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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Termination of service by foster homes in a child-placing agency : a review of one hundred closed foster homes of the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, B.C. Anderson, Mamie Sybil

Abstract

Issues in foster home recruitment and maintenance in a child-placing agency are considered in this thesis. References are made to literature about the historical development of the foster home method of child care and this includes the set-up of the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver. There is the recognition that foster home placement is not the only plan for each child in agency care but that it is one important answer. Placement problems are raised and discussed. Specific factors in the closing of 100 foster homes are examined and the reasons are discussed. Records of 100 closed used foster homes are studied from the standpoints of reasons for closing, motives for boarding children, length of time of service, and number of children placed. A comparison is made of the number of homes closed for avoidable and unavoidable reasons and tables are drawn up to illustrate the factors examined. Case illustrations are used from Children's Aid Society records. The study found that approximately one-third of the homes closed for practical reasons while two-thirds closed for reasons bearing further examination. The largest group closed because of non-acceptance of foster children and their families, and the next largest group closed because of the difficult behaviour of foster children. A considerable number decided they wanted children on a more permanent basis than foster home placement. Over half of the closed homes served the Agency less than one year and a little less than half boarded only one child before closing. A large group stated their original motives for boarding a child as "company for own only child." Conclusions reached about foster homes are around three basic topics; namely the recruitment of homes, the home study, and placement practices. The most important factor in getting good foster homes is a better selection of applicants in the first place. This can more easily be done by treating foster parenthood as a job with preparation and satisfying remuneration. A thorough home study can be facilitated when there is a better selection of homes from which to choose and when skilled, experienced homefinders have ample time to complete the study satisfactorily. With this groundwork good follow-up placement practices such as pre-placement conferences and casework service after placement should do much to recruit and maintain a higher standard of foster homes.

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