Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Delmus Williams

Abstract

Preservice training programs offered in a city in the Pacific Northwest have not been assessed to determine whether they adequately prepare therapeutic foster parents (TFPs). This phenomenological study identified factors that influenced the impact of preservice training on parents' preparation to manage their foster children's behavior, foster parent attrition, and multiple moves of the foster children. Chamberlain, Rork, McNeil, and Christenson's work linking training programs with the success of foster children was used to frame this study. Data were generated from semistructured interviews of 12 certified local TFPs who had completed preservice training and had at least one child placed in their home for at least a weekend. NVivo 10 qualitative analysis software was used to manage the data, which were analyzed via an inductive process. Findings indicated that TFPs felt the training was effective and the information provided was useful in real life situations. Suggestions for improvement included adding additional examples of behavioral issues and personal stories from trainers and facilitating increased interaction among foster parents. TFPs reported that their intrinsic motivations for fostering had more impact on decisions to continue with foster children in their home than did the preservice training. The project generated from the study was a policy recommendation addressed to program stakeholders that could have a significant social impact in developing training to better address behavioral challenges, prevent multiple moves, and promote cultural sensitivity while reinforcing parents' motivation for fostering.