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Some aspects of differential placement : a study of one long-term CAS foster home in which many children have been placed Walker, Roy Francis Paul

Abstract

This thesis is an examination of an individual, long-term foster home which served a large child placement agency until a few years ago. The foster home was regarded by agency workers as an eminently successful one, both quantitatively and qualitatively particularly with adolescent boys, who are placement problems for any child-placing agency. The study was undertaken as an investigation into the reasons for the foster home's success with adolescent boys, in order to provide a point of departure for more controlled scientific study in the future. The study was done at the Vancouver Children's Aid Society, one of several agencies of its kind in Canada which is responsible for foster home and other forms of placement planning for many children who come into its care, and for the administration of various statutes related to the protection of children. The study includes: 1. An account of the historical development of foster home placement practice, an account of the needs and problems of children (with particular reference to those who require foster home care), and a description of the agency in which the study took place; 2. A survey of the children placed la the foster home and a qualitative study of the foster home, focussing on the twenty-one-year period of its active service to the agency; 3. An examination of the agency's case records of the foster children, their own families, and the foster family. Additional material for the study was obtained from Interviews with the foster mother, her own two children, and four of her former foster children. This study sought to examine the foster home in order to provide some formulation of the dynamics of a good foster home, particularly for adolescent boys. The findings suggest a number of important factors to be sought in any such foster home, including steady and consistent affection for all children, foster and own, an assumption of adult humility, interest, responsibility and leadership on the part of the foster parents, and the Importance of strong community roots for the foster home. These findings, in addition to having implications for future research, may provide a basis for a further refinement of diagnostic efficiency in the agency's future foster home placement programs.

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