Date of Award

4-7-1995

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Vincent Peters, MSW

Second Advisor

William A. Metcalfe, MSW

Third Advisor

Gail B. Peterson, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study provides a description of treatment foster parents' perceptions of their role with the primary family of foster youth. This study also identifies a baseline measure of treatment foster parents' perceptions which can be utilized for agency program planning, policy and administration. The study sample includes 98 treatment foster parents licensed by the state of North Dakota, and supervised by Professional Association of Treatment Homes (PATH). A mail survey explores different levels of involvement between the treatment foster family and the foster child's primary family, whether or not treatment foster parents believe they can impact the primary families of foster youth, how they might impact the primary families of foster youth and what they consider to be important elements of a treatment foster care program.

Study findings with a 60% response rate, indicate that 90% of the treatment foster parents believe they can impact the foster youth and their primary families. Findings show that 57% of the respondents believe that the most effective ways they can impact the foster youth and their primary family are by role modeling or mentoring and 52% by having frequent, open communication. A total of 56% of the respondents believe the most important element of a treatment foster care program is the ability to individualize treatment plans. Only 5% of the respondents believe that treatment plans should be family-focused compared to 51% who believe that treatment plans should be child-focused. This is incongruent with other perceptions, which indicate at least moderate of foster parent involvement with the primary families of foster youth. This incongruency implies a need for agency program planning, policy and administration that reflects a family based service approach to treatment foster care to maximize reunification efforts.

Identifier

SC 11.MSW.1995.Schmatz.SM

Included in

Social Work Commons

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