cover of book

Foster Parenthood: A Role Analysis
by David Fanshel
University of Minnesota Press, 1966
Paper: 978-0-8166-6857-1

Foster Parenthood was first published in 1966.Although many thousands of children in the United States live in foster family homes supervised by public or private agencies, surprisingly little attention has been focused on the men and women who serve as foster parents. This book will help to fill the gaps in our understanding of foster parents and consequently it will, it is hoped, aid in efforts to improve the administration of foster home care.Professor Fanshel inquires into the motivations of a group of foster parents and identifies psychological and sociocultural factors related to role performance. The study is based on research in depth with 101 foster families on the roster of a social agency in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Data were obtained through interviews with foster mothers and fathers, administration of a parental attitude questionnaire, and ratings by caseworkers of the role performance of the foster parents.The findings of the study provide a prospectus for the guidance of child welfare workers concerned with foster home care. The book also points up the need for further research on the problems studied. In a foreword, Perry B. Hall of the National Study Service writes: “We hope that this study may stimulate other agencies to carry out similar studies and to publish their findings since all of the child welfare field with benefit therefrom.”The book will be useful not only to social workers in the field of child welfare but to social scientists who are students of role analysis and to child development specialists interested in the study of parent behavior.

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