07-11-2015 | Original Paper
Support Needs and Satisfaction in Foster Care: Differences Between Foster Mothers and Foster Fathers
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 5/2016Log in om toegang te krijgen
Family foster care is a vulnerable youth care intervention. The recruitment and retention of foster parents causes concerns. Offering support to foster mothers and foster fathers can augment the satisfaction and the intent of continuing fostering. Clearer understanding of the support needs of foster parents and their satisfaction with the foster care placement can lead to the identification of ways to improve the support offered. Although differences between foster mothers and foster fathers regarding their support needs and satisfaction can be expected, knowledge about these differences is nonexistent. Differences in support needs and satisfaction between 86 foster mothers and foster fathers who reported on 120 foster children were examined. No differences between foster mothers and foster fathers were found. Both foster parents had higher support needs regarding dealing with the birth parents compared to support needs in handling problem behavior of the foster child. For both foster mothers and foster fathers satisfaction with collaboration with the foster care worker, satisfaction with recognition experienced and satisfaction with reunification of the foster child, did not differ across these aspects. Satisfaction of foster parents can be increased by keeping in balance the rights and needs of birth parents and those of foster parents. Acknowledging that foster parents are experts on their foster child and consulting them on important decisions will also contribute significantly to their satisfaction.