Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Deirdre Lanesskog


The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the current practice of and barriers specific to recruiting Native American foster homes in urban areas. The literature review suggested that historical, cultural, and bureaucratic barriers to recruitment existed. The study used a qualitative, exploratory design. The data was obtained from in-depth interviews with 10 individuals whose job it is or has been to recruit Native American foster homes. The participants were employed with either a foster family agency, county child welfare agency, or a supporting organization servicing Los Angeles County and/or the San Francisco Bay Area. The interviews were conducted using a semi- structured interview guide designed by the researchers. The findings suggest that the recruitment of Native American foster families is hampered by: expense/lack of financial support, Resource Family Approval, understated deficiency and need, Native American recruitment not prioritized, bias and judgement, vulnerability and the value of privacy, distrust of government, lack of cultural awareness, absence of connection to the community, and tribal enrollment of caregiver. The research also identified proactive efforts by individuals and agencies to specifically recruit Native American foster homes. The results from this study have implications for social work practice related to the recruitment and retention of Native American foster homes.

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