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Faith-Based Partnerships and Foster Parent Satisfaction

Author: MICHAEL HOWELL-MORONEY
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 36 No. 2

Throughout the last several decades, there has been a chronic shortage of foster and adoptive families in the United States. Recruiting families to begin the licensure process to become foster and adoptive parents is already a difficult undertaking. But research shows that a very large proportion of families drop out of the licensure process early on due to frustration or a lack of support. This paper studies two faith-based partnerships that have arisen to create new capacity in the child welfare system. These programs recruit prospective families from churches and then provide training and ongoing support to those families throughout the licensure process. Using survey data collected from program participants, respondent perceptions of the licensure process are compared to a nationally representative sample of foster parents from the National Foster Care Adoptions Attitude Survey. Statistical results demonstrate that participants with the faith-based programs reported much higher levels of satisfaction with the process than the national sample. These findings provide evidence that these faith-based partnerships may provide an important additional source of capacity for an overburdened child welfare system

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