Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Brown, Laurel


Every day, children are removed from their homes of origin by Children & Family Services and placed into foster care. When the county foster homes become full, private foster family agencies are relied upon to take in the overflow. For a variety of reasons, private agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of foster parents to house all of these children. This is a pressing problem in the social work field as, without proper placement options, many children will simply fall through the cracks in the system. The purpose of this research was to explore and address the many concerns surrounding foster parenting, thereby improving foster parent recruitment and retention. Surveys were completed by foster family agency staff (both private and county), current and former foster parents, and people who have considered foster parenting but later changed their minds. Qualitative data gleaned from these surveys revealed improvement that could be made in foster parent recruitment and retention for both private and county agencies. This research has the potential to increase the pool of available foster homes and save the lives of many children.

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Social Work Commons