Date of Conferral
In 2014, Washoe County Department of Social Services in Nevada, licensed only 50 of 400 parents who applied to foster children. Lack of long-term effective foster parents creates instability within the system. Significant concern over increased numbers of children entering foster care and a decreased number of qualified foster care applicants continues. The Casey Foster Family Assessment (CFFA), a comprehensive assessment of key traits of effective foster parents may further enhance the fostering application process. The identified CFFA subscales most predictive of future foster parent effectiveness, may help WCDSS more effectively identify applicants likely to provide long-term stable homes for children. Local licensed foster parents and their case managers were recruited to complete the CFFA, and Effective Foster Parent Survey (EFPS). Using the Ecology theory of Bronfenbrenner and Belsky as a foundation, a series of Pearson bivariate correlations were conducted using the CFFA and EFPS scores and a regression analysis was conducted to determine the results. Results showed foster parents (N=35) with a high level of dedication, sufficient time, higher perceived degree of responsibility then the agency, and willing to foster children of differing racial, religious, cultural, or sexual identity backgrounds were viewed by their case managers as being highly effective. Identifying effective skills, and providing support and training to foster parents, may increase the likelihood that a child will stay in one home instead of moving repeatedly, reducing mental health risks of foster children. Three significant correlates were identified: positive parent-child interaction, participation in spiritual activities and attendance at agency training, set a foundation for continued research in additional effective foster parent skills and how to assess for these qualities in incoming applicants.