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An investigation of foster parent training needs


Child & Family Social Work

Published online on


The training foster parents receive in America, pass the initial training required to certify them to take children into their homes, is not standardized. The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (H.R. 3443) requires prospective foster parents to be trained, but it provides only general guidelines for the training content. The training offered differs by state. This research examines what a group of foster parents attending a state foster parent association conference felt they needed in the area of training, to help them fulfil their role. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Foster parents were surveyed and ranked their training needs based on 10 pre‐identified needs. They also responded to an open‐ended question about their training needs. Foster parents ranked training to enhance their ability to help the child adjust in their homes and manage challenging behaviours as most needed. The qualitative data suggested that foster parents have additional needs and some are not related to training, such as the need for respite services.