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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Adjustment of the adolescent in rural foster homes : a pioneer study of the problems in giving service to adolescent boys and girsl, and the difficulties this age group has in adjustment to foster homes in the rural community McLaren, Henry Moncrieff


This is the first study of the adjustment of adolescent children placed in foster homes in the rural community in British Columbia. As the writer is familiar with Kamloops district, this area is used to show an average rural community in British Columbia. The services given children by the Social Welfare Branch have been described as well as the development of present child welfare services. In the children studied, some of the fifty-two have now been discharged from care, while others are still in foster homes. Twelve illustrations have been selected to show the problems the adolescent has in adjustment in a foster home, as well as the problems the social workers may have in giving service. There are both failures and successes in the adjustment of the children studied. There is evidence that further evaluation of the present services to adolescent children in foster care is needed. There seems to be a need as well to review the type of care most suited to this age group. Children who have been in care for a long period before they have reached the transition from childhood to adulthood seem to adjust easier. However, there appears to be need to re-evaluate these placements periodically, as there is evidence that problems often arise during this time. The child who comes into care either just before the period of transition or during it, is the one who most often shows that he cannot relate to adults. There is real necessity for further study of this group of children. Although there are definite problems in the adjustment of the adolescent, it is gratifying to note that the number of replacements in the rural community is small. It is speculated that the frequency with which a child is moved is much less than in urban centres. In conclusion, it is felt that there is a need for review of services given this age group by district offices. This study only touches on the multitude of problems involved in foster placement of adolescent boys and girls. It is hoped that the study may act as an incentive to others interested in this problem to evaluate further the adjustment of this age group in foster homes and the present program in operation.

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