The support and training of foster parents

Durand, Bronwyn Kohler (2007-03)

Thesis (M Social WOrk (Social Work)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


This research provides an overview of foster care and investigates the support and training of foster parents as well as the issues foster parents need to manage on a regular basis. The basic premise for this research is the importance of social workers becoming aware of the issues foster parents manage on a regular basis as well as the support and training needs of foster parents. It is important for foster parents to receive support as well as social workers and family care organisations to develop and implement appropriate training programmes for foster parents on an ongoing basis. Fostering affects and requires the involvement of the entire foster family as well as relevant role players and professionals. It is therefore necessary to consider the foster parents and foster family as part of the larger fostering arena, and not to be supported and trained in isolation. The nature of the foster placement will inevitably influence the development of the foster child, meeting the needs of the foster child as well as the effect that the placement has on the foster family. The purpose of this research is to broaden the theoretical knowledge of professionals working with foster parents, and specifically social workers and family care organisations, in identifying foster parent’s training and support needs. This research report includes an investigation of the issues foster parents and foster families manage on a regular basis as well as the nature of and benefits of support and training for foster parents. Knowledge of these issues foster parents manage while fostering will increase the awareness and the ability of the social worker or other professionals to provide training and support to the relevant foster parents.

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