Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Charles Barber

Major

General Scholarship

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

There are a growing number of children in foster care with behavioral and emotional difficulties a shortage of foster parents willing and able to care for them. Research on foster parent retention tends to focus on risk factors, but there are foster parents who are not only satisfied with their job--they are thriving. There is a gap in the literature regarding successful foster parents who care for children with a high level of need. This thesis applied the concept of resilience--the ability to adapt positively to adversity--to the study of the strengths and abilities of therapeutic foster parents of Connecting Children and Families, an agency in Connecticut. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to test the hypothesis that resilience is associated with willingness to foster children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Resilience and willingness to foster were significantly associated, and ten protective resilience factors were identified in therapeutic foster parents' interviews. Implications are discussed for parent recruitment and retention.

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