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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Foster home planning for the Indian child: a casework study of foster children, parents, foster parents, and agency service: Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, 1959-1961 Massy, Patricia Graham (Bibbs)


The core of this study is an intensive review of a small sample of Indian foster children, their natural parents, their foster parents and of the services each group receives from a children's aid society. To a considerable extent, this is a test of facts against theoretical knowledge and against common beliefs. It is also an operational study which has been undertaken in response to a specific need, and with the hope of finding some procedures for remedial action. The research material is drawn from thirty-one sets of three kinds of files, and the returns from twenty-four questionnaires which were mailed to the foster parent group with covering letters. Data were also secured from a questionnaire which was pretested in an interview with one foster mother who had several Indian children; from consultations with social workers and other experienced people; and from personal knowledge gained by working with the groups involved. A preliminary review of Indians in British Columbia, historically and currently, throws light on the special problems of Indians here characterized as "marginality", "anomie" and prejudice. The study is, then, directed to three primary questions relating to: (1) planning foster placement for the Indian child; (2) the adequacy of the service offered to the Indian children, their parents and foster parents; and (3) the equipment of the social worker who handles Indian cases. The research also throws light upon eight other related queries, which were formulated in the course of the enquiry. On the basis of the evidence from the aggregate material, a number of procedures are proposed, both for improved service in planning for the Indian foster child, and for helping the agency and its workers who are responsible for his care.

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