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Confidence to Foster Across Cultures: Caregiver Perspectives

Abstract

It is important to understand how cultural values, beliefs and traditions of foster parents are related to placement success because a substantial proportion of children in care come from culturally diverse backgrounds. In the present study participants were asked about resources they saw as necessary to improve their confidence fostering children from culturally diverse backgrounds. Sixty-one foster parents from a central Canadian province participated in a telephone interview that included the question: “what would help you feel more confident about fostering children with different values, beliefs and traditions?” A total of 35 unique responses were obtained and grouped together by 13 foster parents. Multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis were used to analyze the grouping data. Foster parents described six themes: understanding different cultures, training, self awareness, agency support, open discussion and community services. There were several similarities and differences between the perspectives of foster parents interviewed and the literature. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of this research through a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The authors also wish to thank Bev Wiebe of the Manitoba Foster Family Network and Brian Ridd of the Child Protection Branch, Manitoba Family Services and Housing for their support of this study. We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Melissa Campbell, Meghan Sprung, Lee Anne Jarman, and Christine Miller for their research assistance. We would also like to thank the many foster parents who shared their time and expertise with us.

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Correspondence to Jason D. Brown.

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Brown, J.D., Sintzel, J., Arnault, D.S. et al. Confidence to Foster Across Cultures: Caregiver Perspectives. J Child Fam Stud 18, 633–642 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-009-9264-z

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Keywords

  • Culture
  • Concept map
  • Foster parents
  • Canada