Barriers to Foster Parent Recruitment

Nicole Davi

Authors:  Nicole Davi

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Jennifer Jones

College:  Agricultural and Life Sciences


Many states face increasing numbers of children in foster care, with high turnover and low foster parent retention rates. There is a large body of research that discusses the methods for successful foster parenting and effective foster parent retention; however, there is not much literature on foster parent recruitment. This research intends to add to this literature by providing an understanding of why most families do not foster, and whether or not education about the need for foster parents and the process of fostering will affect their decision. This study also identified adults’ initial interest in being a foster parent, general knowledge level about fostering, average exposure to fostering, and perceived incentives and barriers to fostering. In this study, the researchers failed to reject the primary hypothesis that the treatment would increase interest in fostering. However, a number of significant associations, including associations between education indicators and initial interest in fostering were identified. The researchers recommend that future research adapts the treatment to create a more in-depth educational experience. These results can inform future research and guide recruitment efforts that effectively tailor education and recruitment to specific demographics.

Poster Pitch

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10 Responses
  1. Good Afternoon Nicole,

    Your was very fascinating, and I think it is incredible that your team was able to discover new variables not present in existing literature regarding barriers to and incentives for fostering children! As you mentioned, this issue is clearly of enormous import, as there are many children needing foster parents. The finding of income as a barrier to fostering is also very significant; based on your study, this seems to be a huge deterrent. This finding definitely has implications for better policy that would help remove this barrier so less children are in foster care.

    Thank you!

    1. Nicole

      Thanks Hannah! I think the additional incentives and barriers that we identified can provide more insight for future recruitment efforts! I’m glad you found our research interesting!

  2. Candice Stefanou

    Nicole, this was so interesting! Finding an additional barrier helps all efforts surrounding the issue. Your extension of previous work in the area is impressive. Wonderful presentation!

  3. Nicole,

    Very well done. Your presentation approach and delivery is excellent. I appreciated learning more about your research with foster care. Sounds like you found some additional gaps that researchers can work on. Relating to the poster helped my understanding,

    Doc W

  4. Kelly Moore

    Your thesis was a really interesting read, good job making it understandable for all audiences!