Date of Conferral
Foster parents are often not equipped to address the difficulties and challenges they face with their foster children. Research has identified the importance of providing foster children with a safe and secure environment. Guided by the theory of adoption and attachment, the purpose of this study was to identify the differences between foster parents who continue with foster child placements and those who do not by examining their perceptions of foster parenting behaviors and their foster parent/child relationships. Participants were recruited using online foster parent forums and foster care agencies. A total of 31 foster parents participated: 13 licensed and 18 not-licensed. The 45-item Parent Behavior Scale (PBS) was used to measure parenting behaviors. The 15-item Child Parent Relationship Scale (CPRS) was used to measure perceived caregiver-child relationships. A MANOVA revealed significant relational differences between the groups. Foster parents who continued to foster children perceived their relationships with their foster child more positively and supportive than did those who did not continue to foster children. No significant differences in parenting behaviors between the groups were identified. Notably, a relationship was found between foster parents' perception of their relationship with their foster children and the combined parenting behavior scales of positive parenting, rules, monitoring, and punishment. These findings can contribute to positive social change in identifying relational factors important to placement longevity. Foster parents trained to meet the challenges are more likely to continue to foster children and provide a safe and secure environment in which foster children can thrive.