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.