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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 159714 Find in a Library
Title: Specialized Foster Care: One Approach To Retaining Good Foster Homes
Journal: Connection  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1995)  Pages:1,10-11
Author(s): J Ward
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Specialized foster care (SFC) is an increasing movement in the United States that is designed to increase the amount of permanence and stability that children experience in the child welfare system by retaining good foster homes.
Abstract: The central characteristic of this approach is the view that foster parents are professional colleagues in the care and treatment of troubled children rather than glorified babysitters. This approach was developed as a result of research revealing that the significant decline in the number of licensed foster homes in the late 1970s and early 1980s resulted from several factors, including lack of training regarding how to address specific problems with children, inadequate payments, outdated policies, and the feeling that no one valued their contributions. Designed to empower foster parents, the specialized foster care initially sought input from foster parents regarding their needs. Their responses included better training, time off, contact with other foster parents, help in times of crisis, and pay commensurate with the demands of the job. Therefore, specialized foster are programs include the following characteristics: demanding and relevant training, access to a trained caseworker 24 hours a day, payment of a salary, having only one or two foster children in a home, regular respite, and the expectation that parents will maintain appropriate records. Empowering foster parents by conferring professional status on them appears to be the single biggest factor in the success of such programs. However, potential problems include placing too much responsibility on the foster parents and disagreement over the permanent plan for the child. Photographs
Main Term(s): Juvenile foster homes
Index Term(s): Foster parents; Juvenile dependency and neglect
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