UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social case work method in foster home finding Gelley, Maurine Ellen 1954

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-UBC_1954_A5 G4 S6.pdf [ 5.32MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0106427.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0106427-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0106427-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0106427-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0106427-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0106427-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0106427-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

SOCIAL CASE WORK METHOD IN FOSTER HOME FINDING by Maurine Ellen Gelley and Ruth Agnes Wright Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in the School of Social Work Accepted as conforming to the standard required for the degree of Master of Social Work School of Social Work 1954-The University of Br i t i s h Columbia i v ABSTRACT This thesis i s an examination of foster home find i n g methods i n a large c h i l d - p l a c i n g agency. The study was undertaken as an investigation into the causes of d i s -s a t i s f a c t i o n and d i f f i c u l t i e s experienced by agencies i n th e i r e f f o r t s to achieve a good standard of care for t h e i r children through the medium of foster homes. It i s also a consideration of the manner i n which the case work approach i n home fi n d i n g can be brought to bear on the amelioration of these problems. The agency i n which the study was done, the Children' Aid Society of Vancouver, B.C., i s t y p i c a l of several i n th i s country wherein the agency i s committed to planning for several hundreds of children who come into i t s care through the administration of the various statutes related to the protection of children. I t cannot be compared to small s p e c i a l i z e d agencies giving service to a selected c l i e n t e l e . The study includes: 1. An account of the development of the use of foster homes i n c h i l d placement, and the use of case work method i n t h i s . 2., Review of s o c i a l work philosophy and how i t may be applied by the administration and personnel of an agency i n home finding. 3. An examination of the agency's actual case records of foster home studies. The information sought was a comprehensive knowledge of the job of home finding through professional l i t e r a t u r e and observation of pra c t i c e . The findings would support the contention that professional case work d i s c i p l i n e s could be applied with greater e f f o r t , and that there i s need for more emphasis oh the part which foster home finding plays i n a t o t a l c h i l d care program. V ACKNOWLEDGMENT We wish to express to Mrs. Helen Exner of the faeulty of the School of Social Work, University of Br i t i s h Columbia, and to Mrs. Charlotte Cornwall of the Vancouver Children's Aid Society our appreciation of their respective contributions to and assistance in the completion of this study. i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1 . The Development of the Use of Foster Homes Definition of foster home care. Outline of social services currently available for children. Development of the use of placement for children in Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada,, and B r i t i s h Columbia. Description of the agency at which study was done, and description of the sample of case records used. Manner in which information was e l i c i t e d from records Chapter 2. Problems of Administration and Case work in Home Finding Services An agency's philosophy about the use of case work in home finding. Task of the administ-ration in preventing failure of foster home place-ments, in recognizing the work done by foster par-ents, and in providing them with supervisory help. Role of case work supervision in home finding, and the administrative responsibility in enabling this. Role of the individual home finder in agency, the task of evaluating foster families within the lim i t -ations of the agency; the dangers of emotional displacement of the work of home finders. Discussion of the relationship between home finders and foster parents . Chapter 3 . Tabulation of Material from 1 0 0 Foster Home Records Number and source of applications. Phy-si c a l description of the homes. Processing inquiries. Intake process. Main body of the study; recording of home study. The supervisory co-ordination. Place of the home finding service in agency structure Chapter 4. Observations and Recommendations Agency service s t a t i s t i c s , placement s t a t i s t i c s , forms used. Home study and evaluation, s t a t i s t i c a l information about foster families, emotional evaluation of families. Discussion of ease material. Administrative handling. General comments and recommendations i i i Page Appendices? A. Schedule of data taken from records. . . . 85 B. . Foster Home Application form 87 CY Intake s l i p 88 D. Statement of minimal standards 91 £. 'Some case summaries . . . . 92 F. Children's Aid Society of Vancouver . . . 104 G. Bibliography 105 TABLES IN THE TEXT Table 1. Descriptive Analysis of the Homes . . . . 40 Table 2. Sources of Referral of Applicants to Agency 41 Table 3. Applicants' I n i t i a l Contact with Agency . 44 Table 4. Number of Direct Contacts in Home Study . 46 Table 5. Relationship between Number of Contacts and Uses Made of Home 47 Table 6. Disposition of Home Studies 57 SOCIAL CASE WORK METHOD IN FOSTER HOME FINDING CHAPTER 1 Development of the Use of Foster Homes in Social Services Social agencies responsible for planning and pro-viding for the care of those children who temporarily or permanently cannot be cared for by their natural parents, have come to believe that the best interests of such child-ren are served when they can li v e with, and be part of, another family. The term "foster home care" brings to mind, in present day professional thinking, the placement of a child whose own home has failed him, in another family setting, which w i l l give him, as far as possible, the equiv-alent of the positive elements of the home from which he has been removed. In addition, i t w i l l offer him what his own home lacked. We assume that the agency placing the child has picked the substitute home after careful consideration of i t s capabilities to offer that specific child good physical care, but even more important, understanding of the many conflicting emotions he has experienced and Is experiencing, and a security and st a b i l i t y upon which he can draw as he needs i t and when he is able to use i t . The focus of the plan of placement is on the child and his needs. The sub-stitute home, a child's placement in i t , i t is now believed must be the object of careful planning on the part of agencies caring for children. Skilled and experienced workers are believed to be essential in the study and eval-- 2 -uation of homes and families of those who offer to provide foster home care, to assess their s u i t a b i l i t y as foster parents, to care for children not their own, and who usually have other tie s . The child requiring a home is similarly studied and worked with. The most suitable home possible is found for him, and the social work staff make careful preparation of both child and foster parents for the move. Then, once the child is in the home, continued intensive work with him helps him through the d i f f i c u l t phase of re-adjustment to a totally new situation. Continued work with the foster parents helps them understand the child's problems and their role of day-by-day care, in assisting the agency in implementing a long-term plan for the child. Placement is only one of the many phases of service to children known in social work today. Common to a l l of them is the basic philosophy of the inherent worth of the client, and his right to acceptance as an individual, with unique needs and characteristics. Over the years, the focus has at last come to rest on the child as a client, with rights and needs of his own. As social workers, we recognize the child's right to his own home, and the security which membership of one's own family means. As this became a basic concept in working with children, social work evolved techniques i n working with families to prevent a breakdown of the home with which so much of a child's feeling of belonging is tied up. Therefore social work has refined i t s s k i l l s in the area of child protection or preventive work, whereby children may remain with their own. families while professional help is given to children and families towards a more satisfying and socially acceptable mode of l i v i n g . Public financial assistance has become a significant tool in preventing the breakdown of a family group. In addition, family counselling can provide much of the strength and support necessary to a family struggling to remain a unit. Psychiatric diagnosis and treatment are recognized as further aids In preventing removal of a child from his own parents. Above a l l , there has been the growing recognition that a l l of this involves a special body of knowledge, and special training. A well-rounded professional service to children makes use of these various resources before resorting to actual placement. It i s , therefore, a social worker's grave responsibility to keep abreast of developments in a l l of these areas, regardless of the f i e l d in which he has chosen to specialize. When a l l these efforts f a i l , and a child must be removed from his family, a substitute home is found for him, whether for a short or long period of time. Broadly speaking, present day placement programs make use of two distinct types of cares institutional and family setting. The choice of a group or a family setting is dependent on the specific needs of the child at a specific period in his adjustment. The range within each setting i s wide, and i t is possible that one or more kind of institution and/or foster home is available for a child at different stages of his treatment or placement experience. For many years, large institutions existed for the sole purpose of housing homeless children. Gradually, there was a swing in pro-fessional thinking to a theory that a foster family is the answer to every child's placement needs. Now, psychiatric and case work evaluation of the child help to determine his immediate and long term needs, and the merits of each type of placement are considered in the light of the evaluation. This is resulting in a s k i l l f u l blending of the two diver-si f i e d methods of child placement. This study is confined to a discussion of only one types foster home placement. Earlier concepts of a child growing up in a home other than his own date back to Elizabethan times in England, to a process known as inden-ture. By this method, a child was placed by his own parents in a home where he would begin as a very young child to learn a trade. The child's welfare in such a home was a subject of l i t t l e concern to anyone. Arthur Fink, in his book The Field  of Social Work states: "While superficially there appears to be a similarity between indenture and foster home place-ment, actually the two are far removed in both their pur-poses and their methods. What they have in common is the placement of a child i n another person's home; but beyond that the likeness ceases to ex i s t . M * Under the system of indenture, the placement depended almost entirely on the willingness of the person involved in receiving the child for training, and the rights of the child to his own family were disregarded. In the meantime, Scottish local govern-ment welfare boards were using placement with a slightly different emphasis: children were being allocated to private families with the object of reducing the cost of maintaining them publicly. There is some indication that attempts were made at keeping track of these children. Cohen's book English Social Services makes reference to a paper given by a Scottish inspector of the poor, to a meeting of the Nat-ional Association for the Promotion of Social Sciences, in i860, which revealed that such homes were regularly inspect-ed. Subsequent to 1870, Miss Cohen states, women were appointed by local government boards to inspect homes for signs of ill-treatment of the children placed therein. Comm-ittees were organized to v i s i t foster parents, though to what purpose is not clearly indicated. There was no organiz-ation in the planning of these placements, and in the sub-2 sequent contacts with the children or foster families. 1. Fink, Arthur - The Field of Social Work, p. 71 2. Cohen, Emmeline - English Social Services - 6 -It was the latter half of the 19th century before much cognizance was given to the use of individual homes for children with emphasis on the child's need of a home as opposed to his usefulness to a home. This began with the use of the homes which would care for a child without remuner-ation, and progressed f a i r l y rapidly towards the use of pay-ment by the local welfare authorities, and legislation (showing varying degrees of awareness) to cover supervision of the children in boarding homes. In the United States, a new concept of foster home care came into prominence in 1853. Charles Loring Brace, as head of a children's mission in New York City, f i r s t i n s t i t -uted the use of the private home for children without homes of their own. It was a far cry from foster home planning as we know i t today, but the Idea was a new one which showed undeniable potentiality for development. "In 1853.... Brace began to carry out his idea of withdrawing yagrant and destitute children from the streets of the city and transplant-ing them into suitable homes in another environment. As originally conceived the plan was based on the assumption that the child was to carry a share of work in his foster home, that the foster parents would be relieved of some cares, and that the Society would bear the expense of getting the child to the home and returning him i f that were necessary." 1 1. Fink, Arthur - The Field of Social Work, p. 72 - 7 -So i t would appear that those who planned and organized the movement concentrated chiefly on gathering the children to-gether and transporting them to families where they would he housed and fed, in the belief that their whole need was for a shift to a good moral family and rural environment. The problem of separation from their own families and friends, and that of re-adjustment in new places with strange people were not recognized. The children were subject to further unhappiness in that the homes chosen for them were not evaluated to any degree as to whether their motive in wanting children was "worthy or mercenary."1 Welfare legislation was an individual state matter, and as thinking on the subject became more and more child-centered, one state after another took legal steps towards government protection of i t s children. The White House Con-ference of 1909 was the f i r s t attempt at the national level at crystallization of the country's thinking in the area of child welfare. Canada's geographic proximity to the United States has led to a patterning of i t s thought and methods of sub-stitute care after American practices to a great extent. As a newer nation, i t broke into step with the United States about 1900, and any divergencies have been relatively small. At the turn of the century, Canadian agencies who were caring for neglected and dependent children were, for the most part, 1. Fink, Arthur - The Field of Social Work, p. 72 - 8 -using institutions, but with the growing conviction that individual homes offered children the best substitute for their own homes. This ideal, however, was not well imple-mented in practice. As late as 1920, children were being placed in homes on a free, or wage-earning basis, with at least a partial purpose of keeping down costs of mainten-ance. Once these children were placed, l i t t l e effort was • made to keep track of them and their progress: no supervision of the placement was done, and in many cases, children were "lost", because no record was kept of their whereabouts. There were very few trained staff, and there was only a brief and superficial investigation ( i f any) Into homes which offered to take the children. With the Child Welfare Survey of 1926-27 in Br i t i s h Columbia came a swing away from the use of i n s t i t -utional care, and a concentration on the use of the private boarding home. The Survey report recommended a total re-orientation of that agency's work, and proposed, among other suggestions, the establishment of a board home system. This was done, with considerable public apprehension of, and even antagonism to the scheme. In addition, regular super-vision of children already in free foster homes was i n s t i t -uted. "Pbsterohome placements had gained an unjustifiably ill-repute i n B r i t i s h Columbia because they had been used as a cheap method of disposing of a child in a free or wage home, and because such placements had been carried out in 1 i n an unspeakable haphazard manner." U n t i l about 1944, The Children's Aid Society of Vancouver was handling almost a l l f oster home placements i n B r i t i s h Columbia; with the exception of a small number of homes i n the Fraser Valley, and those on Vancouver Island. The agency was enabled to improve i t s services with f i n a n c i a l assistance from the public funds. There had been an e f f o r t to e n l i s t government support for children i n the agency's care dating back to 1927. In 1947 the Implementation of the Gddenberg report provided that the p r o v i n c i a l government assume 80$ of the cost of most s o c i a l assistance and the cost of ward care was 2 included i n t h i s . L e g i s l a t i o n had previously provided f o r the b i l l i n g of municipalities where the children had l e g a l residence but many municipalities r e s i s t e d the application of t h i s . In the intervening years, an ever-increasing recog-n i t i o n has been and i s being given to the finding of homes and t h e i r continuing assessment as a key part of the pro-f e s s i o n a l job. At the time of the Survey of 1926-27, foster home find i n g at the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver was d i s -cussed almost as the t o t a l task of c h i l d care, as this l a t t e r term i s known today. The a c t i v i t y i n the work of finding homes was c a r r i e d i n the generalized functions of the case 1. Angus, Anne Margaret - Children's Aid Society  of Vancouver. B.C. 1901-1951 2. Ibid, p. 42 - 10 -workers. It was only as the agency grew that specialization and departmentalization occurred. The departments, Child Placement, Family Service and Adoptions, were discernible at f i r s t at the administrative and supervisory levels, then at the worker level. In 1952, Home finding, which had been limited to one worker, was gradually implemented as a de-partment with a supervisor; and in 1954, Family Service and Child Placement departments were merged and four geograph-i c a l units set up. Adoptions and Home Finding remained separate. Prior to this, Home Finding was carried as a part of generalized case loads and in addition with adoption workers, nurses and foster home finders. The selection of adoption homes was kept quite separate from that of foster homes, except for permanent foster homes, which are trans-ferred to the Adoption department. Some adoption applicants were used as foster parents when the need arose, but this was handled at the supervisory level, where there was a knowledge of the resources in both areas. There is now a definite distinction between the two types of applicant, with an awareness of the difference in motivation between, adoptive parents and foster parents. There has been a gradual lessening of the responsibility for social planning allocated to the nurses on staff. Until four years ago the nurses were responsible for planning the foster home care (which sometimes evolved into adoption) of the children unti l they were three years of age. In many cases the nurses were - 11 -active i n the home finding. At the present time they super-vise the children under one year of age and the s o c i a l planning for these children i s carried by the family worker as i n most cases the family service aspect of the case i s s t i l l i n progress. For a considerable time previous to June 1948 the home finding was done by the workers carrying generalized case loads. One of the main drawbacks to this s i t u a t i o n was that some d i s t r i c t s had more applicants than others and the d i s t r i c t s having the greater number of applicants could not get the investigations done although the agency as a whole was short of homes. The f i r s t change i n this was the assignment of a senior case worker on a h a l f time basis (she carried the supervision of some generalized workers as well) to supplement the home finding done by the generalized workers. The results of thi s step were g r a t i f y i n g and i n March 1949 thi s was made i k f u l l time job of thi s worker. The method of the home study reviewed and a plan set up for a more complete home study. The present application form requirements^-" references, medical reports, etc., were i n s t i t u t e d at that time. In 1951 a further requirement by way of a report from c i t y health department pertaining to the physical standards of the home was added. During September 1952 the home fin d i n g s t a f f was increased to four including a supervisor of homefinding exclusively. The a c q u i s i t i o n of t h i s l a t t e r person who was - 12 -f u l l y qualified through training and broad experience in social work indicated the growing recognition of the need for greater emphasis on the aspect of home finding. In the reorganization of the agency in May 1954 the home finding is included in one of eight other depart-ments set up at that time, (see Appendix F). From this we may draw the significance in compre-hensive planning of the administrative co-ordination behind a foster home finding program. There is a minimal set of standards which would apply to every agency doing child placement.^ However, specific problems in home finding and in child placement vary from one area to another, and each agency has to organize home finding in relation to its own particular needs and circumstances. This is a l l the more reason for planning at the administrative level, and for the setting up of good standards of practice within the agency, by which staff can be guided in its search for the best possible substitute homes for i t s child clients. The need for this is implied throughout the whole history of the development of foster care programs. It has been said that ideally a research project within an agency should be undertaken jointly by research 1. Appendix C. - 13 -personnel, practitioners, and management.* If any one of these is l e f t out, the results are not as valid as they might otherwise be, and they run the risk of not being as acceptable to a l l three as they might be. In this instance, the research is being done other than as an integral part of the agency, as i t has not been possible to include the staff members directly concerned. This w i l l , no doubt, have it s effect on the results, and the use to which the results of the study can be put. It is f e l t , however, that some-thing of real value can be elicited from the study of the sources as they w i l l be defined later, and that this w i l l c l a r i f y some of the problems existing, and add to the efforts already being made by staff and management to cope with these factors. It is hoped that the contribution of the staff w i l l be seen as coming through the use made of the records and home studies which form the basis for this piece of research. This study specifically is based on an examination of case records kept by the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver Home Finding department. The sample consists of two groups of f i f t y f i l e s , a total of one hundred. It rep-resents one in five of the total of more than five hundred records set up by the Home Finding department in the interval between January 1, 1951> and April 30, 1953. The two groups 1. Function and Operation of Research Programs, a paper by John Frings, contributed to the volume Diagnosis  and Process in Family Counselling edited by M. Robert Gomberg and Frances T. Levinson. - 14 -taken in two consecutive selections of every tenth f i l e , originally comprised 54 f i l e s each. From each group four f i l e s were dropped because they were not representative, 1 and in order to achieve the obvious s t a t i s t i c a l gain of having a total sample of 100 cases. Each of the 100 records was examined with a view 2 to obtaining the information outlined on a prepared form. This form was drawn up as a compilation of material which might enable an adequate appraisal of a foster home. The outline of the form was arrived at after discussion with research consultants and those directing that portion of the agency program which was under study. The information obtained is classified under the following headings: 1. Agency service s t a t i s t i c s , such as the dates of opening and closing cases, dates of vi s i t s and interviews (an indication of the amount and kind of work involved) and the disposition made of the case. 2. Agency procedures and routines apparent in studying the home, and using i t . 1. The total contents of each of these 8 case records consisted of a completed application form (Appendix B). There was no recording, to indicate whether any study had been done, or whether a placement had or had not been made. 2. See Appendix A. - 1 5 -3. Pertinent s t a t i s t i c a l information about the family. 4. Evaluation of the family in terms of ego strengths, inter-familial relationships, emotional s t a b i l i t y , motivation for application. 5. Summation of the factors, and channelling the results of the study, i.e. the process by which the evaluated home became or did not become a placement resource. In addition to this source.of information, i.e., the records, there has been an effort to integrate or assimilate such information as has accrued in other or similar studies of the agency's work. Interviewing has been limited to the director of the agency and the supervisor of the Child Placement department. It is not assumed that the information from these sources gives a complete picture of home finding and its problems, as the agency experiences them. It is f e l t , how-ever, that the factors illustrated here may assist in clarifying the total picture. CHAPTER 2 Problems of Administration and Case Work  in Homefinding Services Agencies which have the responsibility of caring for children apart from their natural families, and those agencies which subscribe to the belief that these children can best be cared for in foster homes, have expressed con-cern over the d i f f i c u l t y of maintaining adequate standards in their respective foster home programs. The chief problem is alleged to centre around the lack of interest on the part of the general public in providing foster home care, with the result that agencies do not get enough applications to enable them to be as selective as they would like to be. This is accepted as being true to some degree in each agency's situation, though there is evidence that agencies have vary-ing degrees of success in developing, u t i l i z i n g and assess-ing their foster home resources. This, of course, involves every phase of agency operation to some degree, such as the authority under which the ageney operates, the method and adequacy of i t s financing the whole question of i t s public relations, the resources or adequacy of staff, both in numbers and technical qualifications, and the overall adeq-uacies of these resources to meet and carry out the respon-s i b i l i t y assigned to, or assumed by the ageney. More specif-i c a l l y , i t Involves the agencies recognition and understanding of their role with foster parents, and the s k i l l which i s brought to bear on their work with them within the frame-work of their limited resources. It is with this latter aspect of the problem that this study is concerned. Gordon Hamilton outlines the basic tenets of case work philosophy as follows: 1. An a b i l i t y to help others effectively rests on respect for the human personality 2. Help is most effective i f the recipient participates actively and responsibly in the process 3. Respect for others includes respect for their differences 4. Self-awareness is essential in understanding others * These aims must be held in common by an agency administration and individual case workers, and their app-li c a t i o n underlies the success or failure of an agency's program. In confining ourselves to the home finding service, we would point out that each agency must take responsibility for i t s own structure in this area, a structure rooted In the agency's philosophy about the task of finding foster homes for i t s children. An agency's feeling about the importance of the home finding job w i l l color i t s decision 1. Hamilton, Gordon, - Helping People - the Growth of a Profession published in Journal of Social Casework October 1948. - 18 -as to how much money i t wishes to spend in obtaining and maintaining an adequate staff of foster parents. Profession-a l literature consistently asks the following questions do the agency workers feel secure in applying case work concepts and evaluations to those whose economic and I n t e l l -ectual status is similar to i t s own? Does i t have the con-viction of i t s right and responsibility to explore with prospective foster parents the various aspects of their lives and relationships which w i l l influence the growth and development of foster children? If so, then i t s administ-rative policy w i l l be specially directed towards this re-sponsibility. It w i l l hire professional staff to do a professional job, and i t w i l l realize that the community, while perhaps not able to voice i t as such, w i l l expect the results to be professional. The usefulness of a foster home depends on the accuracy of the evaluation, and so much of the evaluation job is intangible. The whole program involves a f l e x i b i l i t y in method and process which the ageney must grasp and approve with conviction. Otherwise i t cannot adequately interpret to the lay public the high administ* rative costs for a service which by i t s very nature must be so intangible and flexible. Equally important is the agency's definition of the basic needs of the child who requires care away from his own home, and i t s ideas of what i t , as an organization, has the responsibility of offering to the child as an alternative. A l l agencies are concerned with the damage a child suffers on being removed from his own home, regard-less of how l i t t l e i t seems to have offered to him. The ties to one's own family, and a sense of belonging rooted in earliest experience are fundamental, and experience has shown that the threat of a break of these ties is usually at the root of the fears in the child who by force of c i r -cumstances must be separated from his own family. The progressive agency therefore undertakes to establish a procedure to minimize the damage to the child and to assure that i t finds homes of quality to meet the various needs of i t s children. Agencies are only too familiar with the almost inevitable results of a too hasty or ill-considered foster home placement. In the annals of written material on foster homes, in the thinking of workers concerned with placement, and throughout the foster home records, there are two un-welcome but recurring phrases: "breakdown of foster home" and "replacement". The f i r s t denotes that the services of the foster home are no longer available to the child placed in i t ; the second means a break in whatever relationships the child may have developed in this home, and the necessity for him to try to form new ones. This is a repetition for the child of the trauma and damage of his break with his own home. Care and s k i l l in the home finding job and in the 20 placement are proving most effective in the reduction of these two recurring incidents which represent a damaging experience for children, a burden to agency and staff, and dissatisfaction and frustration to foster parents. Of course there w i l l always be unsuccessful place-ments. It i s , however, the agency's responsibility to pro-vide for analysis of the fail u r e . Perhaps not enough was learned about the foster parents before the home was used; perhaps not enough care was taken in making the placement, or subsequent supervision was not as effective as i t might have been or the child was not suitable for foster home placement. In any event, the agency structure should enable study into why there was a breakdown. Here is where many valuable foster homes can be irretrievably lost to the agency. Without an evaluation of the reason for the failure of this particular placement the foster home may be discarded automatically, whereas i t might have great potentiality for a different type of child. On the other hand, the agency staff may continue to use a home which is unsuitable for any child, and thereby subject further children to an unsatis-factory placement. A third possibility, one with far-reaching effects, which can happen even with an evaluation unless agency policy is clear and enforced, is that the home may be allowed to " d r i f t " , unused, but s t i l l open in the agency's records. No explanation is made to foster parents as to why their home is not being used, an omission most damaging to - 21 public relations and community understanding as a whole. If an agency is to make the most constructive and effective use of foster parents i t must show understanding and awareness of the role i t assigns to them. It asks these families to share the great responsibility of raising child-ren not their own. It specifies that they possess qualif-ications which mark them as suitable to become foster parents, in addition to their s u i t a b i l i t y as parents. The agency actually hires these parents, hopefully, with the same care and s k i l l with which i t hires professional staff. Foster parents are not clients, but are to be looked upon as auxiliary staff. Admittedly they may be seeking to satisfy emotional needs of their own in making application to become foster parents. These must be evaluated in terms of their effect on the foster children. Many of the underlying reasons do not come to light in the home study, but only in the active, day-to-day job. If people are functioning adequately and productively, without too great anxieties or conflicts, i t is frequently very d i f f i c u l t to get at underlying motives. "After a l l , repression has i t s healthy place in enabling us to l i v e with each other and in our society." 1 "A foster parent usually does not come like a client, aware of her need and seeking our help.... But when she does come, she comes with the double impulse to give as well as to take, 1. Hutchison, Dorothy - Homefinding Trends, published in Child Welfare May 1953. - 22 -and the two are indistinguishably imbedded in each other. To c a l l her a client, therefore, is to deny the existence of the giving needs of her nature which constitute the very core of her contribution to agency f a c i l i t i e s . " 1 Case work relationship with foster parents is not used with a view to helping them with their problems, but primarily in evaluat-ing their usefulness to the agency's children. Supervisors and workers need constantly to c l a r i f y this or the focus of the home finding job is lost. Probably the most effective way in which an agency can get across to professional staff, to the public, and to foster parents themselves, its conviction about this role for foster parents is by i t s practical recognition of the contribution they make. Mr. Rawley states: "If I had to say what was the most important single administrative thing which needed to be done for foster parent recruiting, I would say - give status to foster parent work.... By status I mean a position that w i l l command respect in people's minds, a condition which w i l l be attained when everyone understands and respects the f u l l social value of the foster parents' service and their quality and dignity as part of a competent professional program. I also mean treating the foster parent like an associate,...one whose serviceable aptitudes and charge of fundamental agency responsibility require agency 1 . Rawley, Callman - The Relation of Administrative  Policy and the Supply of Foster Homes, published in Child Welfare, March 1 9 5 0 . status in order to flourish and develop sturdy ties of i d -entification with the agency."1 Day states: that i t is the essence of good relationship when "foster parents speak of 2 the agency as 'we'". There are practical and concrete ways of giving recognition. Of primary importance in this area is "salary". An agency whieh makes adequate board payments can better afford to be selective in i t s choice of foster parents, and reserves the right to expect a good standard of service from them. Foster parents need to provide for the foster child a standard of l i v i n g equal to their own i f they are to make him a part of the family. Low board payments prohibit this, and may lower the standard of foster home applicant. Pro-ficiency in financing is only one step on the ladder. An agency must- avoid f a l l i n g into the trap of thinking that because i t pays adequate board rates i t automatically has good homes. It must, however, be unceasing In i t s efforts to educate i t s management and i t s community as to the long range benefits to client and to agency of progressive think-ing about board payments. A second important right of the foster parent staff is to adequate supervisory help. This takes the form of con-tinued consultation with social work staff in regard to the 1. Rawley, Callman, Ibid. 2. Day, Gladys Denis on - op_. c i t . p. 34 - 24 -ehild placed with them. To foster parents, a home study-means an investigation by the agency as to whether they are suitable to qualify as foster parent staff. When this is completed and their job begins, the agency has the respon-s i b i l i t y of seeing that they are given help in upholding their end of service to the client. Foster parents are handling a d i f f i c u l t job without the benefit of professional training. Agencies are careful to see that case work staff are supervised, but often i t happens that foster parents, whose responsibility is at times even greater, are l e f t alone to cope with problems arising out of placement, un-less they ask for help. Often by that time the problems are too great for foster parents to handle, and the placement breaksdown, resulting in a damaging move for the child, and possibly the loss of the foster parents to the agency. And beyond the specific supervision around the child in the home, Rawley claims i t is especially valuable "to s i t down with the foster parents from time to time and discuss with them how they feel about their work, what has been hard, what has been satisfying, how the agency has helped, how i t could be more helpful, how they feel about the administrative arrangements, board payments, etc.," 1 A well-integrated supervisory program for foster parents is just as important 1. Rawley, Callman - op_. c i t . to successful placement history as careful home study. Such a program w i l l necessarily vary from one agency to another. In a large agency, with a well-staffed home finding depart-ment, i t may be that home finding staff continue supervision of foster parents after placement, and work in close con-junction with the child's worker. It is more general, however, that the child's worker w i l l carry this. Regardless of how this phase of the supervision is arranged, i t i s advisable for the home finding department to assume the responsibility for keeping on record the material gathered in periodic evaluation of foster parents, in order to be kept aware of the agency1s placement resources and to plan for future needs. The mechanics of planning for foster parent super-vision, as for staff supervision, ought to be set out in agency policy. As staff members, foster parents have the right to periodic evaluations, and this is an opportunity for the agency to look objectively at what i t is expecting and what i t is getting from foster parents. Day states: "If foster parents are staff members, they are entitled to personnel standards, annual evaluations, adequate payment for their services. Certainly they are entitled to a de-fi n i t e c l a r i f i c a t i o n i f the agency decides to cease using their home. Most of these things l i e s t i l l in the f i e l d of speculation. Some agencies have attempted to arrange for an - 26 -annual conference with the home finding supervisor. In this conference foster parents are urged to express their feelings about the agency and their suggestions regarding better service. The possibilities in foster parent-agency relation-ships, however, are s t i l l largely unexplored." 1 It is important to the success of any home finding program that foster parents know that the agency adminis-trators are aware of what they have to contribute. It is general policy for agencies to give recognition to foster parents' contribution to the total program, usually once a year at the annual meeting. While individual workers tend to have a better appreciation of foster parents' efforts, there should be more of this at the administrative level, and this cannot exist except where an agency's policy pre-sumes that a foster home application is not "for a child but for a job." 2 Because i t is the individual worker who represents the agency to clients and community, professional staff must have the complete confidence and backing of the agency administration. In the area of foster home finding, the worker's assessment of foster home applicants does much to determine success or failure of the placement, which in turn 1. Day, Gladys Denison, op_. c i t . p. 33 2 . Ibid, p. 4 has such far-reaching effects, from the administrative point of view. One of i t s broader implications involves the community's awareness of the job being done. And whether public or private, an agency is fundamentally dependent on community support, financial or otherwise, for the success of i t s overall program. It is set up for service to the comm-unity, and w i l l only be able to function insofar as the members of the community can see and appreciate the need for its existence, and lend i t their support. It would appear that the actual practices of an agency are in no area more exposed to the public for eval-uation than in i t s work and relationship with i t s foster parents. The public is even more c r i t i c a l of acceptance and use of foster homes of poor standard than i t is of rejection or of lack of attention to homes of good standard. Members of the public have l i t t l e respect for an agency which w i l l change i t s decisions under pressure. If the agency has consistently good standards for child care, and a sound re-lationship with i t s staff, a skilled worker, in approving a foster home application, can get across to the applicants her own and therefore her agency's convictions of their role as staff. On the other hand, an experienced worker can con-fidently represent the agency i n rejecting foster home application with the least possible damage to community relations. - 28 -The ageney, in recognizing i t s dependence on the s k i l l of i t s workers, w i l l be aware of the role played by supervisory staff. Policy regarding the place of super-vision in the home finding process w i l l vary, but agencies try to establish a standard of home finding which attracts capable staff, both supervisory and case work* An agency aware that i t s program must change and grow constantly de-pends on competent supervision to deal with the individual's growth and the total agency program in relation to the quality of performance. It is necessary to plan r e a l i s t i c a l l y around the supervisor's duties, to see that the supervisor is not over-burdened with either an excessive number of supervisees or given such added responsibilities as might impede her in her efforts to give good supervisory help. It is generally con-sidered that a maximum of six to eight supervisees can be carried with no other duties. Adequate office space, and uninterrupted conference time are helpful to morale and efficiency, and the administration's provision of such enables and insures a more satisfactory performance of super-vision. The supervisor's job in relation to administration is to "accept and carry the standard of practice for the agency, with which she must necessarily be deeply identified, through teaching the workers in her charge the agency's concept of i t s place in the community's social structure, and 29 -through helping them i n d i v i d u a l l y to approximate the stand-ard of practice at the highest l e v e l of t h e i r a b i l i t y . w 1 The task of a supervisor i n Home Finding does not end with helping a worker i n the decision to accept or r e -ject an applicant. She must also be the one to co-ordinate and integrate the use of the homes for the agency's children, because only she has a knowledge of a l l the foster homes. Therefore her work i s c a r r i e d over into conferences regard-ing placement. In some agencies, where home fin d i n g i s only a part of the workers' general case load, a Home Finding supervisor i s the one person whose chief concern i s the foster parents, and she may, depending on i n d i v i d u a l p o l i c y , be foster parents' source of support throughout the d i f f i c -u l t i e s and problems of placement. T h e o r e t i c a l l y , her con-tinued i n t e r e s t i s i n them, and i s comparative to that of the 2 c h i l d ' s worker, who i d e n t i f i e s primarily with the c h i l d . The administration should further provide the mechanics covering the supervisor's job of promoting the r e -evaluation of a home which breaks down, and the decision as to i t s future use or r e j e c t i o n . So many of these decisions ought l o g i c a l l y to be cleared at the supervisory l e v e l . To i n s t i t u t e c l ear-cut, sound p o l i c y which defines the super-visor's rights and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i s the obligation of 1. Daly, Dorothy B i r d - Supervision of the Newly  Employed Experienced Worker published i n The Family. June, 1946 2. Day, Gladys Denis on - op_. c i t . - 30 -any administrator, and i t must be observed here that the most capable of supervisors cannot operate at a good level of performance without the unqualified co-operation and support of administrative staff. We w i l l now look at the role of the case worker, to see what is required to perform the task adequately. When the agency's part in total community services has been defined with carefully laid-out policy, i t is necessary for the agency workers to know the role the agency is playing, and to identify i t . This must be in terms of professional function as a practitioner understands i t , and not broad generalizations that serve to interpret or describe agency activ i t i e s to a -lay group. It is also essential to define the role that the home finder plays within the agency and with co-workers. Smaller case loads may include home finding, but larger case loads cannot successfully do so. The need is for inte-gration with placement, not under placement. It is important that those doing the home finding and child case be mutually cognizant of each other's role, and of their inter-related-ness. To achieve this is the task of agency planners, and many factors are involved. Often the home finding job i s not well defined, and the time and workers assigned to i t are not enough. This adversely affects the care and the - 31 -result makes their perspective regarding the foster homes possibly quite different from that of the home finders. This is one point where a supervisor of home finding can keep things properly in focus, and hold both groups to an overall agency standard. For this reason i t is important that the home finding work be staffed and supervised on a par with other agency functions. Workers in a professional sense are generally respectful of not intruding on one anoth-ers province, or jeopardizing the relationship necessary for case work, but this is not always observed where work with foster parents is concerned, because the value of the relationship between home finder and foster parents is given different emphasis in different agencies. It is essential that a l l workers within the agency be sufficiently aware of the formulation and limitations of agency policy, in order to have confidence that the best possible job is being done. With this feeling among staff, there is a comfortableness and acceptance of limitations. Once a worker is familiar with agency policy, is able to identify with i t , and has a good working relationship with other staff members, she is in a position to take on the responsibility of building up good relationship between the agency and i t s foster parents. The latter cannot come with-out the f i r s t , for the worker needs to know that her i n -tegrity with foster parents w i l l be supported by the agency - 32 -and by each worker on the staff individually. It is import-ant that the agency see that i t s home finders are able to provide leadership in this aspect of agency work, and that they are not a further limit to agency resources. It is characteristic of the f i e l d of child care that the degree of s k i l l and amount of time necessary to do the assessment of foster homes has not been recognized. 1 Workers should be trained, experienced in the total f i e l d of child welfare, and receiving supervision. There are some differences between the work of selecting foster parents and general work with clients. Unless the worker recognizes this, she becomes confused in the two roles, and is not able to deal constructively with people and the problems they mani-fest, while keeping the focus of appraising their helpfulness •as foster parents. A workerj i f not given support and super-vision i n this, is apt to be too greatly concerned with qualifications that w i l l safeguard her from error, rather than to develop and rely on her case work s k i l l s and knowledge to give her an understanding of a family. Knowing her agency, her department, her job and herself, the worker is ready to approach the task of the home study. To get the necessary evaluation of a family in the time allotted is not easy. It is wise for a worker to have a definite idea of the time she can invest in the home study in terms of the material to be covered. "It is becoming a 1. Harrison, Constance M, M.S.W. Thesis, 1948, University of Toronto, p. 64. - 33 -generally accepted concept that home finding is an intake process, one that is not completed until a client is living in the home. At the point of application, the prospective foster parent cannot, however, he considered as an auxiliary to the structure of the agency, much as the agency may be in need of homes. The worker must be free to relate her-self to the applicant as she i s , and not as the agency's need of her must have her. There must be sufficient time for a significant relationship to develop, for each one to test out the other, and reach a decision as to whether there Is any value in going on or in terminating the application." 1 The worker should feel that her relationship starts with the applicants when she f i r s t acknowledges the inquiry, or when they f i r s t respond to her appeal for applicants, and i t continues through the home study, through the transfer of the supervision of the home to another worker, throughout the period the home is used by the agency. In the event of transfer to a child care worker, i t must be recognized that the new worker is playing a dual role: with child and foster parents. Usually the greater identi-fication is with the child, and i t is therefore desirable that the foster parents' identification with the agency be already established by the home finder. There is a correl-ation between the time allotted for the development of this 1. Copelan^ Ethal A. A Plan for a Centralized  Home Finding Service, contributed to Some Practices in Home  Finding, published by the Child Welfare League of America. 34 -relationship, the growth of identification of foster parents with agency, and the increase in their understanding of service to children. We should like to consider the feelings of the home finder in her dual role as case worker and one who selects applicants. Dorothy Hutchison raises a question as to the motivation of the home finder herself. "I imagine that very few home finders or social workers, for that matter, know the real underlying reason why they choose their par-ticular f i e l d of interest Just as with the foster parent, the motivation of the home finder is revealed in action on the job."'1" The traditional concept of the case worker is as a giving person, but in home finding she finds herself as an asking person as well. The person who cannot accept a role of client for herself, or who has strong defences against her needs, w i l l be uncomfortable in this situation. On the other hand, the case worker finds herself in the position of having the right to choose homes. It may be that a case worker is influenced by her relationship with her parents in this choice. In setting too high standards, she may be acting out resent-ment against her own parents. Authorities on this subject have commented as, follows: . Dorothy Hutchison suggests that in being unable to refuse applicants, a worker may be "unable to say no to parent figures."* Day says that case workers 1. Hutchison, Dorothy - Refusing Foster Parents, published in The Family, February 1943, 2. 0p_. c i t . - 35 -in a home finding department "need to have achieved separ-ation from their own parents and a comfortable sense of their own place in their family groups. A case worker who is herself disturbed in her family relationships becomes more upset, perhaps, in home finding than in other fields of case work. She may be seeking for the non-existent per-fect parents she never had herself. 'She may not be able to assume the authoritative responsibility which home find-ing inevitably involves." 1 "I feel that every home finder should have released her childhood parents from her pro-fessional l i f e . In order to select homes for children objectively i t is important for her to be psychologically free to the degree that her own judgment of foster and adopt-ive parents is not colored by either a need to appease her own parents or to always find replicas of them in her 2 practice." Deborah,Portnoy suggests a further problem in a worker's anxiety around the general lack of scie n t i f i c c r i t e r i a for the evaluation of good foster parents. She may fear making a mistake which would result in harm to a child. Further, she may be threatened by foster parents* more intimate experience with children, and perhaps disappointed because their success is often achieved without professional help. 2 1. Hutchison, Dorothy, Home Finding Trends. Published in Child Welfare. May 19^T. 2. Portnoy, Deborah S. The Use of Case Work S k i l l s  in Home Finding, published in The Family. February 1940. Another area of feeling the home finding case worker must resolve is that of getting to know people in a personal enough way to be able to evaluate those of their problems that have a bearing on their capacity as foster par-ents. Frequently exploration is hampered by the feeling that i t is wrong to e l i c i t problems which one does not intend to treat, because foster parents are selected for use, not for treatment. It might be that case workers are over-diffident (because of their professional sensitization to the deeper levels of personality processes) about their wish to get to know people. It should not be damaging to foster parents to have a worker get to know them, i f the worker's feeling is warm and interested. Hutchison suggests that i f case workers would occasionally forget that they are doing an investigation, and proceed with a real "wanting to get to know a person, we would be coming closer to a real knowledge of and experience with that person." 1 This applies, too, to the conflict that many case workers have about the social nature of contacts with foster parents. A social situation in these contacts does not detract from the professional nature of the relat-ionship, i f the case worker remembers that the relationship between herself and foster parents is not a therapeutic one. "Therefore, we cannot stress too much the importance 1. Hutchison, Dorothy, op. c i t . - 37 -of using our case work s k i l l s , f i r s t in dealing with our own anxiety about home finding so that i t does not inter-fere with our capacity to evaluate prospective foster par-ents, and second, in establishing a mutually comfortable working relationship with a non-professional foster mother and helping her to develop through her relationship with us into a professional person. 1 1 1 This establishes the nature of the relationship as an educational one for foster par-ents, but Dorothy Hutchison carries this further, and suggests that this education is a two-way thing. "I believe i t is important for us to learn from foster parents, from adoptive parents, from board members - in fact from a l l those who may be bereft of professional secrets, but do have l i f e experience, points of view, s k i l l s and knowledge of their own, a l l of which can enrich our own professional 2 experience." Summary In the achievement of optimal standards of work in an agency, i t has been shown that the point of departure for the administration and staff is a common philosophy and aim. This must be kept current by continued observation and study 1. Portnoy, Deborah S. - op c i t . 2. Hutchison, Dorothy, - op_. c i t . - 38 -of problems encountered, an evaluation of the interplay of the separate roles, an open mind as to sources of learn-ing, with the confidence of both that progress along these lines w i l l eventually be assimilated into every-day practice. CHAPTER 3 Tabulation of Material in 10Q Foster Home Records In the previous chapters we looked at the factors which have been urged as intrinsic to the study and evalua-tion of foster families in the professional literature. We are now going to present the material found in the examin-ation of foster home studies actually undertaken by the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, B.C. We w i l l begin by showing a table which gives a descriptive analysis of the 100 homes which were used in the study. Our purpose in inserting this material is to give evidence that the foster homes being used are generally speaking, satisfactory in terms of physical and economic standards. However, this thesis i s not directed towards an evaluation of the material standards of foster families, but rather to the method and areas of the study in the total evaluation of foster parent applicants. (Table 1 ) . This agency's home finding staff undertook 176 home studies in 1951, 296 in 1952 and 99 up to April 3 0 , 1 9 5 3 . The number and nature of applicants' inquiries from which these home studies were undertaken is not known specifically, although i t is indicated that the number of inquiries being received monthly during the early part of 1953 approximated 1 0 0 , which is a substantial increase over that of previous years. We could and should know more about the way these Table 1 Descriptive Analysis of the Homes (Size of Home is Used as Key) Total Home Owned No. of Persons in Home Income Placement Yes No N/I 2 3 4 5 6 7 N/I Under 2200 3000 4000 Over N/I Yes No N/I 2200 3000 4000 6000 6000 3 Rooms 2 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 4 Rooms 23 19 4 0 8 9 3 2 0 0 1 0 6 8 3 2 4 13 8 2 • 5 o Rooms 20 20 0 0 5 9 5 0 1 0 0 4 7 5 2 0 2 14 5 1 • 6 Rooms 16 15 1 0 3 2 5 2 2 2 0 1 4 4 2 2 3 12 4 0 7 and over 11 11 0 0 2 1 6 0 1 1 0 1 1 5 1 0 3 7 4 0 Ad ecj— uate 4 3 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 Crow-ded 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 N/I 22 4 2 16 2 9 4 0 2 0 5 2 2 2 2 0 14 12 4 6 Totals 100 74 10 16 21 34 24 5 7 3 6 9 21 26 12 5 27 62 28 10 - 41 are handled and what t h e i r true nature i s as well as what the thinking i s behind the elimination process. In the cases selected by us for study, Table I I , i s a breakdown of the sources of r e f e r r a l as indicated i n the records. These are relevant to a continued e f f o r t to reach and r e c r u i t p o t e n t i a l foster parents. Table II  Sources of Referral Newspaper Advertisements 16 Personal 27 Other Foster Parents 22 Child's Natural Family 3 Other Agencies 3 Agency Adoption Department 5 Foster Family's Doctor 1 Not Indicated 23 100 From the in q u i r i e s received, about 25 home studies were i n i t i a t e d each month, i . e . they were registered as foster home applications and given a f i l e number i n the agency master index. (It appears that i n q u i r i e s not follow-ed up were l i s t e d as "No Case Made" i n customary fashion. We made no attempt to investigate these, since we were con-f i n i n g our study to actual home studies made.) This choice 42 -of applications to be followed up would, needless to say, reveal many of the problems i n s o l i c i t i n g the number of applications needed, and getting them from the ri g h t people. Without t h i s , i t i s perhaps misleading to the lay public who might f e e l that this number of in q u i r i e s should be adequate. Anyone who has not had experience i n dealing with the i n i t i a l i n q u i r i e s has d i f f i c u l t y i n understanding how many can be obviously unsuitable. Sorting and handling them, so as to get out those of value with a minimum of time wasted i s part of the home finder's job. We gather, therefore, that the f i r s t step i s to evaluate the inquiry and either discard i t or decide to investigate i t further. In the intake of the 100 a p p l i c -ations, 82 were new to the agency, and 18 were renewals of previous applications. Appointments are arranged with foster parent applicants either i n the o f f i c e or at home, and applicants are asked to f i l l out and submit a signed ap p l i c a t i o n form (Appendix B . ) 1 These forms were completed and on f i l e i n 80 of the 100 cases. The dates on these forms i n the records selected indicate that the timing of thi s i n r e l a t i o n to the t o t a l study i s quite varied. The f l e x i b i l i t y i n timing of having the form completed adds to i t s value. The case worker i s enabled to explain the necessity for the information requested, and i s more comfort-1. See Appendix B - 43 -able asking for i t after she has begun to know the appli-cants. They, in turn, knowing the case worker, are not inhibited or otherwise restricted in giving the information. The form i t s e l f is a concise, yet comprehensive, compil-ation of necessary s t a t i s t i c a l material, and i t s use has definite value to both agency and applicants in the intake process. This intake process, as administered by this 1 agency includes completion of an intake s l i p (Appendix D) by the agency intake worker at the point of this i n i t i a l interview, or at the point where the case worker decided that the study should be proceeded with. Because of the significance of the case worker's decision about whether or not the applicants have the potentiality for foster parent-hood, the intake process can involve more than one interview. There was some variety indicated as to which agency department had the f i r s t interview with the applicants whose records we perused, indicating that the separation of the function of home finding to special workers was in process at the time of the study. (See Table III). The agency provides for i t s c l e r i c a l staff to assume the responsibility for the routine processing of the completed application form. The application is registered and given a f i l e number, and a check is made with the Social Service Exchange. In 95 out of the 100 cases in the sample, there was an indication in the record that Social Service Exchange had been contacted. I. See Appendix D. - 44 -Table III I n i t i a l Contact with Agency Interview with: Home Finding Worker 65 Child Care Worker 15 Adoption Department Worker 12'A Private Boarding Home Worker 1 Not Indicated • 7 100 It was d i f f i c u l t to determine a point of demark-ation between the end of the intake process and the be-ginning of the home study proper. The recording did not indicate the manner i n which assignment of cases i s made. It i s usually the s u p e r v i s o r s prerogative to assign cases a f t e r the intake interviews. The records reviewed show an overlapping of the two areas, whereas i t would seem d e s i r -able to have a recording of the supervisory consultation at which i t was decided to proceed with the home study, and on what basis the decision was made. The main body of the study seems to consist of anywhere from one to f i v e contacts (including intake) made either i n interviews i n the o f f i c e or by home v i s i t s , with either or both foster parents. Attempts are made to see both parents, but this i s evidently a problem here, as i n many agencies. It i s apparent i n most agencies engaged i n - 45 -home finding that where case work time is scarce, this is the area which suffers most. Provision might be made administratively for consideration of the after-hoar work by case worker often involved in interviewing foster fathers. Our survey shows that in 28 out of 100 eases, foster fathers were not interviewed before placement. There were a further 18 out of the total 100 cases in which the recording gave no indication of whether the foster father had been inter-viewed prior to placement. Table IV indicated the number of direct contacts with families in the home studies we perused, and Table V relates this to the use made of the homes. It appears that 87 home studies (deleting the 13 in the "Not Indicated" category) were done with a total of 136 contacts, or an average of 1.56 contacts per study. Allowing for a 10%, absence of recording (this is an arbi-trary figure, but seems a f a i r l y accurate estimate, based on the incidence of "Not Indicated" in the overall tabul-ation) we find an average of 1.72 contacts per study. In addition to direct interviewing there were activities such as checks with references, Social Service Exchange, medical references, as well as supervisory consultations. There were further contacts with the foster family by the child's worker, but the lack of record of these on the foster home f i l e has been probably the largest factor in hampering our efforts to evaluate the actual knowledge of the home. - 46 -Table IV Number of Direct Contacts in.Heme Study i i One Interview 8 One V i s i t 2? One V i s i t and One Interview 24 Two V i s i t s - 5 Two V i s i t s and One Interview 3 One V i s i t and Two Interviews 2 Three V i s i t s 4 Three V i s i t s and One Interview 1 Two V i s i t s and Two Interviews 1 Two V i s i t s and Three Interviews 2 No V i s i t or Interview 12 Not Indicated 13 100 - 47 -Table V Relationship Between Number of Contacts and Use Made of Home Placed With- Reject- Left Pend- Total ment. Drawal ion Inactive ing 1 Interview 1 3 1 2 1 8 1 V i s i t 21 2 0 1 1 25 1 V i s i t 1 Interview 18 1 2 3 0 24 2 Visits 4 0 0 1 0 5 2 V i s i t s & 1 Interview 2 1 0 0 0 3 1 V i s i t & 2 Interviews 1 0 0 1 0 2 3 V i s i t s 2 0 0 2 0 4 3 V i s i t s & 1 Interview 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 Vi s i t s & 2 Interviews 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 Vi s i t s & 3 Interviews 0 1 0 1 © 2 No V i s i t or Interview 1 8 0 0 3 12 Not Indicated 10 0 1 2 0 JL3 100 - 48 -This agency administration requires the recording of a formal home study and has set out a guide for same. The foster home f i l e s perused seem to be weighted with stat-i s t i c a l material about the family background of each foster parent, and this was obtained early in the contact. Its relationship to the present situation in the home was not indicated. The records, i n general, show less emphasis on evaluation of current personal relationships and adjustments in the family. It might have been that the case worker, fe l t more secure in this area and obtained f i r s t the stat-i s t i c a l background information for the record, and had not sufficient time to go further. This shows commendable flex-i b i l i t y in the time allotted for home study, but in many instances this advantage has to take a second place to the urgent need for a home. An attempt has been made to work out an average of the length of time allotted to home studies. This was hampered by the fact that not a l l records indicated the date of i n i t i a l inquiries. In most cases, we were compelled to use the dates on the formal application forms, because there was no record of an earlier contact in the recording. As we have indicated previously, these forms were not submitted until some considerable time after the i n i t i a l contact, so we may assume that our estimate of average length of home study is a very conservative one. It is also based only on the information in f i l e s where there - 49 -was record of an actual approval or rejection. In many-cases, there was no formal statement of approval, simply a date on which placement was made. We used the date of placement as date of approval, where other information was not available. Perhaps we should make note again here of the fact that the information which has been used throughout this study has been gathered exclusively from foster home records. Where the f i l e s are not complete, no attempt has been made to supplement the information from other sources. It is our understanding that c l e r i c a l staff assume responsibility for entering in the foster home record the date of place-ment and the name of the child placed. In any event, Sample 1 shows an average period of 5 to 6 weeks for home study, with an average period of 3 weeks between approval date and placement. Sample 2 shows an average period of 6 to 7 weeks for home study, and an average period of 2 to 3 weeks between approval date and placement. This indicated that the homes are made use of f a i r l y quickly after approval and might Indicate that there was no pressure to rush the study. However there was pressure from the need for homes and the delays in doing the studies were due to lack of staff to undertake the studies as the enquiries came in. This explains in part - 50 -why the records failed to show personality evaluation of foster parent applicants. In addition i t seemed that the agency had not communicated to its staff i t s own feeling of the importance of this intangible aspect of the eval-uation of a foster family. The case workers may have been retreating from such an evaluation behind the demand for more concrete material. Whatever the reasons, the records show l i t t l e evidence that this aspect had been given due consideration at least in the recording. In some cases, the record indicated the case worker's own question about some of the emotional factors behind foster parents' motivations, but there is no indication that any help was given in exploring them further, and bringing them to bear on the problems of placement. We feel that supervision might have been recorded, especially at the point where the decision was made as to whether or not the home was to be approved. It is d i f f i c u l t to assess the degree to which supervision was available during the period under consideration. Seemingly at the beginning of 1951 there was only one person doing home find-ing exclusively, although other staff members were apparent-l y studying homes for specific children. Certainly the 1951 foster home f i l e s examined make l i t t l e mention of case work supervision, and record a minimum of administrat-ive supervision. Brief references to occasional supervisory conferences are to be found in later f i l e s . We observed that in the few eases which were handled by students, and in some of the later work, careful supervision was given and recorded, and the home studies in these cases were much more thorough and comprehensive. In these student records, too, there was careful summarizing and recording of general Impressions, plus more assessment of personality and adjust-ment in foster parents. These f i l e s were also more complete in regard to follow-up. There was a statement of what had been decided at conferences about placement and of why i t was f e l t by the case worker and supervisor that the home would or would not be suitable for a particular type of child. The student records went beyond this point, and re-ported bri e f l y on the progress of the placement. This constitutes a strong case for the value of supervision. The professional literature has emphasized the need for experienced, skilled workers in the f i e l d of home finding, but i t is obvious from these records that where they are not readily available, good supervision has proven to be an effective substitute. There is evidence of a need for supervisory conferences which would draw out the case worker's feelings, prejudices and so forth concerning certain groups and standards, as well as - and this is more important perhaps - what the worker feels the home can do for a child. There is also the need for the case worker to - 52 -see the family in a long term perspective, and to develop s k i l l , through supervision and experience, in knowing how well the applicants can absorb an outsider's child, and for how long they w i l l be able to do so. During the period covered in this study home find-ing was included in the child care department. In the early part there was one home finder and her efforts in this regard were a supplement to the home finding which had been done heretofore by the d i s t r i c t or workers carrying the generalized case loads. This worker had supervisory status and when another homefinder was added to the staff she took over the supervision of this worker. During the last four months of the period under review thd department consisted of three workers and a supervisor. We feel that this trans-i t i o n accounts in part for the fact that supervisory and worker roles did not seem too well defined unti l the latter part of the period. The home finding department seemed to lack a head who could bring pressure to bear on the formation of policy on a par with the other departments. It also affected interdepartmental working. Homes transferred from home finders to child care workers through their respective super visors are more li k e l y to have been examined and evaluated keenly and in detail than in a transfer between workers. It seems general throughout case work that when two workers are - 53 -called on to share their respective s k i l l s to serve one client (in this case the child), the efforts of the two workers should be integrated at the supervisory level, and administrations must provide structure for this. The mechanisms for transfer through the supervisor were provided but do not seem to have been adhered to in many instances. The situation in the agency generally seems to have been one where the supervisory staff needed to be developed and strengthened. One of the lacks in this was shown in a f i l e which had recordings by three different woriers, referring to three different placements, on one page. A l l these workers had conflicting opinions about this home, and i t s use to the agency. Obviously these were never resolved, and a super-visory level conference might have reconciled the d i f f e r -ences, or at least have insured a more purposeful use of the home thereafter. A comprehensive record of the use of homes should be kept in the foster home record, i f only for the periodic evaluation by a supervisor, and with i t an inte-grated picture of these foster parents' work. In the main, the case worker, when she felt the study was complete, decided whether or not to accept the home for use. Again to what degree she had supervision in conjunction with this decision is not clear. It seems that administrative planning was more readily adequate than case worker supervision. This is witnessed in the way in which - 54 -the reeords show an absence of the discussion of emotional implications in the home study in favor of descriptions of the material adequacy of the home and conformation with the general plan re forms, references etc. On the whole, the agency made good use of collateral sources of information about the family, such as doctors, Health Department of the c i t y , clergy and other agencies. In a few cases, however, the case worker's recording showed some equivocation about the s u i t a b i l i t y of the home, and a tendency to make use of opinions of collateral inquiry as an alternative to taktnjresponsibility for the decision. There are indications of lack of integration? between the homefinders work and that of the continuing worker in child care. This is shown in the number of times the homefinders recommendations as to the type of child to be placed in the home were not observed when there appeared to be no particular emergency necessitating the divergence. Again the reason seems to have been the gradual adaptation to the gradual growth of the homefinders role. In some cases i t was evident the child case worker took over the role of homefinder when something specific was needed. This was again an adaptation to lack of homefinding staff, which in the early stages did not allow them to specialize or con-centrate their efforts on one particular case. On the whole the child case worker recognized and appreciated the role of home finders long before these roles could be f i l l e d . Figures show that 62 out of the 100 homes whose - 55 -records we perused were used for placement. Of these 62 placements, 36 were made according to the home finder's recommendation. Twelve were made contrary to the recommen-dation, and in 14 records, we were not able to determine whether or not recommendation was followed. We are not suggesting that home finding can be considered as anything but an integral part of a child care program, and senior agency staff must decide the most e f f i c -ient way of using i t s case workers. To say that home find-ing requires special s k i l l , or the adaptation of s k i l l , does not mean that i t can function without a detailed know-ledge of a l l aspects of child care, or that i t is in any way divorced from i t . Unless the home finder has had experience with children actually liv i n g in foster homes, she may be hindered in her attempts to help the prospective foster parents understand their relationship to the agency, their potential responsibilities, or to evaluate how the home may meet the needs of foster children. It was noted with some concern that the recording seemed to underplay or ignore altogether the obvious fact that every applicant cannot be a foster parent. Few of the records gave any indication of the problems, minor or other-wise, which must exist in any normal family. Recording ought to make note of the existing situation, with a l l the factors involved, which lead the case worker to feel that these people w i l l be satisfactory foster parents. It ought - 56 -to be clearly discernible in the record how and why the case worker reached her decision to approve this home, in order that placement can be more effectively made. It seemed, too, as i f intake staff hesitated to turn down obviously unsuitable people in the I n i t i a l interview, even though this would seem to be the logical place to do so. In one record, in the f i r s t paragraph of the recording of the i n i t i a l interview, the case worker's comments indicated explicitly as well as by inference the unsuitability of the applicant, yet the case worker concluded with the statement "I f e l t she was a foster mother who would need a good deal of reassurance and help", assuming that the home would be used or approved. In an agency where pressure of work is so great, more selective choice of foster parents could compensate to a great extent and make case work with child-ren more effective in the total picture. We get the im-pression that workers feel i t necessary to approve the homes on which a study is undertaken. This is borne out in the fact that of the 100 f i l e s we drew, only 4 showed rejections by case workers. Table VI shows a breakdown of the disposition of the homes studied. We realize that the small number of rejections might be considered in relation to the relatively small - 57 -Table VI Disposition of Home Studies Approval by Staff Total Home Finder 35 Child Care Worker 10 Adoption Department Worker 1 Nurse 1 Other Agency 1 48 Approval by Placement 25 25 (Two subsequent Approvals recorded by Home Finder, one by Child care worker). Withdrawals 14 14 Rejections By Agency Staff 4 By Specific Child (Prior to Placement) 1 5 Pending 5 5 Drifting 1 1 , Approval by Child Placing Comm. 1 1 - 58 -number of applicants selected from a l l the inquiries to be studied. This may be an indication that an effective s e l -ection job is done prior to the undertaking of the study, so that complete home studies are done only on those assumed to be approvable. If such is the case, i t would be helpful, to agency as well as staff, to have on the foster home record a summary of the evaluation process which led to the choice of the home for continuing study. Summary We have attempted an analysis of the material which was available through the foster home records of this agency. As far as possible, we have traced the method and process of the home finding job, as i t appears in the recording, over a specified period of time, and i t has been possible to assess, to some extent at least, the standard of homes being studied. Observations and recommendation on the basis of the findings w i l l appear in Chapter 4. CHAPTER 4 Observations and Recommendations It is the plan in this chapter to survey and evaluate the findings discussed in Chapter 3, and to draw some general conclusions. For this co-ordinating process, i t would be appropriate to follow the outline set forth on the form which was used to e l i c i t from the records the material pertinent to the home study. 1 As previously mentioned, this form was drawn up to include information which might give a satisfyingly comprehensive picture of foster parent applicants, and their s u i t a b i l i t y to provide foster care for children. There are seven main sections, and we w i l l deal with them individually. Agency Service Statistics On the whole, the evidence shows that the agency service s t a t i s t i c s were kept in a uniform and well-organ-ized manner. It was relatively easy to get this information from the f i l e s , or to observe that i t was lacking in a particular f i l e . It was observed that the staff seem to have been f a i r l y flexible in regard to the time taken to undertake a study, that is after the i n i t i a l inquiry, and we feel that 1. See Appendix A. - 60 -this was an adaptation to the pressure of work. The delays would, without doubt, have been less i f more staff had been available. It is probable that workers could have dealt more effectively and decisively with the situations en-countered i f they had been able to keep abreast of the i n -flux of Inquiries, and of the agency's need for placement resources. It was found that only 4 of the 100 sample studies showed specific rejection by case workers, but along with this observation we note that only one in four inquiries was followed up. It seems clear that a great deal of the selection is done prior to home study. This is in keeping withttie finding that there were a high number of inquiries relative to the number of home studies under-taken monthly. Insofar as the selection of inquiries for follow-up home study can proceed free of pressure and anxiety arising from the immediate need to accomodate child-ren, using diagnostic s k i l l and with an overall perspective of agency needs, selection at this early point would seem to be a desirable and economical plan to follow. However, where these factors do not apply, the loss of possible placement resources could result. A card index of these inquiries with a brief notation as to their disposition would enable a closer analysis. At the same time, i t is noted that placements occurr-ed in only 62 of the 100 sample homes. Apparent reasons for not using the other 38 include withdrawaloof applicant - 61 -following home study, evasion of negative evaluation by workers, and the fact that the suitable type of child was not available. The workers' failure to be more forthright in deciding that a home would not or could not be used, instead of leaving i t to the passage of time, may indicate that they were not in a position to make this choice, or that wishing to reject a home at one point, and for good reason, they feared they might be faced with the necessity of using i t at a later date. If this was the reason homes were l e f t unused but not rejected, we feel the misgivings should have been recorded, and i f the homes were used for other reasons, these should have been simply stated. The effect of not being decisive in the acceptance or rejection of homes has an adverse effect on agency relationship with the applicants and the general public. The indecision carries over not only in direct contacts with foster parents, but the quandry is again apparent in efforts at interpret-ation to the community and at recruitment of foster homes. There is also the false sense of security which arises from a consideration of the number of homes on the books. Another very serious effect is the lowering of standards where, in the overall program, the formal acceptance or rejection of a home means l i t t l e in terms of the use to which i t is actually put. - 6 2 -It was not apparent in the records that the i n -quiries were cleared with a supervisor before the home studies were undertaken, though this may have been the case. The adherence to the practice of having a supervisor exam-ine intake and plan the assignment of cases to staff is a part of the method of working through this dilemma, and giving support to staff in turning down applications, as well as seeing that rejections are courteous and specific. The supervisor's role is important in conserving resources, in having an overall picture of the need and of the homes available, thereby being enabled to participate with cognizance in the recruiting program, and to maintain opt-imal standards. One sub-heading in this section which elicited interesting information was "number of office interviews and home v i s i t s . " For purposes of discussion we equated the two, although they w i l l be f e l t to have different values to some. The results indicate that the home studies consisted of 1 . 5 6 contacts. There were, of course, supplementary a c t i v i t i e s , such as the checking of references, done f a i r l y consistently, Social Service Exchange, and the compilation of forms, particularly that of application. A foster home study must include the i n i t i a l reception of the applicants, which involves exploration of the immediate circumstances under which they come to the agency, their knowledge and - 63 -previous association with the agency or other agencies, and their overall experience with children. They must also be given information and understanding about the agency program for children, agency policy regarding placement generally and specifically, and the mechanics by which this is applied, Relationship between their request and the types of place-ment needed must be explained. We must learn something about their current family set-up, their place in the commun-i t y , their financial security, health, and something of their previous l i f e experiences, a l l of which are s i g n i f i -cant in their feelings and ideas about care and raising of children. It is also important to realize that one is endeavoring.to get to know a whole family. Including the foster father entails extra planning in terms of time i n -volved. If there are other children members of the family group, they must be known. While covering these things, there is an opportunity to evaluate their manner of funct-ioning, their manner of relating, and, actually speaking, what they do in relations to what they say. It is important to explore their feeling for people, their attitude to philanthropy, their attitude towards people not like them-selves. To cover this material with any degree of system • or thoroughness involves several contacts, and cannot be done in one or two interviews. Certainly the time current-l y available should be recognized, so that maximum use - 64 -could be made of i t . In reference to the actual perfor-mance, i t appeared that too great a portion of the worker's time was spent in obtaining a detailed account of background information, i.e. the physical appearance and educational achievement of the parents and siblings of applicants, and that in comparison, information as to the present situation and functioning of the family was lacking. There was also l i t t l e qualitative information on f i l e , as opposed to factual and s t a t i s t i c a l information. Few workers would be prepared to go very deeply into a diagnostic evaluation of a family in one or two v i s i t s . The collection of factual material and background Information might be used as a basis with regular and consistent recording of information about impressions and characteristics of the applicants gained during and following placement. If more time cannot be given to the task, increased supervision would also render the same amount of time more effective, especially in helping the case worker to make a tentative evaluation of the home from what is known and observed, and to focus more closely in these f i r s t contacts on basic essentials for foster parenthood. Placement Here again, s t a t i s t i c a l Information was quite consistent. There was no recording of what preparation the - 65 -foster parents had for placement of particular children. This did not seem to be allocated to the foster home record. Information under the sub-heading "Procedure of transfer of home between departments" was deduced from overall observations, and i t seems logical that agency routines would not be recorded on f i l e s . As placement needs during the period under review seemed to be ahead of resources, incomplete home studies were in some instances turned over to child care workers when a home was needed. We presume that the child care worker was told that such and such a home was available, and was referred to i t to study i t and make arrangements around a specific child. There were occasional indications of conference and supervisory comm-ents prior to this in some of the home studies, relating to specific children or problems. While the s t a t i s t i c a l information was well kept, there was a lack of qualitative comment, particularly i i relation to the sub-headings "Duration of placement" and "Termination of placement". In other words, we may know what a worker thought the home would offer as a placement resource, and how long i t was used, but we have no infor-mation as to what i t did provide, or why i t was no longer used. - 66 -Forms Used Use of the application form was very consistent and helpful, and has been f u l l y discussed in Chapter 3. The foster home agreement form was not in the foster home f i l e . There is one in use but i t is kept in the account-ing department. There is no formal licensing of foster homes used by the agency, i t being considered a repetitive measure to have a case work agency formally licensing homes as well as approve them. The homes which are licensed by this agency under the Welfare Institutions Licensing Act are those used by families who place their children private-l y and such placements are not supervised by an agency. These homes are inspected, evaluated, and licensed by a department of the agency separate from the home finding de-partment or program for the children In care. It seems appropriate to mention here the Public Health Departments in the City of Vancouver and in one rural Municipality, Surrey, has their staff inspect a l l foster homes and submit statements to the agency concerning the compliance with sanitary, building and f i r e regulations, these were on the f i l e s . The agency would like to see this service developed In other municipalities concerned. - 67 -Process of Continuing Supervision. Study and Evaluation  of Home This section was rather theoretical in origin, and there was l i t t l e material in the f i l e s from which to draw. In effect, i t appears that this was not seen to be the function of the Home Finding department. Judging from the f i l e s only, we wondered whether the homes were wholly trans-ferred to the child care workers at the time of placement. This might have resulted in the decision that such infor-mation could not be economically recorded on the foster home f i l e s . In any case, it's absence is to be questioned, for i t deprives the Home Finding department of a current knowledge of i t s present resources, and prevents their pro-f i t t i n g from valuable experience in the search for and evaluation of future resources. Pre-placement evaluations of foster homes are always tentative in some areas at least; and i t is important to check the evaluation against exper-ience, as there is growth in our knowledge of a home and what i t does in relation to children should be noted. Foster parents w i l l also grow in their knowledge of child-ren and their s k i l l in helping them. This needs to be observed. As we get to know them better we can use them more s k i l l f u l l y for specific children. The continued super-vision of a foster home would net as much or more infor-mation on the family as the i n i t i a l study, and ought to be -68 -recorded on the foster home record. Adequate f a c i l i t i e s for recording are most important i f this is to be achieved with economy. Studies have been done on the efficiency ratio between case worker time and stenographic time in recording, and should be given thought. In summary, i t may be said that the areas covered so far lack a qualitative case work evaluation. The mech-anics seem to have been well planned for, and we did not see where they limited the case worker unduly. The reasons for the lack seem to be an insufficiency of case work time, and an absence of the habit of including a case work eval-uation, and possibly a fear on the workers' part that they could not meet the basic demand for enough homes. There i s , however, serious question around the planning for re-cording. In effect, there was no case record following the i n i t i a l study. We feel that a system of brief summarized recordings is needed, related to the actual success or failure of placement. When the placement becomes stabilized, and there is l i t t l e continued contact either with child or foster parent, this could be indicated in the record. As a short cut, earbon copies of periodic summaries from the child's record, especially at the time of the child's leaving the foster home, might be f i l e d in the foster home record. - 69 -Family S t a t i s t i c a l Information In this area, information appeared in an orderly fashion. We were able to get a picture of the physical adequacy of the homes, and of the financial security of the families. There was l i t t l e reference to the types of employ-ment followed by the foster fathers, unless there was some feeling that work history or income was unsatisfactory to the point where the family's motivation in taking foster children was largely to supplement a rather shaky income. More emphasis could have been given to foster fathers' employment in other than terms of its financial adequacy. This is important to the foster child insofar as the employ-ment may or may not allow the foster father to participate normally and continuously in family l i f e . It has a bearing on parental identification, which is frequently a problem in foster home placement. In some cases, we f e l t that the foster parents were definitely interested in doing the work because of the remuneration involved. This does not appear as a negative finding, and i s , in fact, a more desirable motivation than many unrealistic and seriously neurotic ones. In these cases, i t was found that there was a legitimate reason for the income to be small, such as the illness of, or absence of foster fathers. We were interested in the co-existence of medical problems in the foster family with the desire to take foster children. We feel that again the motive may - 70 have been partly financial. Indebtedness was not too appar-ent. The majority of families were buying their homes on a monthly payment basis, and the homes were for the most part adequate for their needs. There was some lack of acceptance on the foster parents' part about the effect, in terms of crowding, of adding another member to the household. Workers were cognizant of this, but seemed not too aware of what they f e l t was a desirable standard. We did not feel that the agency needed to feel dissatisfied with the phy-si c a l or financial standards of the homes, generally speaking. Evaluation of Family This section had five significant headings: 1. Ego strengths, which included physical and mental health, and achievement. Something of a picture of these was obtainable from s t a t i s t i c a l infor-mation, and was not elaborated on very much. There was also further indication of these strengths in the manner in which foster parents participated in the home study. 2. Affectional relationships, including those with the community, those of the marriage, those with own children, and with foster children i f any. A picture of these relationships within a family was rarely discernible in the records we read. - 71 -Usually there was a brief reference to the marital situation, and own children. There was a good deal of weight plaeed on the early family ties of the foster parents. Material regarding the family's place in the community was noticeably lacking, and this would have considerable significance. 3. Emotional Stability, including applicants' attitude toward foster care routines, towards discipline of children, their a b i l i t y to integrate a foster child into the community, their toleration to frustration, their r i g i d i t y or f l e x i b i l i t y , and their a b i l i t y to handle reality. Much of this would be determined readily after a child had been placed, but only occasionally did the records give indication of these areas having been considered. The one factor more frequently observed than a l l others was the question of r i g i d i t y of applicants. 4. Category of care decided upon, by family and by worker. In most cases, the application form indicated the foster parents' i n i t i a l preference, and the c l e r i c a l entry of the birthdate of child placed was indication of the age category decided upon by the worker. Other than this, there was - 72 -l i t t l e elaboration of any kind. 5. Motive, as given by family, and evaluated by worker. The family's stated motive was recorded, and there was a consistent effort on the part of workers to e l i c i t this, but for the most part the workers' evaluation seemed indecisive and incomplete. There were very few of the f i l e s which covered a l l of this material adequately. There were those which cover-ed It in part, and i t was interesting to observe the d i f f -erent uses made of i t . There are examples of case records 1 to i l l u s t r a t e this. The records are a l l brief, some have been summarized further, but free use was made of direct quotations from the records where this was f e l t to be par-ti c u l a r l y i l l u s t r a t i v e . There are both positive and negative findings, but one can readily see that planned, systematic recording, no matter how brief, is sufficient. There is indication that case workers were frequently perceptive in obtaining pertinent information but further cl a r i f i c a t i o n and implementation did not follow in the expected sequence. Of particular note were the records done by students under more careful supervision, and also by some of the more recent studies. In the cases chosen for Appendix E, the recording was not always complete, but what there was, was pertinent. 1. See Appendix E - 73 -There are instances of recording of observations where i t was obvious that consultative help was needed to reach a definite diagnosis and conclusion about the disposition of the home, (see case 1 in Appendix E), There are cases where supervision was available and assisted in a more satisfactory handling. (See cases 3, 4, 5» Appendix E). Some case material is i l l u s t r a t i v e of workers1 failure to observe the true situation in the foster family and the problems they present, frequently proceeding with placement without due concern for the result on the foster family. There was apparently some lack of realization that a foster child could not benefit from a placement which was damaging to a foster family. There is also a point of ethics i n -volved here, in that the interests of a foster family and particularly the foster family 1s own children, should not be jeopardized. (See case 8). In cases 6, 7 and 8, serious problems were encountered in applicants, and they were handled in such a way as to effect the foster family 1s approaching their problems in a more constructive manner than through foster home placement. These also illustrate that people voice a plea for help through a request for a foster child. As has been stated, there were instances where the case work approach was maintained in spite of rather unus-ual circumstances: for example ease 2 where the natural - 74 -mother assisted in planning for the child, and actually-suggested the foster home. In the later period, there are cases with brief comments on actual placements, or follow-up after study, see cases 3 and 5 . We feel that these cases illustrations demonstrate both negative and positive findings. It would appear that with an overall evaluation of existing records, and a minimum or re-organization, the present structure allows for a satisfactory standard of work, providing that the administration can enable intergration and direction of effort at the supervisory level. Administrative Handling The area of administrative handling is inseparably tied up with the total picture but the observations ind i -cate that administrative planning was ahead of the general case work practice. The problems and results are character-i s t i c of the separation of a specific task out of the generalized case loads, into a separate department doing home finding exclusively. A comprehensive plan for a home study and the procedure were in evidence in the early part of the period and gradually towards the end a greater em-phasis on the case work became apparent. The need for more staff to permit the latter to occur was recognized by department heads but i t was not f e l t that this should come - 75 -from the existing staff, thus increasing the already too heavy case loads of the generalized staff. The plan was to interpret the need for home finders to the board and to the Community Chest and thereby get the additional staff. Whether or not this was the only approach to the problem is certainly beyond the scope of this study. It seems more elementary for the board to accept that smaller case loads as an aid to better standards, than to accept the need for a special department. This would also leave the agency heads freer to assign staff providing greater f l e x i b i l i t y to meet changing needs within the agency. It has been cited throughout that there was a grave lack in recording material. We feel that the admin-istration would need to look at the causes for this, and to see to i t that adequate provision is made for recording, and that a feasible plan be worked out for centralization of the information for supervisory, departmental and agency purposes. With regard to the use of conferences, i t was our original intent to examine the use made of conferences in evaluation and use of homes, but i t was found that con-ferences as indicated on the f i l e s were too isolated to give us an overall picture. It appears that conferences as such are not recorded and this is not unusual in overall practice. The findings at such conferences around place-ment would be more valuable i f put into the running record. - 76 -There are certain other aspects of administration, such as financing, and formulation of policy, which were purposely l e f t in the realm of conjecture as far as this study was concerned. Administration was explored only as i t had a bearing on the case work method and plan in home finding. It should suffice to note here that each agency must of necessity set up different requirements in home finding, relative to the specific needs of i t s own area of work. The larger the agency, and the greater the number of workers involved in the task, the greater the degree of s k i l l i n administration and supervision must be, to achieve this uniformity. Though each agency is thought of as acting as a unit, i t is a constant struggle to develop and keep standards uniform throughout the various aspects of the services i t offers to the community. General Observations and Comments In line with these observations, i t is recommended that special thought be given to what staff is needed to implement a home finding department large enough to provide adequate resources for the agency, and meanwhile how the problem of selecting foster homes can most economically and effectively be met by available staff. The workers must be helped to explore the problems which every case worker faces in doing this type of work, namely their feelings as a person and as a ease worker. Workers especially need super-- 77 -visory help with these problems. It appeared from the records that those who were new to the job, and relatively inexperienced, or with only partial training, were dependent on the quality of supervision they received to achieve a satisfactory standard. Case work supervision It is evidentfyadvantageous to the agency to have the kind of supervisor who is particularly oriented to the problem of maintaining the agency's foster homes in adequate supply and of desirable quality. The agency's definition of specifications as to what to look for in a foster home was not too clear. This again seemed rooted in the feeling that they would have to make use of what was immediately available. We feel that i l l u s t r a t i v e material from existing foster home reeords could be found and put before staff for discussion and general educational purposes, to good effect. There is no diagnostic formula set out which might be followed as a guide to the selection of foster parents. When asked what he sought in foster parents, one agency head replied: "That's easy. Healthy, warm, mature people. No others need apply." Others w i l l apply in goodly numbers, and to detect even manifestations of these qualities or the lack of them is not easy. The f i r s t step in case work with - 78 -foster parents involves an examination by the agency of it s needs, a s k i l l f u l job of interpretation of this to staff and to the public, so that the workers do not i n i t -i a l l y find themselves in a compromising position with appli-cants. It is assumed that case workers w i l l adhere to the case work method in the process of selecting foster parents. Case work method involves "...professional s k i l l s of inter-viewing, observation, diagnosis, treatment and use of re-sources and related services"... 1 There is a further specification that the case work staff doing this job must have a broad understanding of the intellectual, emotional and social development of children, and a broad experience in working with children and their families. In addition, there are certain techniques which are helpful in drawing out the material comprising an ade-quate home study, including the use of "the unlocking 2 question", relieving applicants' frustrations, the use of group process whereby a number of prospective applicants are interviewed together, and permitting applicants to participate actively in the home study. In preparation for a careful assessment, i t helps to plan the intake phase s k i l f u l l y , and to undertake the study promptly. Delay and uncertainty of waiting increase 1 . Standards for Children: Organizations Providing Foster Family Care, published by C.W.L.A. Inc. March 194-1,p 1 6 2. Hutchison, Dorothy, Homefinding Trends. C.W. May 1 9 5 3 . - 79 -the emotional investment of the applicant, and the sense of apology In the worker. Foster parent applicants' accept-ance of agency and worker, and the manner in which they approach the agency, are indices to their manner of function-ing. Another early observation ought to be made of the significance to the family i f there are no natural children. It may be a childless couple who cannot adopt, or who have met with various problems in their quest for a child to be their own; If so, they are frequently going to want more in the way of permanency out of a relationship with a foster child than the situation w i l l allow, and the case worker must evaluate the degree of the applicants' invest-ment, in terms of the r e a l i s t i c uncertainty involved in foster care. It is also important to evaluate how r e a l i s t -i c a l l y they have sought a child, or have given children a place in their lives. The number of years they have done nothing about i t may be indicative, or at least the reason for their inactivity in relation to the problem heeds to be understood. People who have arranged or planned their lives so that children could be included are more l i k e l y prospects. How great an adjustment in personal routines w i l l be necessitated by the caring for a child is something else to be considered. If the change is too great, a successful placement Is not too l i k e l y . On the other hand, applicants who seek a foster child because they w i l l not - 80 -commit themselves to having another natural child for various reasons may not be wholehearted in their wish for a child. They may see the foster child as being less of an investment than their own would be, or almost as a de-fence against this. Negative motivations are numerous and diverse. Case workers must be on the alert for signs of dissatis-faction in marriage, feelings of inadequacy as a parent, compensation for withdrawal from normal social a c t i v i t i e s , or a need to exercise control over others. The application for a foster child may be a medium for voicing anxiety over a personal problem, whether deep-seated or superficial, such as their feelings about their own children, or about having children. They may want a foster child as a com-panion for a natural child whose demands are placing too great a. strain on parents; or they may be seeking an outlet for their h o s t i l i t y . A need for a good or grateful foster child may be indicative of an Insatiable need for affection. There may be a need to feel superior to the child's own parents, and case workers must evaluate a foster parents' a b i l i t y to accept the child's natural family as well as the child. What is the picture of relationships that already exist in the home? What is the marital relationship, and how w i l l a foster child affect this balance? Which of the - 81 -family members are seen to have problems, or to manifest symptoms of insecurity? Whose role in the family w i l l be duplicated, or threatened in any way by the advent of a foster child? While observations in these areas may pre-clude the placement of one type of child, i t may not mean that no child could f i t in. As we have differences in children, and di f f e r -ences in the use of placement in relation to a child, we w i l l need to look for different categories of foster homes. For short terms emergency placements, including children who are too disturbed to benefit from an ordinary foster home, we w i l l need the experienced, ever willing foster mother, who can accept a l l children with warmth and offer security, and who w i l l not look for the affection to be re-turned. These foster homes should be closely identified with the agency, and treated as staff. Secondly, there are the foster homes which can take_and serve particular child-ren, i f given support and interpretation i n i t i a l l y . This is the type which case workers should have time to help, and which should be assessed as to their value as long term placement f a c i l i t i e s . Here parental relationships and parental identification are more important than in the short term emergency work, where the accepting but undemanding mother figure is a l l important. There are other types which w i l l serve children intuitively and well, foster parents unable to make much use of the case worker's broader know-- 82 -ledge, and who with their faults w i l l remain as they were in the f i r s t place, without adversely affecting the child's progress. As the agency under consideration has at its dis-posal very l i t t l e in the way of institutional f a c i l i t i e s , i t has particular need of the f i r s t type of foster home referred to above. In addition, i t needs to be aware of the d i f f i c u l t y It encounters with children in i t s care who are not ready for ordinary foster home placement. The period of adjustment in a neutral or less personalized setting, but offering relationship as the children can use i t , is hard to achieve. This is a recognized problem ±1 the agency, and measures are being instituted to cope with i t , but i t must be mentioned in i t s relation to home finding. Of v i t a l importance is the matter of giving foster parents increased status and responsibility. It was apparent that there were areas, such as shopping for clothing, getting medical attention for children, etc., which were sometimes being carried by case workers, when in effect this should, in most instances, be the task of responsible foster parents, the workers' efforts could then be directed towards the finding of such parents, the bridging of the gap between natural and foster parents, the acting as consultants to foster parents in.special problems, and the making with a l l concerned of a long range plan for the child. - 83 -As the home finders seemed to have l i t t l e contact with the foster homes after they went into use i n i t i a l l y , i t was doubtful i f they could give an adequate assessment of the agency's placement resources at any one time. This would hinder the agency's efforts to serve i t s clientele most effectively. Measures are gradually being implemented to correct this such as the transferring back to the home-finding department of the f i l e s on foster homes as they be-come vacant, implementing of a central index on a l l foster homes, the d i s t r i c t unit supervisors reporting periodically to the supervisor of homefinding on the foster home situation in their respective d i s t r i c t s , and the recording of some information on the foster home f i l e of placements made in the home. In conclusion, i t would appear that there are four main areas in home finding which seem to be in need of reviews 1, Use of a sound case work diagnosis to assess the potential of foster parents. 2. More careful use of supervision, both in relation to the individual worker's performance on the job, and in keeping an up-to-date picture of general and specific goals. - 8 4 -3. More recording of the actual performance of a l l foster homes and an overall analysis of the resources and unmet needs. 4 . Review of the total case work plan, in relation to the resources of time and s k i l l available with a view to putting the most important things f i r s t , and including others as time and c i r -cumstances permit. APPENDIX A - 85 Agency's Service S t a t i s t i c s 1. Date of Application 2. Date of Acceptance . 3. Date of evaluation 4. Date of Closing 5. Source of Referral 6. No. of Office Interviews Home V i s i t s 7. Social Service Index a. b. J ~ c. 8. References a. b. *"" c. d. 9. Worker 10. Supervisor Placement 1. Procedure of transfer of home between departments 2. Child requested (age, sex) 3. Child Placed 4. Duration of Placement Planned Actual 5. Termination of Placement As planned Emergency Other Forms Used 1. Application 2. Agreement 3. Licensing "FILE NO. NAME Process of C^ntinuin^^^Supery^rsir-g.• Study and Evaluay.ojn_^_Kome 1. Relative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y witMn depts. for continuing recording & f i l i n g 2. Conferences: a Placement b Removal c Re-use (additional or different .child) d Closing Family S t a t i s t i c a l Information 1. Date of Marriage 2. Father age Racial Mother age Racial 3. Children!status, age, sex, . personality adjustment) 4. Income . . Debts Obligations Attitude to job, money A b i l i t y to manage 5. Home owned or rented • Space 6. Religeon Integration of these in t o t a l process of home study: Evaluation of Family 1. Ego Strengths: Physical Health - 86 (3 .continued) Toleration for fru s t r a t i o n Mental Health Achievement 2. Affectional Relationships: Community: Leisure time Church School Other Marital Parent-children(mother&father) Relationships with previous foster children R i g i d i t y or f l e x i b i l i t y A b i l i t y to handle r e a l i t y Other 4. Category arrived at:Family Wker Short term Long term Withdrawn Rejected Specific Permanent (view to adoption) 5. Motive: Family Worker 6. Administrative Handling: Supervision 3 . Emotional S t a b i l i t y Attitude to routine of foster program Attitude to d i s c i p l i n i n g children A b i l i t y to integrate foster c h i l d into community Recording and F i l i n g Conference with Child Pla-cing Dept. re use of home, recording. Rate paid Other ( c l e r i c a l , etc.) &yrmDi& a - 87 -Wc\t .ffiplhrai'* (Aft ^otbtg of ^anxnute, p - (L 1 6 7 5 T E N T H A V E N U E W E S T Z O N E 9 A P P L I C A T I O N F O R A C H I L D Date 1. Surname 2. Woman's Maiden Name 3. Children's Names and Birthdates M a n Christian Names: Woman. . M a n Date and Place of Birth: Woman. . 4. Present Address Phone Former Address (or message phone) M a n 5. Date and Place of Marriage Previous Marriage: W o m a n 6. Racial origin of man of woman 7. School leaving, age, and grade of man of woman 8. Additional training of man of woman 9. Occupation of man Income 10. Occupation of woman previous to marriage 11. A r m y Service of man of woman 12. Health: M a n Woman Children 13. Date of last chest X-ray: M a n Woman 14. Name and Address of Doctors 15. A r e you willing to submit a medical certificate? 16. Religion Name of Church 17. Name of Minister Address 18. Relatives of both Man and Woman (parents, brothers and sisters) and addresses (Use back if necessary) 19. Others in household (give name, relationship and occupation) 20. Community Schools: Public School High School 21. Attitude towards use of alcoholic beverages in the home 22. Do you own or rent your home? Rented suites or rooms 23. How many rooms have you? No. of bedrooms? 24. What is your motive in applying for a child? 25. Have you ever taken or boarded children before? 26. State age, sex, and number of children desired 27. Could you accommodate a brother and sister? 28. A r e you offering boarding home or adoption home? 29. F r o m what source did you hear of our Society? 30. Please give names and addresses of three persons other than minister or doctor mentioned above—not relatives—who have known you for not less than one year to whom we may refer: 1 Address 2 Address 3 Address Signature of M a n Signature of Woman APPENDIX C Quotation from "Standards for Children's Organiz-ations Providing Foster Family Care," published by C.W.L. of A. Inc. March 1941. "Fundamental c r i t e r i a for the selection of homes should be established by the agency: 1. Physical standards should take into account safety, light, ventilation, and heating of the house, cleanliness, sanitation, and general furnishing; the location, neighbor-hood f a c i l i t i e s and accessibility. There should be adequate space for separate sleeping rooms for children. It should be required that a bed of his own be provided for each child. It is preferable that infants should not sleep in the same room as foster parents, and never after the age of two or three. 2. Adequate community resources should include easily accessible and well-equipped schools and f a c i l i t i e s for medical care, recreation, and companionship. 3. A l l members of the family should be in good physical and mental health and free of communicable dis-eases, as ascertained in consultation with the family physician. 4. Reasonable economic security on the basis of a regular income adequate to provide essentials of comfortable and stable l i v i n g should be required. Where the family - 89 -income is not sufficient, but where extraordinary qualif-ications to deal with special problems are present, the agency should be prepared to pay a higher rate of board to cover the special services. 5 . Moral and ethical standards within the home, and appreciation of spiritual values, as well as such r e l i g -ious a f f i l i a t i o n s as may be required by the agency, should exist. 6. The family should be a complete family group with a mother and father, except in unusual situations, such as the home of widows who may have outstanding contributions to make in the care of older children or children with actively interested fathers. The foster parents should be of a suitable age to meet the needs of children, in terms of physical strength and f l e x i b i l i t y . 7. The personalities and relationships of a l l members of the family should be sUch as make for wholesome, com-plete and stable family l i f e . It has been found that i n general the foster mother is the dominating figure in homes offered to the placement agency, since i t is usually she who w i l l decide to take a child into the home. Neverthe-less, the importance of the foster father in meeting emot-ional needs of many children is not to be overlooked. The family as a whole should be capable of giving to the child love, consideration, and opportunities for his development, and of wanting and accepting him as a member of the family-group, where he may participate f u l l y in the family and community l i f e . In their individual dealing with the child, the foster family should be intelligent, understanding and flexible. 8. The motives for wanting a child should be in no way at variance with the best interests of children. Emot-ional need on the part of foster parents which may put too great demands on the child, and which may not permit them to let him grow up according to his own capacities, should be a disqualifying factor. 9. The foster family should be willing to and capable of working together with the agency, and of assuming the obligations involved in foster care through the period of placement." - 91 -APPENDIX D DATE REFERRED: CASE NO. SURNAME: MAIDEN NAME: PREVIOUS MARRIAGE: CHRISTIAN NAMES. BIRTBDATE AND BIRTHPLACE: Woman: Man: Children: TELEPHONE NUMBER: ADDRESS & TENURE: PREVIOUS ADDRESS: RELATIVES: OTHERS IN HOUSEHOLD: RELIGION: S.S.I. (See Reverse Side) PROBLEM: FAMILY STATUS: INTAKE STATUS: CASE REFERRED BY: METHOD OF REFERRAL: REFERRAL RECEIVED BY: DISTRICT WORKER: DEPARTMENT: COMMENTS: (Intake form,26-3-53) - 92 -APPENDIX E These records have been selected regardless of the length of the recording, to illustrate the manner in which diagnostic material is present in the records. In some instances direct quotations from the f i l e are used, and in others a summary has been made, but in each i n -stance, an accurate and comprehensive picture of the f i l e contents is given. - 93 -CASE 1 Over a 3 year period prior to 1 9 5 1 , there were 12 letters from this applicant, either answers to. newspaper advertisements for foster parents for a specific child, or requests for any type of child. The record gives brief indication that on two occasions the applicant was contacted by the agency as a follow-up to some of these requests, but at the time of the contacts, the family had lost interest. Following are direct quotations from the record of the home study in 1 9 5 1 . "Mrs. A. has replied to many of our newspaper advertisements for foster homes during the past few months. An office appointment was f i n a l l y arranged for today. She called at the office accompanied by her daughters age 14, and 10. Mrs. A. is an extremely obese, heavy set woman, whose every movement seems to be labored. Although she is only 44 years of age, she looks a great deal older. She was hesitant and uncertain during the interview, and I f e l t she was a foster  mother who would need a good deal of reassurance and help". "Recommendations I feel that this home would be suitable for a temporary baby of average or low average intelligence. I feel that Mrs. A. w i l l need a great deal of reassurance and help from the nurses. Child should not be placed in this home for too long a period." Six months later, after supervisory discussion, i t - 94- -was decided to use this home for the placement of two children (ages not indicated) "on a temporary basis with a view to getting individual attention to prepare the children for Child Guidance Clinic and possible adoption." "Worker took the two X. children to this home and was very disappointed to find that conditions were not as she had understood them to be. The house was very cramped. Mrs. A. did not look physically able to run after a toddler because of her tremendous size....It distressed worker to feel that this was the home chosen for the X children." The worker indicated in the record that she l e f t the child-ren at the A. home only because immediate shelter was needed for them, and planned to make other plans for them after the weekend. On the following Monday, two days after place-ment, the foster mother phoned to say she did not wish to keep the children and they returned to their previous foster home. - 95 -CASE 2 This home was located by the child's natural mother when the agency asked her co-operation in planning placement. Apparently the previous foster home was breaking down, and the agency f e l t that the mother's interest in the child warranted including her in the tfctal planning. The foster parents are distant relatives of the natural mother, had no children of their own, and agreed to take the boy on a temporary basis at least. It worked out satisfactorily into a long term placement. This record had a comprehensive summary of the follow-up contacts. From the dictation, i t was obvious that the foster parents were flexible people who were given considerable support by the child's worker throughout the early and d i f f i c u l t part of the placement. There seems to have been a good job of interpretation of the child's needs to the foster parents, and their acceptance of their role (in relation to natural mother) shows understanding and strength. - 9 6 -CASE ^  There had been two contacts with the family approx-imately two years prior to the home study, but the record does not give any details other than to indicate that the home was visited by child care workers who needed a home in an emergency, and did not make use of this one. In May 1 9 5 2 , the foster parents re-applied, and were seen on intake by a member of the Adoption department. Following is a quote of the recommendation: "Although this is a low standard foster home, I feel they have something to give a child through affection and kind-ness, and a sense of security. The child would have to be used to low standards and rather crowded quarters. I would recommend close supervision of the home and close contact with the child placed as well as a continued aware-ness as to whether the advantage of this home outweighs the obvious disadvantages. This can only be told as the home is used. At the present time I would recommend this home for certain children." The record indicates that during the next 3 months a total of 4 children were placed in this home, with satis-factory adjustment. The f i l e contained copies of letters written by the foster mother, which reveal her as being a person with much understanding of children's behavior. The - 97 -letters were precipitated by requests to the agency for elothing for the children, but give a magnificent picture of the children 1s day to day problems in the home. - 98 -CASE 4 This is the record of a foster family who applied to take a foster child a few weeks after their daughter had le f t their home to be married. They give indication of their loneliness, and their wish to replace her. The study was done by a student. The recording gave a good picture of the worker's interpretation of what the applicants said. The worker seemed sensitive to the applicants' feelings, and got this into the record. The applicants had answered a newspaper advertisement related to a specific child, a 14 year old boy, and showed a total lack of understanding of the foster care program. The worker apparently did an adequate job of explanation and interpretation, and was able to bring back a r e a l i s t i c picture of this family. However, the record does not i n -dicate how supervision helped the worker assess the s i t -uation, and come to a definite conclusion. There is no indication that the home was used, but the impression i s given that this family were not discouraged, although from the material brought out in the interview, i t would seem that these people were not accepting of what foster home care involved. 99 -CASE 5 This was a study of a family which was done by a student, under careful supervision. The record showed a good evaluation of the emotional factors, and the diag-nostic evaluation was backed up with much concrete evid-ence. There was a summary recording of the placement. The home was closed when the foster mother became pregnant, with a concise but adequate statement in the record of the worker's feelings that this foster family had done much for the child placed with them. The poss-i b i l i t y of further foster service was discussed with them, and they were encouraged.to consider i t again at a later date. Anyone picking up this record in the future would be able to benefit from this knowledge. 100 -CASE 6 This is an application made in late 1952. The recording of the f i r s t interview indicates an obviously disturbed applicant, and the worker did a s k i l f u l job of directing the focus of the interviews to the foster mother herself. The child requested is scarcely mentioned. The foster mother's problem came to the fore early, and remain there. The worker is sensitive to the inadequacy of this woman as a foster mother, and is not afraid to face the fact that this application w i l l have to be re-jected. The worker is able to help the woman to withdraw on the basis of il l - h e a l t h , which is the least damaging area as far as applicant is concerned. - 101 -CASE 7 This was an application from a couple who were members of a stable common lav; mixed racial union. The worker gave evidence of being confident, and helpful to the foster mother throughout the interview, and yet did not lose her own perspective and purpose. She gave this woman acceptance as a person, and therefore the woman was able to accept the refusal. The case work approach was held to throughout, and resulted in stimulating the couple to work towards a more satisfactory marital status. One feels the experience of applying for foster parenthood was a positive and helpful one for the woman, who has, after a background of unhappy and traumatic ex-perience found satisfaction in a mixed racial union. It was v i t a l that the worker accept this. The inference is that when the marriage is com-pleted, the couple may reapply, but was not weighted with a promise of acceptance. The woman was free to recognize the import of marriage to children, and respected worker's stand on the matter. 102 -CASE 8 This family, with two natural children age 11 and 7> made application because they wanted further child-ren but could not afford further children of their own. It was apparently decided that this was a possibility for a child on a long term basis, and the study was proceeded with on this basis. The following are quotations from the record: "Mrs. D. has no d i f f i c u l t i e s with children and feels that children must learn to obey their elders and toe the mark." "Worker commented on the possibility of our disagreeing with her on certain matters, and she said she could, see where this might happen." "I f e l t that she had considerable driving force and might prove obstinate and determined i f sufficiently provoked." "I commented on strictness with a foster child who was a l -ready disturbed, and Mrs. D. replied they were not too s t r i c t , and only strapped a child once or twice a year." A four year old child was placed in this home. After several months the foster mother became strained and tense when her efforts to improve a dull child bore no results. Her health failed in the process, and i t was necessary for her own two children to be placed temporarily with relatives, and the foster child removed. Within a - 103 -short time, she telephoned the agency to say that she wished she had given the child up temporarily instead of permanently. She wanted reassurance that the agency would use her home again in the future and this was given to her. CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF VANCOUVER. B. C. Incorporated 1901 under the C h i l d r e n ' s P r o t e c t i o n Act Board of D i r e c t o r s 18 Members Executive Committee Family & C h i l d Pare Committee Legal Committee Financ e-Property Committee r #4 P s y c h i a t r i c Consultant Homefinder Supervisor 1 .... .1 ... 1 1 P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s & Personnel P r a c t i c e s Ward S p e c i a l Consent Fo s t e r & Adopt, Home Committee Group Homes Committee Executive D i r e c t o r A s s i s t a n t D i r e c t o r Case Consultant D i r e c t o r of Casework Se r v i c e s Medical 1 Superintendent I Adoption Supervisor Intake & West Un i t Supervisor) C l e r i c a l Department 1 ! 1 1 Centre Unit Supervi sor East U n i t Supervisor South Uni t Supervi sor Country Supervisor Court Supervisor 30 D i s t r i c t Caseworkers 2 Intake Workers 3g Homefinders 8 Adoption Workers 1 P r i v a t e Boarding Home Worker Students 2 Nurses I l l e g i t i m a c y - Unmarried Mothers Placements Requests Neglect Complaints Family and C h i l d Care Services Placement and Su p e r v i s i o n or C h i l d r e n i n F o s t e r and Adoption Homes P r i v a t e Boarding Home Sup e r v i s i o n I n v e s t i g a t i o n s f o r Other Agencies Supreme Court - Custody Family Allowance Department - Immigration Department Out of Town Agencies A R E D F E A T H E R A G E N C Y - 105 -BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Abbott, Grace - The Child and The State. Chicago, 1938. Cohen, Emmellne W. - English Social Services. Allen and Unwin, London, 1949. Day, Gladys, D. - Home Finding - The Placement of Children  in Families, Children's Bureau. 1951. : Fink, Arthur E. - The Field of Social Work. Henry Holt and Co. New York, 1942. Freud, Anna and Burlingham, Dorothy T. -War and Children. Medical War Books, New York, 1943. Gomberg, M. Robert and Levinson, Frances T. (ed) -Diagnosis and Process in Family Counselling, Family Service Association of America, New York, 1951. Hutchison, Dorothy - In Quest of Foster Parents, Columbia University Press, New York, 1943. Josselyn, Dr. Irene -Psycho-social Development of Children, Family Service Association of America, New York, 1948. Kasius, Cora (ed.) - Principles and Techniques in Social  Casework, Family Service Association of America, Sayles, Mary-- Substitute Parents, Oxford University Press, 1936 Pamphlets Guides to Agency Research, Family Service Association of America, New York, 1950. Some Practices in Home Finding, Child Welfare League of America, New York, 1946. Standards for Children's Organizations Providing Foster Family Care, Child Welfare League of America, New York, 1941. - 106 -Reports Final Report of the Citizens' Committee on Adoption of Children in California, 1953. Report by Margaret Angus on the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver B.C. 1901-1951. Report of the Care of Children Committee, presented by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Education, to Parliament of Great Britain, September 1946. Unpublished Material Foster Home Finding - M.S.W. Thesis, 1948, University of Toronto. Articles Baker, Inez M. - Foster Home Finding, The Family. May 1945 Benedict, Lois, The Boarding Home as a Resource in Adoption, Child Welfare. December 1951. Brenner, Ruth F., The Selection of Adoptive Parents: A Case Work Responsibility C.W.L.A. Bulletin 25, December, 1946. Brown, Florence G. - What do we seek in Adoptive Parents? Social Case Work, Ap r i l 1951. Carscallen, Helen - A Children's Aid Society and Public Relations, Concerning Children, March 1952. Chilman, C. William, - New York State Reviews its Foster Care System, Social Service Review, June 1948. Clotheir, Florence, "Some Aspects of the Problem of Adoption" A.J.O. July, 1939. Cole, Lawrence C. The Triangle in Child Placement; Parent, Child and Foster Parents, Social Service Review, June 1951* Copelan, Ethel A. "A Plan for a Centralized Home Finding Ser-vice, C.W.L.A. pamphlet "Some Practices in Home Finding." - 10.7 -Daly, Dorothy Bird, "Supervision of the Newly Employed Experienced Worker" Family, June 1946. Day, F. "Sharpening Methods to Meet Present Needs" Family, 1944, February. Dukette, Rita, Some Casework implications in Adoptive Home Intake Procedures, Child Welfare, January, 1954. Fish, Connie, "Maintaining Foster Homes", contributed to C.W.L.A. pamphlet, Some Practices in Home Finding Preparing Parents for Adoption, Richard B. Gehman, reprinted from "Tomorrow" Magazine, June 1949, Garret Publications Inc., New York, 1949. Foster Home Care in Rural Areas. Louise Gilbert, Journal of Social Case Work, February, 1947. Hallinan, Helen W. Who are the Children Available for Adoption? Social Casework, April 1951. Hamilton, Gordon - Helping People - The Growth of a Profession, Journal of Social Case Work, October, 1948. Hutchison, Dorothy, "Case Work Implications in the Use of Money in Child Placing", Family, July, 1940. Homefinding Trends, Dorothy Hutchison, Child Welfare, May, 1953. Refusing Foster Parents, Dorothy Hutchinson, Journal of Social Case Work, February, 1943. Josselyn, Irene and Towle, Charlotte, Evaluating Motives of Foster Parents, Child Welfare, February 1952. Keith-Lucas, Alan, Status of Parents of Children in Foster Care, Child Welfare, June 1953. Kline, Draza and Overstreet, Helen Mary, Maintaining Foster Homes Through Case Work S k i l l s , Social Service Review, September, 1948. Kulmann, Frieda M. and Robinson, Helen P., Rorshach Tests as a Diagnostic Tool in Adoption Studies, Social Casework, January 1951. - 108 -The Prospective Foster Parent as a C l i e n t , - A l i c e Laden, The Journal of S o c i a l Case Work, Process, Vol, I I I Lowry, Fern "Case Work Pr i n c i p l e s i n Contacts of Short Duration" S o c i a l Service Review, June 1948. McKay, Ruby, Adoption of Children - A Family Service, B.C.'s Welfare, September 1952 McKay, Ruby, Child Welfare D i v i s i o n Foster Home Review, B.C.'s Welfare, February 1952. McKay, Ruby, Looking at Adoption, B.C.'s Welfare, August, 1948. Michaels, Ruth, - Casework Considerations i f Rejecting the Adoption Application, Journal of 'Social Casework, December 1 9 4 7 . S p e c i a l Problems i n Case Work with Adoptive Parents, Ruth Michaels, S o c i a l Casework, January 1952. Portnoy, Deborah, S. " F i r s t Interview with a Prospective Foster Mother, Journal.of S o c i a l Case Work, December 1940, Use of Case Work S k i l l s i n Home Finding 1 Deborah S. Portnay, Journal of S o c i a l Case Work, February 1940. Rawley, Callmah, The Relation of Administrative P o l i c y and the Supply of Foster Homes, Child Welfare, March, 1950. Schoenberg, C a r l , Long Time Foster Home Care as an Agency Service, Child Welfare, May 1951. Wires, Emily M i t c h e l l , Placement for Adoption - A Total Separation? Journal of S o c i a l Casework, July 1949. Young, Leontine, "Separations Its Meaning to the Child , the Parents, and the Community," New York State Conference Proceedings, 1945. 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items