Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Clarice Staff D.S.W.

Second Advisor

Annette Gerten Ph.D.

Third Advisor

James Christmas M.S.


Despite volumes of studies and research on foster care as an intervention, there has been very limited research conducted on the effects foster care has on the family system as perceived by the foster parents. This study attempted to find some preliminary information about how the foster family is affected by foster children living in their home. Surveys were sent to 50 foster families in a rural county in Minnesota. The survey looked for correlations and frequencies in variables that had both positive and negative impact on the family system. As identified by the learning theorists, children learn from the environment surrounding them. This study may influence how social work implements foster care because foster parenting inevitably changes the family unit. Social workers employed in this area need to be educated not only on how to work with foster children, but also to anticipate the impact foster care has on the family system. Foster children need to be matched to appropriate foster families, and foster families need to be appropriately matched with foster children.


SC 11.MSW.1999.DelGreco.R

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Social Work Commons