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293 Willingness to Foster Special Needs
Children and Foster Family Utilization
Kathryn W. Rhodes
The chronic shortage of foster families is exacerbated by the underutilization of foster families. Better utilization may be linked to the willingness of families to foster children with special needs and teenagers. This study used data from the National Survey of Current and Former Foster Parents to examine the extent of foster family underutilization and the relationship between willingness to foster particular types of children and utilization. Findings showed that over one-third of licensed families did not have foster children in their homes. Families willing to foster special-needs children and teenagers had fostered more children and more types of special-needs children, had more foster children in their homes, were licensed to care for more children, had fostered longer, and were less likely to report an intention to discontinue fostering. In particular, utilization was predicted by willingness to foster children who were physically handicapped or seriously ill, children who had serious behavioral or emotional problems, or children who were sexually abused. Implications for recruitment, training, placement, and support are discussed.
for Young Adults Who
Judith Wildfire Experienced Foster Care
Long term foster care often provides a ‘third-best’ option for youth when reunification and adoption are not available, not only because of the emotional complexity of belonging to an impermanent family, but because foster care often ends at the beginning of adulthood. This paper highlights the role of extending support during the critical transition through young adulthood
After a brief review of adult outcome literature, results from
a follow-up study of foster children for whom reunification was not planned
are described. Adoptees and children who remained in foster care into young
adulthood were functioning better than those who exited at age 18 or before.
Moreover, youth who remained for extended support in foster care were doing
as well as those who were adopted. These findings must be carefully
interpreted in view of the many study constraints. Further work is needed to
address limitations in study design, to identify the children most likely to
succeed along the different permanency service paths, and to clarify
critical services needed by youth remaining in care.
A Comparison of National Family
Public policies in all societies are influenced by a multiplicity of political, economic and social factors. This is certainly true of national family policies that encompass a wide variety of programs. The question this essay asks with respect to
: Crime, Poverty, and
Life in the Inner City
by Robert P.
1999-2002, Elsevier Science, All rights reserved.