l i t t l e warning c h i l d ren must be planned f o r . The placement worker must act quickly i n cases of i l l n e s s of parents, serious neglect, or abandonment.  So the need i s f o r  more temporary homes where both the c h i l d and f o s t e r parent think of the stay as temporary u n t i l b e t t e r planning can be completed.  The meaning  of the word temporary should be c l e a r l y understood i n terms of weeks or months.  Three months' stay i n a temporary home should usually be consid-  ered the ultimate. 9.  F i n a n c i a l Interests  Four homes were closed as unsuitable as parents showed p l a i n l y  - 66 their interest in the financial aspect alone and not in the children* In another home (P*46) agency policy and board rates were unacceptable* Do such dissatisfactions c a l l for an examination of board rates? A family who cannot accept agency policy must certainly cease to serve but may this not be sometimes a non-acceptance of rate of payment? It Is now more generally conceded amongst social workers that a financial motive is not necessarily unacceptable and that i t i s often acceptable i f other desirable factors are present*  It is quite logical  that a person might wish to augment income by being of service i n boarding children*  If more attractive rates were offered could the agency not  get better standards and service from foster parents? 10.  1  Marital Difficulties  A need for more time and s k i l l getting to know prospective fosterparents is pointed out when marital difficulties come to light after the home has been used.  In the case of the three homes mentioned on P. 46  several clues to possible friction were given by the worker in the homestudy.  One person seen as a reference spoke of a couple's adjustment as now".  When there is subsequent separation or a divorce in a family  i t must be indicated beforehand that an unstable relationship existed for quite some time. In another home (P.42) the visiting worker noticed that the foster mother was easily upset.  Her family and her husband's feelings about fos-  ter boarding are not at f i r s t evident but an eventual serious family disagreement took place over her persistence in taking children*  In order  to save further threatening of the relationships the home was closed*  interested healthy".  1. Charnley, op. c i t . P. 1A7. "Most f o s t e r parents are i n some f i n a n c i a l gain, a f a c t that i s understandable and  - 67 It i s noticeable that i n the 25 homes closed because they could not accept foster children into their family the homefinder originally expressed doubts about family relationship i n the home-study. When the homes were eventually used i t was doubtless because of the scarcity of homes of the kind the agency would like to have. The original motivation for taking children i s significant and the importance of examining this in the home-study seems to be pointed up here.  There is the temptation  to use a home on the possible chance of success despite contra-indication but this i s not sound. What then does an agency do when i t just does not have enough homes? Motives When motives are examined i n Table 4. ?. 49, i t would seem clear that of the 100 homes 21 have definite possibilities as foster parents If their stated motive i s sincere. Eight whose motive was to satisfy own needs should not have been used.  The other homes should be as s k i l f u l l y  examined to find out the real motive as is done with adoptive parents. It i s noticed also In the records examined that children were placed in some homes contrary to the recommendations given by homefinders. Any change in the plan for using the home should be discussed with the homefinding department f i r s t .  However when the stated motive was "adoption" or  "a permanent child" a child who w i l l be staying temporarily should not be placed unless under exceptional circumstances and with very mature fosterparents who understand and share the plan. As has been noted before, It Is d i f f i c u l t to discover true motives for boarding children. However one motive can be stated In the words "company for self or own child".  In Table 4 on P. 49 this was  stated as the original motivation in 36 out of 100 closed homes. While  this is not conclusive evidence that a l l people who apply with this motive in mind will not be accepting of foster children, i t does point up the need to examine and continuously evaluate carefully such homes* Is their motive altruistic or do they hope to give their own child something they have thus far not been able to grant* There is also the question with this group "Would more intense follow-up supervision with t he foster-home have held the situation?" The writer feels that the evaluation and preparation of a fosterhome should not end with the home-study but should be a continuous process as long as the home is in use*  This means that any worker who v i 3 i t s the  home should feel a responsibility for evaluating the home as she visits in i t and should record her evaluation regularly* As much time and skill should be directed to a foster-home study as to an adoptive home study*  Being a foster parent is a harder role than  that of an adopting parent who eventually has complete permanency with the child*  There is the importance here also of assessing the home for its  best use in the first place* If i t is to be an adoptive home let i t start as such from the beginning and not turn into one because a child has been there a long time. It is accepted that when the motive is to bolster up some serious lack in personality or in family relationship a child should not be placed* It is granted that these clues do not always readily show up but i f defences are great, homefinders should spot this too* In one home-study the recommendation for a child was "Refined welladjusted boy of artistic bents"*  This would lead one to wonder whether app-  licants are accepting of children and would suggest a further examination of motives*  The possibility of such a child coming into care is remote so  - 69 this horns should not be accepted for use* Motives of a l l foster parents should be as clearly known as possible*  If the plan i s to reject the home i t should not be used for  any child*  Besides other disadvantages i t has the effect of poor pub-  l i c relations*  Other applicants say "Why do you use that home and not  mine?" Homes found to be motivated by purely financial or selfish interests should of course be refused* Another group who apply for a child as company for an own only child should be very thoroughly examined before using*  There i s a growing public understanding of what constitutes  a good foster home* Stronger than the poor public relations caused by rejection of applicants 13 the public reaction to poor placements*  Bius  skilled homefinders are needed with time to do a thorough i n i t i a l job of selecting homes* Time of Use 54% of homes which closed were used less than one year*  This  would seem an extremely large number and would bear further examination* Is i t economical even In terms of time and expense i f a home i s used less than a year? Why are these homes closed? Could the reasons have been foreseen In the home-study? Would they have closed i f there had been more supportive help for them?  This i n i t s e l f i s subject for a research project*  Another serious notation i s that 48 homes closed after the conclusion of one placement. are the main reasons?  I f nearly half of closed homes do this, what  Should they have been used i n the f i r s t place?  A  suggestion here is that a l l these homes be separately examined to find out reasons for closing within one year* The statement has previously been made in this study that i t i s  - 70 sometimes difficult to t e l l exactly why foster parents terminate service and that the reason given by them is not always the only or basic one. This has proved so on examination of the records* It has been previously said in this study that foster parents who move away and leave no address do not seem well-known enough to the agency* Also, is i t satisfactory from an agency standpoint i f a home serves for one short temporary period only? AB a rule should this move not have been anticipated near the first interview? For instance i f the man applicant moves around frequently In his jobs, his immediate plans should be discussed and i f the family plans a move they should be told they cannot be used as a foster home. As a role families should be established at least one year in a job before being considered as foster parents. There is also the fact of the inability of social workers to keep In touch with vacant homes* A recent plan in the agency to cope with this has been to keep an index of a l l vacant homes in the homefinding department* The success of this plan depends on the worker's accuracy and promptness in reporting vacant homes* In one record we read of a home where parents helped out the agency temporarily for two weeks but had never intended to keep on as a foster home* What about using other resources here?  Is this not a place  for using temporary homes or receiving homes? In most of the homes where short term care was given the reasons given for closing are ones whioh should reasonably come out in the homestudy, for instance, "husband objects to foster children"* In others, placement practice such as overcrowding was the apparent reason for closing. We read of one foster home where "3 difficult teenagers were placed and although this was a good home i t was closed". One of the basic reasons for the failure of a foster home is the  - n  -  selection of homes which must be used often f o r expediency sake because of the scarcity.  Some homes, incompletely studied, are found in use be-  cause of the urgency to use the home before the homefinder could complete her home-study. Boor placement practices such as overcrowding, and problems beyond the foster parents* s k i l l s point up the need for other kinds of placement rather than foster home care, such as treatment centres and temporary shelters.  There should be more resources for d i f f i c u l t - t o -  place children, teen-agers and the emotionally disturbed child. Unanticipated changes of plan such as moving impulsively, taking i n relatives or children on a private basis indicate dissatisfaction with foster care. When closing i s basically for financial reasons i t points to the need for a rise In board rates. Overcrowding points to the need for more applications of a type suitable to the children who require placement so that the selection of a home i s not because of expediency.  This requires a sufficient num-  ber of skilled homefinders with time to complete home studies, and a more aggressive policy of reaching the community to put the need across. They should have the a b i l i t y , maturity and training to put into effect good homefinding practices generally, such as recognition of marital problems, lack of acceptance of foster children, and signs of poor health. The homefinder should know her community. For example when looking f o r homes i n Vancouver she should know that the area south-east of Granville Street in the residential sections has so far bean one of the more productive areas for foster homes. Difficult behaviour and overcrowding in homes also shows the need for a co-ordination between children admitted and placement resources.  -  72  Children in need of protection most by law be admitted to care so more resources for their care must be provided*  In order to get more foster  parents of the type an agency wants, the job must appeal as a satisfying one*  Then this source w i l l recruit other foster parents more productively* Board rates should be high enough so that foster parents are not  asked to subsidize* The examination of rates should be shared with the board and the community, with attention to cost of l i v i n g indices and changes, and to the standard of living most often found i n foster homes* Besides being available, homes must be suitable* Newspaper advertisements In the classified columns have proven to produce only a 10% return* This means may be threatening to public relations as such a large percentage must be refused* look carefully at i t s effect*  It would pay to  The experience of homefinders has been  that advertising generally i s unsatisfactory and results are l i t t l e better for a specific child as In the advertisement P.30.  There i s a need for a  long range building up of the program* A more consistent search for foster parents i s needed and this should include an appeal to other agencies and ethnic groups for suggestions of names of people to approach*  - 73 Recommendations Conclusions reached about foster homes centre around three basic topics, namely, recruitment of homes, the home-study, and placement practices*  The recommendations in this thesis w i l l be concerning  these needs and are often difficult to separate as a l l are inter-related* This shows up particularly in recruitment and maintenance of homes as one reflects on the other to a great extent* There should be a definite effort on the part of the Homefinding Department to seek out possible foster-parents in the community through i t s key clubs, churches, Parent-Teachers-Associations and leaders* Information about Vancouver city districts can be obtained through the Community Chest.  One suggestion i s that this could be begun in one agency unit at a  time and with the hope that the unit supervisor with the unit workers would be involved as well as the homefinders* Besides knowing the possibilities and resources in each area, homefinders should be familiar with the kinds of homes required for the children needing placement. So there i s need for homefinders and unit workers to work closely together, each sharing her knowledge with the other.  District workers should be alert to report possible foster par-  ents to homefinders and a l l workers should help in reporting possible foster homes* In January 1953 the Jewish Child Care Association of New York initiated a program of group activities for foster parents to stimulate the securing and maintaining of a sufficient quantity and quality of foster homes.  1  Foster parents planned actively with Board and staff  1* Schick, Bessie Grossman, "Group Activities with Foster Parents," Child Welfare, Vol. XXXIV, June 1955.  - 74 on committees. Foster parents* activities included such things as a "Coffee Hour" and informal meetings to discuss foster parenthood, with special i n v i tations to foster fathers.  Panels on which foster parents participated  were used successfully.  Representatives and foster parents from other  agencies were invited.  Group meetings were held for prospective foster  parents to learn about the program. The project brought foster parents closer to the agency and enlisted their help in homefinding*  They f e l t  the support of gettihg together in groups* In this program for whose development a full-time person was  em-  ployed the following objectives were considered important: 1*  To increase the number of referrals of prospective foster families by current foster parents;  2.  To decrease the turnover of foster homes;  3*  To develop experienced foster families as resources for meeting the increasing problem of finding homes for"disturbed" children;  4*  To improve, as by-products, the climate in which the caseworker operates and the climate in which the foster parents rear the children. 1  The writer continues that "whether foster parents do so knowingly or not, they are constantly "selling" or "tinselling" foster home care". 2 So foster parents need to have a feeling of loyalty and partnership with the agency from the very f i r s t contacts.  They must have satisfaction i n  the work they do, in order to impart i t to others*  1. 2.  Ibid. P. 14 Ibid* P. 20  - 75 Recently in Boston eight child-placing agencies participated in co-operative homefinding and shared the use of the foster homes*  1  For one thing the Boston agencies found that they f e l t less the pressure of having too fens good homes, and many times there was a greater choice for a child with special needs. Another such plan i s called "Jackie", which i s a permanent joint committee formed by the three San Francisco Community Chest child-placing agencies f o r finding foster homes. Some continuing plan for recruitment i s needed for every child-placing agency* Regular columns in the newspapers should not be a generalized thing but should outline a job with typical problems and children i n need of placement. fully*  Ryther Child Centre of Seattle used this method success-  Such a column reaches more people and a different group than those  who read the classified advertisement sections* Radio and T.V. can be used to recruit foster parents*  The Child  Welfare League of America has short movies on foster placement whioh can be rented* There should be constant efforts at interpretation of the worthwhileness of the job*  One of the things which potential foster parents  mast often resent i s "red tape".  There should be a great deal of inter-  pretation to the public of the reason for this*  I t should be pointed out  that the home-study is done with a sense of responsibility for the interests of children*  I t should also be acknowledged r e a l i s t i c a l l y that  foster parenthood i s a hard job and that as i n any family^problems w i l l arise but that they are giving help to children which cannot be matched for service^ and the agency w i l l support them.  1. Bailj Mary Z., "Experiment i n Co-operative Homefinding," Child Welfare. H O T . February 1955.  76 Fundamental criteria for the selection of homes has already been drawn up in Chapter 2 of this study*  This agency under study alms  at following closely those standards drawn up by the Child Welfare League 1 of America.  The home-study i s designed to determine the use and prepare  the home for work with certain children in agency care* So  the homefinding aervioe of the agency requires specialized  s k i l l s and should be regarded as a distinct service * The job i s recognized as one of the hardest in the agency due to i t s peculiar demands* The homefinder has to assess with people their abilities to be foster parents, with the focus on children's needs but without the direct contact with children*  She must be able to withhold or deny with sureness  where best for both family and children*  Dorothy Hutchinson writes of  the worker with a "tough mind" and a "tender heart." "The tender heart selects the new surroundings hopefully, perhaps intuitively, but the tough mind knows by conscientious study of the child and his family whether or not the people in this new environment can offer him the neoess2 ary nourishment for his emotional growth"* So homefinders should be chosen because of their training, maturi t y , experience and diagnostic a b i l i t y *  Concentration should be on main-  taining high standards of home studies*  In order to do this the specially  1. Child Welfare League of America, Sscerpts from Standards for Children's Organizations Proyidlng Foster Family Care, New York, The League,  1947-  ..  .  .  2, Hutchinson, Dorothy, "The Placement Worker and the Child's own Parents," Social Casework. Vol*.XXXV July 1954 - P. 292.  - 77 -  qualified homefinder must have sufficient opportunity to carry through a satisfactory completed home-study.  The accepted standard of the Child  Welfare League of America i s f o r one homefinder to every two hundred children in care.  Judging by that, as there were 1633 children In C*A«S.  foster homes during the year 1954 there should be eight homefinders on the agency staff* In a Buffalo agency the accepted number of completed homes by one homefinder in a month was four or five when she handled recruiting, 1 an average of 44 applications and inquiries regarding foster family care* Homefinders benefit from the stimulus offered by a special i n s t i tute on homefinding lead by an expert in child-placing work* A summary of one such a meeting i s found i n Appendix B. Because homefinders need to be in close touch with the community so they can seek out more foster homes, consideration should be given to assigning one or more homefinders to each of the five units of the agency, although not necessarily homefinding exclusively i n that one area*  There  i s the added benefit here that the homefinder i s closer to placement needs when helping to locate a suitable home f o r a particular child* Worker and homefinder should know the child well enough so that the foster home can be used most effectively*  This points up the need for  a most careful and continuing diagnosis before and after children come into agency care*  The pre-placement conference i s most important in a l l prospec-  tive placements and gives direction to work with the children in the foster home* Homefinders and workers should not be separated on the job but 1. Browning, Lucie K. "A Time Study of Homefinding", Child Welfare. Vol. 30 June 1951, F*16. .  - 78 there should be a direct relationship between homefinding and the placement. The evaluation of a home does not end with i t s approval for use but continues to be evaluated by the worker visiting the home* Her observations should be clearly noted In the foster home f i l e and she should feel as much responsibility f o r this as the homefinder. Zt i s possible that many closed foster homes could be saved for agency use*  They are needed urgently so are often used too soon*  Could  there not be opportunities for group discussions with foster parents as a preparation both beforehand and while doing the job?  This should enable  them to learn what i s involved, help them to be interested i n making the greatest contribution, and give them status with the feeling of belonging* Another effort to attract and keep foster parents would be i n the form of higher board rates to meet the cost to the family for the child's care*  Where a child has special problems, costs entailed such as  extra washing should be paid for and some token given for the added time spent* Interpretation of the need for higher rates should be carried through service clubs, articles, radio, T.V., churches and other avenues. It should be the concern of the whole community to help supply more resources and f i l l In the placement gaps. So there must be involvement of other agencies and groups, as well as individuals in the meaning of and the need for more foster homes. When the turnover in homes i s great the reasons should be examined.  It i s noted in table 5 - Page 57 - that 54$ of the closed homes  studied served the agency less than one year.  These homes must have been  deemed as good possibilities for foster homes so why did they close before one year of service? I f even a small proportion could be saved for agency  - 79 use, there would be that many more homes available*  ,  Foster parents would continue longer i f they f e l t there was status to the job so i t i s important that they have recognition i n agency and community and special support in times of strain*  Skilled  workers must have sufficiently low caseloads so there w i l l be opportuni t y to carry this through*  The less casework help the more mature the  foster parent must be* With more casework help there could be a greater selection of homes for use* The comment has been heard that most of the older dependable homes who used, to take children have been closed and no homes have come up to take their places* Why? Is i t because of a reputation of the difficulty of being a foster parent?  I f workers could give more case-  work help to foster parents in this task, more homes must surely be saved* I f an agency can hang on to i t s good homes by giving extra support i n times of stress many homes would be conserved*  The feeling  i s that "one desirable home retained i s more valuable (and economical) than a new home opened, and stability of foster homes depends to a great 1 extent on the satisfactions derived from foster parenthood.  n  They  must feel content that they have a shared responsibility for the child. On the subject of satisfactions Mrs. Gladys Bay says i n essence that foster children cannot completely satisfy the need of foster parents to love a child and be loved in return.  So foster parents must  realize the added satisfaction of a respected and appreciated relation2  ship with the agency.  1.  Ibid.  P. 19  2. Day, Gladys, Home Finding. Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration, Children's Bureau, 1951.  - 80 -  ^Foster parents who care for emotionally disturbed children for short periods of time must get their satisfaction from a job well done rather  1 than from the love of children".  I f more could be done to save reliable  experienced homes a permanent group would be established to serve as foster homes. Once foster parents are chosen they should have special opportuni t i e s to learn about the job and to discuss common problems.  They would  stand to gain from the relief that others are facing the same problems. There i s comfort in the sharing and exchanging of ideas, accompanied by an added feeling of worth and the recognition by the agency. In her book "The Art of Child Placement", Jean Charnley has described foster parents as staff workers of an agency who share with the social worker'the job of rehabilitating children. So there should be a study of a l l foster homes which are closed, both those used for a short time as well as ones used for longer periods. Placement practices in the use of these homes should be continuously examined with the ultimate purpose of retention of as many good homes as possible, once they have been approved for use.  Good practices in plac-  ing of children should be constantly studied and brought to the attention of staff members. In order that workers may have access to every suitable available foster home when placing a child a classified index of these homes should be up-to-date to show a l l possible vacant homes. Homes should be listed according to their recommended use; for example, whether for young or older children, g i r l s or boys, or children of mixed racial background. 1.  Ibid.  P. 4.  The index should indicate lacks i n supply of certain kinds of foster homes and w i l l help direct the Homefinding Department i n the search for homes* The most important thing i n getting good foster homes i s i n attracting a desirable selection of applicants in the f i r s t place end by treating foster parenthood as a challenging job* A thorough home study can be facilitated when there i s a high standard of homes from which to choose and when there are enough skilled homefinders with diagnostic a b i l i t y , maturity and strength to complete the study satisfactorily*  Sharpened placement practices such as pre-plaoement  conferences and case work service before and after placement should do much to increase and retain the kind of foster homes agencies want*  SUMMARIZED RECOMMENDATIONS  Previously, on Page 73 of this study, the suggestion was made that recruiting for foster homes be organized and developed one agency unit at a time* Shared plans f o r the recruitment of foster homes should be considered in the future for the Catholic and Protestant Children's Aid Societies of Vancouver and the Social Welfare Branch, a l l of which at present use foster homes i n the same areas of Xadner, Langley, Aldergrove, Whiteroek, Surrey, Steveston, Lulu Island, New Westminster and Burnaby. There would necessarily be the same standards for foster homes and the same board rates* The objective would be a choice of foster homes for most children placed* Advertising for foster homes should be a continuous plan and not alone when the need f o r a home arises, and should be through the regular columns of the newspaper, rather than i n the c l a s s i fied advertisements, i n order to reach the desired people* As this i s costly there i s the possibility of enlisting the interest of a service club in this as a project* Foster parents recruit other foster parents so they need satisfaction in the work they do i n order to impart i t to others as an appealing job* Every effort should be consistently made to have them feel the worthwhileness of the job and that the agency recognizes them. Preparation for the job beforehand and education afterwards should be through group meetings together, and with Board and agency staff members, to discuss common problems* The suggestion i s that one worker be responsible to see that such a plan is organized and carried out continuously during the year, and the need i s to explore the possibilities for foster P.T.A* groups, or night classes for foster parents with the Vancouver School Board. Foster parents might take part i n panel discussions and T.V. programmes concerning the job* Every effort should be made to interpret to other agencies and groups, and also to the public the need for foster homes, treatment centres and receiving homes. I t should be the responsibility of one worker to see that this plan i s carried out consistently during the year* A l l workers i n the agency should have the opportunity of helping in this plan* There should be co-ordination between placement resources and children admitted to care and foster homes recruited accordingly* An accurate account of placement needs should be kept from year to year*  - 83 -  6. In order to be i n close touch with placement requirements workers and homefinders should be i n constant touch* Consideration should be given to having one or more homefinders especially interested in one unit's placement needs, while s t i l l remaining part of the homefinding department* 7. Granting that the financial consideration with foster parents for a chosen job i s understandable and healthy, board rates should be raised to allow for cost of living plus reimbursement f o r service rendered with extra payment for extraordinary expenses and time spent* 8* (a) More temporary and foster homes are needed especially for emergency placements and when a child i s not well-known. This service should be developed as a job so that the foster parent understands her part i n helping the child on to a more permanent home and gets satisfaction from this rather than i n returns from a child's affection. (b) Special foster homes for disturbed children, teen-agers, mentally retarded children, physically handicapped children and infants awaiting adoptions are scarce and need to be particularly recruited* These homes should also be developed as a special service* 9* The number of foster children i n one foster home including own children should not be more than five, with not more than three of these pre-school age children. No more than two infants under one year in age should be cared for at one time in a temporary home for babies* 10. To relieve overcrowding i n foster homes there should be other group l i v i n g resources* There i s need for a receiving home for some children coming into placement* There i s also the oft-repeated need for a treatment centre, for emotionally disturbed children whom most foster parents cannot accept and who do not f i t into family l i v i n g . 11* A classified index of available vacancies in foster homes should be kept up-to-date routinely with the help of clerical workers, and notice sent by them to the Homefinding Department of every vacancy in a home* The index when studied should indicate lacks In resources and should direct recruitment* 12. Every closed home should be reviewed to consider i f a reevaluation i s necessary* 13. Homefinding i s recognized as a special job i n a child-placing agency* Therefore there should be enough skilled homefinders who can complete thorough home-studies and maintain high standards i n foster homes. To conform with placement requirements a sufficient number of homefinders should be employed i n the agency to allow for an aggressive recruitment programme* The predominance of marital d i f f i c u l t i e s i n studied homes indicates the importance of examination of family relationships, and the inclusion of the foster father, as well as the foster mother and their children, in the planning.  - 84 14* People who ask for foster parents and should not motive for taking children i s should be the foster parent's  adoptive children are not asking to be be used as temporary parents. When the "company for own only child" the test a b i l i t y to see the child's needs*  15. The f i r s t use of a foster home is often conclusive and special support i s needed then* A home should not be used before i t s use has been determined. Before placement of a child there should be a pre-placement conference to include workers and homefinders concerned. Disturbed children should not be placed in new untried homes* Unless definitely recommended there should be no sharp changes i n placements* After a child is placed, soon and more frequent v i s i t s and contacts should be made at f i r s t , with regular v i s i t s thereafter* 16. Foster parents especially need support from the professional worker at times of crises, when there i s l i t t l e response from children, and with foster children's parents* So trained workers should have sufficiently low caseloads so that they can v i s i t concerning every child in agency care at least once in every two months. I t i s understood that many children need to be seen more frequently* Foster parents particularly need casework help when they take children with behaviour problems* 17* At least once a year one agency staff meeting or an institute should be devoted to the study of placement practices. Here failures could be contrasted with successes* The study of placement needs i n the past year could act as a guide to needs for the next year* 18* Continued research in placement needs and resources i s recommended especially in the area of motives and length of time homes are used* 19. One great need i s for foster homes for children, especially boys, in a l l categories over the age of 10* So there is need for research about placement needs as compared to placement resources*  A MANUAL  Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, B. 1675 West 10th Avenue  To Mr.  and Mrs. WELCOME  The C h i l d r e n ' s A i d S o c i e t y i s happy t o welcome you to" our group o f f o s t e r p a r e n t s . As f o s t e r p a r e n t s you p e r f o r m a - v e r y s p e c i a l and v a l u a b l e s e r v i c e t o - o u r Society,,  Your i n t e r e s t , .under-  s t a n d i n g , a f f e c t i o n and day-by-day c a r e are e s s e n t i a l .. t o c h i l d r e n 'who are s e p a r a t e d f r o m t h e i r own  families „  There are many j o y s and s a t i s f a c t i o n s j.n h e l p i n g a c h i l d t h r o u g h a p e r i o d when he must l i v e away f r o m h i s own  home.. We  do know, however, t h a t t h e r e are a l s o  o c c a s i o n s when t h i n g s do not r u n t o o smoothly. S o c i e t y w i l l share w i t h you for  a c h i l d ' s care..  We  a l l the  hope t h a t we  Our  responsibilities can work t o g e t h e r  as p a r t n e r s i n o r d e r t o h e l p t h e c h i l d r e n grow up  to  be happy, u s e f u l Canadian c i t i z e n s , , One  o f our c a s e w o r k e r s . . r e p r e s e n t i n g  w i l l v i s i t you at intervals„ knew how  t h e Agency,  She w i l l be. anxious t o  t h e c h i l d i s g e t t i n g a l o n g and she w i l l o f f e r  as much a s s i s t a n c e as possible„  We w i l l ask you to-  f o l l o w c e r t a i n p o l i c i e s and r e g u l a t i o n s , , p o s s i b l e t h a t we may  I t i s also  d i s a g r e e w i t h you on c e r t a i n  - 2 matters.  We hope t h a t y o u w i l l f e e l f r e e t o c a l l on  us a t any t i m e and we w i l l be more t h a n g l a d t o o f f e r o u r h e l p and s u g g e s t i o n s i n w o r k i n g t h i n g s o u t . Youngsters  who have s u f f e r e d n e g l e c t and abuse  need e s p e c i a l l y warm and f r i e n d l y f o s t e r p a r e n t s . •--T4aer-e-.ax.e_many-ot-her-reasons why a c h i l d comes i n t o O f t e n we need' ar s u b s t i t u t e home f o r a .  our c a r e .  s h o r t p e r i o d w h i l e h i s own home i s "being- r e - e s t a b lished.  A g a i n , we may be l o o k i n g f o r permanent"  f o s t e r p a r e n t s who e v e n t u a l l y may adopt a c h i l d . You see t h a t y o u a r e i n d i s p e n s a b l e t o u s ! I.  P l a n n i n g f o r Placement The  to  Agency l o o k s f o r a home t h a t i s b e s t  help a p a r t i c u l a r c h i l d .  suited  I n s e l e c t i n g y o u r home  f o r t h a t c h i l d , t h e caseworker i s anxious t o c o n s i d e r a l s o y o u r needs and p r e f e r e n c e s .  The caseworker w i l l  t e l l y o u about t h e c h i l d and t a l k over w i t h you such matters  as t h e r e a s o n f o r h i s coming i n t o c a r e , .  b e h a v i o r d i f f i c u l t i e s and t h e i n t e r e s t o f h i s relatives.  Then i t i s up t o you t o d e c i d e whether  you w i l l take t h e c h i l d .  Wherever p o s s i b l e t h e  caseworker w i l l work t h e s e t h i n g s o u t w i t h you w e l l  -3-  ahead of time.  You w i l l realize of course that we  are unable to do t h i s during emergency placements. I I . Our Approval of your Home. Before a foster home i s accepted, we check with references submitted by you, usually the doctor, minister and three acquaintances.  A couimittee" cf  the Society's Board Members give their f i n a l decision as to whether your heme i s approved.  This i s dene as  a protective measure to ensure that only the best homes are used.  After a l l a c h i l d ' s future develcp-  ment depends upon the early care and love he receives i n his home. If you are l i v i n g i n Vancouver and are going to? board a child  for u-s, under the age cf seven,your  home w i l l be recommended for a license required by City By-Law.  Yeu w i l l be expected te send a dollar  to the City H a l l , after which you w i l l be forwarded the license. year.  Your license expires at the end of a  After the placement of any c h i l d you w i l l be  sent an agreement form which we ask you to sign and return to the Agency. III.  Changes i n Your Home. The caseworker needs to know of any change i n the  number of people l i v i n g i n your household. When we accept your home i t i s understood that you are agreeing not to board children privately or from any source whatever, without t a l k i n g things over with us. We l i k e to be advised of any change i n your address, even during a holiday period, for remember we are sharing with you the responsibility for the c h i l d . IV. Financial Arrangements The board rate of the Agency varies with the age of the c h i l d . The caseworker w i l l discuss the payments before arrangements are made for you to take a particular c h i l d .  Special rates are paid for c h i l d -  ren requiring extra care, such as a diabetic cr blind and deaf children.  The board i s paid by cheque  regularly every month. Your cheque w i l l probably arrive about the middle of the month. For instance you can expect your January cheque to come to you the l*5th of February. Board i s not paid when the c h i l d i s away from your home at camp or i l l i n the h o s p i t a l . The board cheque i s expected to cover such items as the c h i l d ' s food, laundry, school lunches, school supplies other than text books,incidental medical  supplies and V.  <•  breakages.  Clothing F o s t e r parer/usy 'Who  the  5  age  of  si~s.  these c h i l d r e n ,  quirement So  f  receive  an  are b o a r d i n g c h i l d r e n under i n i t i a l o u t f i t of c l o t h i n g f o r  ?rfter- which they meet a l l c l o t h i n g  re-  The Agency p r o v i d e s c l o t h i n g f o r a l l  c h i l d r e n o v e r six.' By moans of a voucher system the f o s t e r mother, may s e v e r a l department VI.  purchase t h e c l o t h i n g at any one stores,.  Family Allowance A f t e r a c h i l d ' s placement, the  "you  of  Agenu-y w i l l  send  Aour d o l l a r s of t h e Family Allowance regular1™^  The  remainder i s kept i n t r u s t f o r t h * c h i l d to be used f o r something s p e c i a l l i k e p i a n o l e s s o n s or a t e e n age p a r t y dress.  The A l l o w a n c e i s i n t e n d e d to c o v e r such t h i n g s  as pocket money and- s c h o o l s u p p l i e s . VII.  Health Service The Agency i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e m e d i c a l and  d e n t a l care of t h e c h i l d . and d e n t a l check u p s .  We  arrange p e r i o d i c m e d i c a l  As f o s t e r p a r e n t s i t i s up t o you  t o keep us i n f o r m e d about the c h i l d ' s h e a l t h a t a l l t i m e s .  (a) EUness If telephone  '  the child g e t s sick, we expee. the Agency promptly , ;  p l a n w i t h y o u arrangements  loi;  the c h i l d ' s  c^.ro,  (b) Wjg.bt or i f e A e n d :[llr.ess  In the w o r k e r on d u t y  case  of sudden i l l n e s s or a c c ^ e r - t o u r  can be reached  night number, Marine  2474.  you axe unable to reach the  b y t e l e p h o n e a t the: Agency  However, i f f o r s o m e caseworker  take the child t o the nearest h o s p i t a l i ic-onr^v  ?s  VIII.  soon as  po,=>F"i  reason  ijaaediatc-'iy,. and n o t i f y the  o,  S c h o o l Pays  In accordance with our Provincial L e g i s l a * tion a l l children must attend school u n t i l they have attained the age of fifteen years.  Every encouragement,  however, i s given to children to continue t h e i r schooling after that age. IX.  Religious Training The  Agency expects  that the  child i n your  care be given every opportunity to have religious training.  - 7  X.  VisitixiR Relatives  The Agency believes that i n many situations i t i s important for foster children to keep i n touch with their own parents or responsible r e l a t i v e s .  Plans  for v i s i t s w i l l be talked over with you beforehand.  If  v i s i t s do not work out as happily as anticipated, please f e e l free to discuss these matters with your caseworker so that better arrangements can be made the next time. XI.  Ending of Placement If the time arrives for the child to leave  your home the caseworker w i l l endeavor to discuss with you plans for his future as far i n advance as possible. In the same way i f you find you are unable to continue caring for a c h i l d , we would also appreciate knowing well  i n advance i n order to give us time to make a satisfactory plan for the c h i l d . GOODBYE  As foster parents you are playing the leading role i n giving a child a chance to develop normally. You know, a l l children have certain fundamental needs.  They  have growing bodies and need a l l the things provided for  vigorous growth. They are going to be with people a l l their l i v e s and need to learn how to get along with them. They are going to have many problems and experiences with which they w i l l want help.  It  i s i n these things that you make your special contribution towards a c h i l d ' s welfare and happiness. In closing may we say that we hope you and your family w i l l enjoy the experience of sharing your home with a foster child who needs your love and care.  P.S.  As foster parents you may have enquiries from  other people interested i n giving a child a home. We would greatly appreciate your referring such people to us.  • 85 -  APPENDIX A SAMPLE FORMS 1.  MANUAL FOR FOSTER PARENTS  THE CHILDHLN'S AID SOCIETY OF VANCOUVER, B. C. THIS AGREDIENT MADE THE day of . BETWEEN THE CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF VANCOUVER, B. C. (hereinafter called "the Society") and  ,19  .  and his wife, of (hereinafter called "the foster  parents"):  WITNESSETH that the foster parents hereby covenant and agree with the Society as follows 1. They s h a l l receive into t h e i r home a child of the Society born on the day of 19...(hereinafter called "the c h i l d " ) , and s h a l l act towards such c h i l d at a l l times with kindness and consideration, providing . . . . . . . . w i t h food, clothing and other necessaries, and with opportunities for growing up to lead a happy and useful l i f e . 2. They s h a l l treat the child as a member of their family. 3c They s h a l l send the child to school as required by law and for such further periods as the Society s h a l l require. They s h a l l notify the Society i f the child f a i l s to attend school, accepts employment or leaves t h e i r home.  U* They s h a l l maintain the c h i l d i n t h e i r care so long as both parties hereto are satisfied with t h i s arrangement; should they.desire to return the child they s h a l l give to the Society two weeks' notice of t h e i r intention so to do. 5, They s h a l l not permit the child to be v i s i t e d by any person, regardless of relationship to the c h i l d , except when the Society has given the foster parents permission for such vis:; 6- They s h a l l advise the Society at least once i n every three months of the progress of the c h i l d . Further, they s h a l l give to the Society immediate n o t i f i c a t i o n of any accident to or i l l n e s s of the c h i l d or of t h e i r removal or of any dissatisfaction or of the death of such c h i l d , or of the death or i l l n e s s of relatives of the c h i l d should it.uccaae to their attention. 7. They s h a l l not permit the care of the c h i l d to be taken over by any other person without the written permission of the Society. 8. The right i s reserved to the Society to withdraw the child.from any person having his or her custody when, i n the opinion of the Society, the welfare of such c h i l d requires i t , 9= The foster mother s h a l l not leave her home' oyer night without notifying the Society of her intention to do so and making whatever adjustment i s required. 10. The c h i l d s h a l l not be taken away from the foster home over night nor be permitted to leave the foster home over night without the consent of the Society. 11,  They s h a l l notify the Society of any.change of or addition to the personnel i n the hc™^  12o They s h a l l not permit the c h i l d to drive any automobile or motorcycle owned or operated by the foster parents without having made certain that such use i s i n accordance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, concerning the operation of motor vehicles by minors, and that t h e i r own l i a b i l i t y insurance adequately covers such use. It i s understood that the Society cannot accept any respons i b i l i t y for claims a r i s i n g from the operation of any such motor vehicle by the c h i l d .  SEALED, DELIVERED MD COUNTERSIGNED by the Executive Director of the Society ''  ) )  SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED by the foster parents i n the presence of:  ) ) )  :  • ~m. :  r ,  Executive Director Husband Wife  - 87 APPENDIX A SAMPLE FORMS 3.  Newsletter to Foster Parents.  Newsletter #17, October 1 4 , 1955. Dear Foster Parents: You w i l l receive t h i s l e t t e r soon a f t e r Thanksgiving Day. I t i s a time when most of us are reminded to count our b l e s s i n g s . We at the Children's Aid Society are thankful every day of our l i v e s f o r the f o s t e r parents who care f o r our c h i l d r e n . We think of them as our partner i n a team " p u l l i n g " for children who need help; I f only some magic word would double your number, because we urgently need more f o s t e r parents just l i k e youl It i s known and has been proven that the best and most r e l i a b l e source for recruiting, hew foster parents i s through experienced foster parents. You can speak with authority, because you know the problems to be met and the quali t i e s needed t o meet them - the patience, the steady courage, the tolerant acceptance and the. "giving", l o v e . You also have experienced the t h r i l l and the warm glow i n your heart when an anxious, insecure, unhappy c h i l d f i n a l l y gains security, self-respect and happiness through your e f f o r t s . We need foster homes, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r the children of 12 years and over. Those adolescent years are a sort of "no man's land". The youngsters are neither children nor adults and they are pretty mixed up about the whole thing. They are at the cross-roads and desperately need warm and sensible foster parents. -Will you t a l k to your neighbours and friends? T e l l them about your experience and above a l l , . , t e l l them of our need f o r more foster parents. Yours sincerely, Children's Aid Society of. Vancouver, B. C.,  Dorothy L. Coombe, Executive Director, NEWS.NOTES  A book f o r parents e n t i t l e d "Child Behaviour" by Doctors Frances I l g and Louise Ames, was published l a s t month. This new book treats comprehensively a l l ages from b i r t h through 10 years, t e l l i n g parents how t o deal with each stage of the c h i l d ' s development. I f you are a parent or a f o s t e r parent (or both), i t i s reassuring t o r e cognize the rhythms of growth and to know that c h i l d r e n s behaviour i s f a i r l y predictable. So i f your c h i l d i s an angel at 2 , a whiner at 3 g , obeys at 4 and i s demanding at 6 , he i s just grovring up i n a normal v/ay.  DISCIPLINE "How can I got my c h i l d to do the things he should do when he shoul< do them?" No-one can t e l l down t o th< l a s t d e t a i l because no two children are a l i k e . There are however, some basic p r i n c i p l e s which you may follow with confidence. The f i r s t p r i n c i p l e i s that a l l good d i s c i p l i n e r e s t s on your love fo: the child.. When there must be corred ion, l e t i t be "That was a bad thing you d i d " and not "You're a bad boy to do that." another guide i s that no matter what h i i age, a c h i l d wants h i s parents or f o s t e r parents to give him guidance on what he can and can't do. Again, i n d i s c i p l i n e i t i s not so much what you do as the way you do i t . Firmness with kindness w i l l gain the c h i l d ' s co-operation, while harsh angry words win only resentment. A fourth p r i n c i p l e i s teaching the c h i l d what's right and wrong by your own actions and a t t i t u d e s . This i s d i s c i p l i n e by example. With the above p r i n c i p l e s i n mind, you're not l i k e l y to go to one or the other of the two extremes too much punishment and r e s t r i c t i o n or too much freedom and " s p o i l i n g " .  1  YOUR SOCIETY IS A RED FEATHER AGENCY THE COMMUNITY CHEST DESERVES YOUR SUPPORT.  88 DISTRICTS CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF VANCOUVER, B. C. 1675 West Tenth Avenue, CE 8111  2. Centre Mrs. Kaufmann 3. East Miss Martin 4 . South Hrs. 7>  Smith  5. Country Mr. Sanders (N.W., Surrey, Langley, Delta & Richmond, South of Westminster Highway.)  Oct. 1955 OA/  Note  Areas outside City boundaries are used only for foster homes.  LA  AEEENDIX B December 4, 5, 6 & 7, 1951 CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY, VANCOUVER HOME FINDING INSTITUTE  lead by Mrs* H. EXNER, casework professor at the University of B.C.  Children's Agency Responsibility 1.  iRIMARY CLIENT  (focus of service)  . e CHILD WITH HIS NEEDS  (  Resources Worker (ability to help depends (abil; on objectivity and understanding of child) Foster JParents (ability to help depends on acceptance & understanding of child)  2.  DANGERS IN DECISION TO ACCEPT, REJECT OR USE HOME, A. Child being used to serve Foster Parents* needs - as to possess, show off, build ego, prove worth; as object of sadism; to serve other child, etc, B. Child being used to serve worker's needs: to give to parents (guilt toward own); to punish parents (resentment of own); to punish children; to prove "miracle can happen" and emotionally handicapped people can be good parents; to .reward certain standards (worker's own) as r i g i d cleanliness or behaviour; always to give,and never refuse; to control and manipulate; to take the easiest path; to hope for the best; to try any home, NOTE:  3.  Foster Parent comes as client with need he sees as a child. I f accepted he becomes a resource and part of a child's environment,  RESPONSIBILITY FOR AVAILABILITY OF HOMES NEEDED: (a)  Recruitment (including publicity, feature news, stories, advertising, radio, talks to service and neighborhood clubs and churches, through current homes).  APPENDIX B  -  - 2 (b)  C e n t r a l f i l e o f homes, currently kept up, including c l o s i n g undesirable homes with reason, a v a i l a b l e homes s p e c i f y i n g q u a l i t i e s of family and the p a r t i c u l a r ages, sex (es), temperaments and problems with which they deal best)  (c)  Assessment o f Home (with acceptance o r r e j e c t i o n ) , f i r s t as a Foster Home, and Separate Assessment ( I f accepted) f o r Specific Child. NOTE:  (d)  The more usual d i v i s i o n i s to have the general decision made by the Homefinding Department; i f workers do part of the i n vestigation, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r general acceptance o r r e j e c t i o n must be s p e c i f i c a l l y assigned, so home can be l i s t e d as " a v a i l a b l e " and the f o s t e r parents know t h e i r status.  Index o f Number of Homes available f o r various types of c h i l d . While a few f o s t e r parents can accept any c h i l d , many can care f o r babies only, many best f o r pre-school, many best f o r school age, and some f o r adolescents* Variations occur i n acceptance o f own parents and i n acceptance of types o f problem (active, aggressive, withdrawn, f e a r f u l , etc.) Such an index makes possible r e a l assessment as to whether homes are a v a i l a b l e f o r the children accepted, and enables recruitment f o r shortage groups.  SERIOUS DANGERS: (1)  Hanging on to homes with l i t t l e p o t e n t i a l "just i n case the • i d e a l * c h i l d appears".  (2) Because of shortage of proper homes, f o r c i n g one t o take a , ,. c h i l d whose problems they r e j e c t . (3)  Adding the one more c h i l d t o a successful foster home who makes the burden too great and the home Is l o s t *  (4) Allowing an emergenoy placement t o become permanent without reassessment as t o i t s a b i l i t y to meet child»s long-time needs* (5) (6)  Using any home f o r more than three (preferably two babies) under f i v e , o r f o r more than f i v e unrelated older children* Using f o s t e r parents without own children o r experience d i r e c t l y with children (a) f o r babies except i n adoption (b) f o r children with emotional and behaviour . problems under adolescence*  (7) Not assessing a "permanent f o s t e r home** as the adoption home i t i s hoped i t will.become*  APPENDIX B -  - 3 HOME FINDING PROCESS WITH APPLICANTS FIRST NEEDS: To help applicants (1)  Feel that they are participating in seeing i f they can happily accept a foster child.  (2)  In understanding that good parents w i l l not necessarily be happy or successful as foster parents. Caring for children of others i s a different relationship, and the agency MUST be i n close contact.  (3)  In understanding that agency children have often been deprived and may not return affection to foster parents for some time (months or even years); that such children w i l l have problems in behaviour and be babyish emotionally.  (4)  In understanding that every obiId reacts to a change of home by regressing to babyish ways, and eventually by "trying out" foster parents to see i f they can love him i n spite of his behaviour.  (5) In understanding that the agency child may have parents to - whom he i s often and may need to be, loyal; about whose defects the foster parents need to be understanding; and to whom the child may return. If parents visit foster home, the need for warmth toward them, but referral for decision and advice to agency. (6)  To understand i n f u l l the agency's primary responsibility as guardian, but also their availability to help regularly with discussion of problems. The need also of the agency child to have the worker as an added friend to talk with privately.  (7)  ,  (8)  To understand the importance of f u l l discussion of their background, feelings and wishes f i r s t , to test these against the problems of foster parenthood, and second i n selection of the child of the age, sex, temperament and problems best suited to their family. To see the importance of giving the child a place to belong i n so far as he wishes, with love asking no return, and the security of limits set with patience; to understand the Job i s one of making i t possible for a human being to grow, i n his own often surprising ways.  ASSESSMENT OF FOSTER HOMES FOR 1.  USE.  Essential areas of discussion. (a) Wish to take a foster child:  APPENDIX B - 9 2 - 4 -  (1)  how long considered; why considered; ideas of what i t w i l l be like; why particular interest as to sex, age, background, etc*  (2)  plans for care; extra work; discipline; love; making child at home; school; neighbourhood play, etc*  (b) Ideas about children - their relation to adults, to each other, . . their care and discipline, i n specific terms: (1)  re own children (as eating, sleeping, obeying, t o i l e t training, playing, affection, family planning and sharing etc*)  (2) re foster children (same as above; - ask also about . child's f i r s t coming - ways of making him at home, etc* Also enuresis, masturbation, lying, pilfering, temper,etc*) (3) Attitudes toward spouse - affectionate, understanding, joint planning, recreation, sharing chores, mutual interests* (4) Attitudes toward parents of a foster child - accepting, under, standing problems as desoribed i n "sample" instances, how to help child's feeling toward family* 2*  Assess separately for Father, Mother and where pertinent for children in Foster Family: (a) Real reasons for wanting a child, as money, to get love, companionship for self or child, to give love, to serve*) (b) Ability to accept child with (1) other family ties; (2) other standards; (3) deprived, with personality problems unable to belong and love at once; (4) with agency visiting and (5) who w i l l surely try out foster family to see i f they l i k e him when naughty* (All this should be discussed clearly and f u l l y with foster parents before they are accepted at a l l , and again around specific child* Belief i n environment rather than heredity i s essential)* (c) Strength of personality (Any mental illness at a l l should exclude use of home, as should delinquency in adulthood. Other illnesses may cause weakness as may early neglect or rejection* Specific feelings toward jobs, loss of jobs, neighbourhood, religion and government, i . e . authority, should be discussed.) (d)  Maturity (Assess patience, a b i l i t y to wait; a b i l i t y to adapt and adjust; ability to be firm; planning, sense of humour; and a b i l i t y to love without immediate return. Watch out for overstrict ideas of behaviour; r i g i d cleanliness; overanxiety; self-blame; self-interest.)  APPENDIX B -  93  - 5 -  (e)  Feelings within family for each other and friends, as shown in discussion of details of dally l i v i n g , inclusion in planning, affection; respect for opinions; enjoyment of l i v i n g together; i s i t an "open-door" family with room for others.  (f)  Discussion of own childhood; feeling toward parents; understanding of own problems; danger of over-indulgence (things missed In childhood, or over-harshness, to prove i t should be done the hard way); was there sufficient love so parent can give love?  ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS: (1)  To see foster father and mother separately, preferably In the office as well as together, and at home and with their children. This i s to set professional tone, and to see both interaction and separate functioning - as child w i l l experience i t .  (2) Adequate time to really know the family i n a relaxed way and have them get to know the agency. D.  ESSENTIAL KEEPS IN ADOPTIVE PARENTS AS COMPARED WITH FOSTER PARENTS 1.  Adoptive Parents Wish to have the child as own.  1.  2.  Belief that child can become their own.  2.  3.  Every evidence of ability i n health & finances of seeing child into maturity.  3.  NOTE; 4.  Foster Parents A b i l i t y to accept a child with other t i e s . Own children, so need for own family is satisfied. Some w i l l offer good, temporary home, may be older, less well-off.  Maturity and inner strength cannot be assumed in either group, since need for a child may be neurotic or immature. Realistic acceptance of s t e r i l i t y - concern for mate.  4.  Understanding of natural parents.  DANGER; Easier acceptance of Adoptive Applicants because they may seem to offer more or be closer to worker's own educational or cultural background. Since agency supervision in adoption stops after a year, special care must be taken (1) In assessing parents (2) in helping parents. E.  NEEDS OF FOSTER PARENTS: (1)  Those dangerous to children: need to be loved; to have companionship; need to control; to have power; need to possess; enlarge self through child; need to have someone very dependent; need to punish and hurt; need to show off, feel superior and "bountiful".  APPENDIX B-94  - 6-  (2)  Those good for children - mature need for children as humans who need love but w i l l grow up; need to love (without relation to return); need to create; to heal; to help a human grow; need to help even with some masochistic component.  NOTE: Such needs as companionship for child, for money or for occupation can only be assessed in light of the above. (3) Essential to Foster Parents: To receive recognition of problems and of effort, and to feel co-workers in the agency, i n rebuilding child l i v e s . Continuing help from the worker to understand the child, planned worker's v i s i t s , foster parent clubs, newsletters, bulletins, discussion groups and participation i n publicity promote integration with agency, and feeling of worth.  HE/TB  APPENDIX Q.  Excerpt From a_ Letter Written Nov* 9, 1955 by Mr. D* A* Miller, Director of Foster Care Department of State of Oregon's McLaren School for Boys, Woodburn. Oregon, Whose Superintendent i s Mr. James  Tnmh,  "our foster care program i s now i n i t s fourth year. .We deal exclusively with delinquent boys who have been committed to us from the courts of this state. The age range i s from twelve to eighteen years* We place boys in foster homes in l i e u of institutional experience after the boys have had a period of time in our reception cottage i n order that we might observe, diagnose, and plan for them. We place boys in foster homes whose communities reject them, whose parents reject them, or who are not permitted to return to their own homes because of the inadequacies of the parents. Barely, do we have a boy who i s a true orphan. We expect the boys to have demonstrated the kind of behavior which could be tolerated i n a local community. On the other hand we do not keep our boys on campus until they are "perfect l i t t l e angels" prior to placement* The process of placement i s elective on the part of the boys. They could stay on at the institution or go to our camp. The boys have opportunities of v i s i t i n g for a week-end i n a foster home prior to placement. Some boys v i s i t several homes before a decision for placement i s made. Most of our boys on placement are i n a f u l l time school program a l though we have a few who are not. Our monthly rates of payment vary up to oae hundred and twenty five dollars per month. We assume responsibilities for clothing, board, room, laundry, medical, and dental care. Currently, we have four foster care workers who have caseloads between twelve and fifteen per worker. In some instances the case load includes two or three boys on campus who are i n the process of getting ready for placement; i t i s our policy to have the ease worker concerned become reasonably well acquainted with the boy prior to placement. The area of placement i s within a radius of about forty miles of the training school; this i s mostly an economical measure with reference to travel."  - 96 -  BIBLIOGRAPHY (a)  General References  Abbott, Grace - The Child and the State. Press, Chicago, 1938.  2 Vols., Chicago University  Angus, Ann Margaret - Children's Aid Society of Vancouver. B.C. 1901 1951, Vancouver, Children's Aid Society, 1952. Bail, Mary K.-*!Experiment in Cooperative Homefinding" - Child Welfare, XXXIV, February 1955. Baker, Inez M.- "Foster Home Finding", The Family, Vol. XXVI, No. 3, May 1945. Bo ret z, Mary, - "An Itemized Guide for Board Rates to Foster Parents for the Care of Children", Child Welfare League Bulletin, Vol. XXIV, May 1945. Browning, Lucie K. - "A Time Study on Homefinding", Child Welfare. Vol. 30, June 1951. Canadian Welfare Council, Child Protection in Canada. A Report of a Committee on Child Protection of the Child Welfare Division. Ottawa. The Council 1954. Charnley, Jean, The Art of Child Placement, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1955* Child Welfare League of America, Excerpts from Standards for Children's Organizations Providing Foster Famlly**Care, New York, The League, 1947. Child Welfare League Bulletin, "Estimating Board Rates", Child Welfare League. Vol. XXIII, March 1944. Child Welfare League of America, "Board Rates - Agency Payments for Foster Care", Child Welfare League Bulletin. Vol, XXIV, September 1945. Child Welfare League of America, Some Principles Basic In Homefinding, The League, New York, Vol. XXX, 1951. Clepper, W. W., "A Foster Parent's Experience with Temporary Care", Child Welfare. Vol. XXXIV, May, 1955.  - 97 -  Cowan, E. A. - "Some Emotional Problems Besetting the Lives of Foster Children", Mental Hygiene, 1938. Day, Gladys Denison, - Home Finding, Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration, Children's Bureau, 1951. E l l i s , Vivian, - Multiple Placements of Foster Children, M.S.W. Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1949. Family Service Association of America, Techniques of Helping Children, reprinted from Journal of Social Casework, New York, 1947 1949. Fisher, Florence M., - The Group Home, Child Welfare League, New York, 1952. Griffiths, Margaret H., - "The Child Faces Placement", Canadian Welfare Council, Ottawa, 1946. Harris, Sara, "An Adventure with a Group of Foster Mothers", Child Welfare League Bulletin, Vol. XXII, November 1943. Howard, Frank M., - "Institution or Foster Home", Mental Hygiene, January 1946. Hutchinson, Dorothy, - »Eomefinding Trends", Child Welfare League. New York. Vol. XXXII, May 1953. Hutchinson, Dorothy, - "The Parent-Child Relationship as a Factor i n Child Placement", The Family, Vol. XXVII, April, 1946. Hutchinson, Dorothy, - "The Placement Worker and the Child's Own Parents", Soeial Casework. Vol. XXXV, July, 1954. KLein, Philip, - A Social Study of Pittsburgh, Columbia University Press, New York, 1938. Kohlsaat, Barbara and Johnson, M.D., Adelaide M., "Some Suggestions for Practice in Infant Adoptions", Social Casework, Vol. XXXV, March, 1954. Lerner, Samuel, "The Diagnostic Basis of Institutional Care for Children", Social Casework. Vol. XXXIII, March, 1952. O'Connell, Marie H., THelping the Child to use Foster Home Care", Foster Home Services to Children, Child Welfare League of Amerioa, New York, June 1953.  - 98 -  P i t t s , Marjorie W. - "The F i r s t Interview with Foster Parents", C h i l d Welfare League, New York, V o l . XXIX, March 1950. Reid, Aubrey, - Placement F a c i l i t i e s f o r Teen Age Boys i n C.A.S. Vancouver. M.S.W. Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1953. Ribble, Margaret A., The Rights of Infante, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, New York, 1943. Schick, Bessie Grossman, "Group A c t i v i t i e s with Foster Parents", C h i l d Welfare. V o l . XXXIV, June 1955. Smallman, Marjory Maude, Foster Homefinding, M.S.W. Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto, 1952. Solomon, Albert, " P u b l i c i t y Methods i n Finding Foster Homes", C h i l d Welfare League of America, New York, V o l . XXXI, 1952. Stubbins, Lorene, "Foster Home Care", Canadian Welfare Council, Ottawa, 1951. Thurston, Henry W., - The Dependent Child, Columbia University Press, New York, 1930. Verry, E t h e l , - "Replacements i n Foster Family Care", C h i l d Welfare League B u l l e t i n , V o l . XXVII, A p r i l 1948 Young, Leontine R., - tPlanhing f o r C h i l d Placement", C h i l d Welfare League of America. New York, V o l . XXVH, January 1948.  (b)  S p e c i f i c References  Camp, Sophie, "A S t a f f Studies i t s Homes and Faces i t s Home Finding Problems", C h i l d Welfare League B u l l e t i n , Supplement, A p r i l 1942. F i s h , Connie, "Maintaining Foster Homes", Same P r a c t i c e s i n Home Finding. C h i l d Welfare League, New York, May 1940. Josselyn, Irene and Towle, Charlotte, "Evaluating Motives of Foster Parents", C h i l d Welfare League, New York, February 1952. Hutchinson, Dorothy, In Quest o f Foster Parents, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, New York, 1943.  - 99 -  K l i n e , Draza and Overstreet, Helen Mart, "Maintaining Foster Homes Through Casework S k i l l s " , Proceedings of the-National Conference of 'Social Work, New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s 3 ,  1948.  Radinsky, E l i z a b e t h K., - "Dilemmas Faced i n Planning f o r the C h i l d Needing S p e c i a l Foster Care", Child Welfare League, New York, June 1951. Riohman, Leon H., - "Problems of Foster Care", Canadian Welfare Council, Ottawa, 1948. Young, Ruth, - "As a Foster Mother Sees I t " , Concerning Children, Ottawa, Canadian Welfare Council, March, 1949.  

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