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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Zoila Gordon


This study focused on the reason that close to 500,000 children were in the foster care system in 2009 in the United States, and the average length of care was over 26 months. The primary focus was why foster parents are unable to form a bond with the children placed in their home and the effects of not forming any attachment to the children. The results can be extremely negative for the children for many reasons including the foster parents not being invested in the child and providing only minimal standards of care. Moreover, the child does not receive the nurturance or guidance so desperately needed. The child’s wellbeing was not the primary focus of the foster parent. The child is unable to learn the core value of caring, nor form healthy relationships and unfortunately cannot develop or express other healthy emotions. This compromises the child’s ability to function in society as a healthy productive member. Further examined was the perspective of the child as to what the children’s social worker could do differently.