Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie


The purpose of this study was to assess what challenges, if any, there are to implementing the best practices as indicated in IM 20-06. IM 20-06 shifts the role of resource parents (aka foster parents) from being solely a support for the children, to a support for the entire family, including the biological parents. This represents a major child welfare culture shift. It was unknown if the IM information and recommendations were effectively disseminated to all foster care agencies. Interviews were conducted with foster agency case workers with open-ended questions about their beliefs about the relationships between resource parents and biological parents (the parental sets), how frequently they should communicate if at all, and what trainings and supports all parties are receiving regarding developing and maintaining these relationships. Analysis of the interviews indicates that social workers in local foster family agencies (FFA) have not been trained nor are they supported in the practices outlined in the IM. The implications of this means there has not been adequate dissemination of this information and it has not become local policy yet. Further, there are consequences of continued lower reunification rates than necessary by not creating these policies. Recommendations in order to assess the challenges with the implementation and of the IM include conducting interviews in areas that have incorporated the IM and have developed policies and programs. Additionally, addressing the realization of it locally is recommended.

Included in

Social Work Commons