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Factors influencing foster placement outcomes for children in British Columbia Strubin, Tanya

Abstract

An investigation of factors thought to contribute to the breakdown of foster homes for children in British Columbia was completed in this study. Data was collected from 22 foster parents across the province; all members of the British Columbia Federation of Foster Parents. Through the use of survey questionnaires, foster parents were asked to respond to questions regarding their experiences with a foster child aged 6 to 12 years formerly in their care. Data was collected to indicate the presence of difficult child behaviour, supportive services available to foster parents and parental attributions towards care giving outcomes. Family systems theory and social cognition theory provided a theoretical background to this research through the discussion of family dynamics and parental attributions. Variables under study in this project have been found in previous research to affect foster placement stability. Results revealed that verbally aggressive behaviour by children may affect placement stability while physical aggression and delinquent behaviour do not. Results also indicated that foster parent attributions regarding children in their care may relate to foster placement outcomes. Support from the foster care system appeared to have limited impact on the success of placement. However, foster parents reported an overall lack of available support. Throughout this study, the need for further research into foster placement outcomes is highlighted.

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