Communication patterns between foster parents and case managers

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Family and Consumer Sciences

Publication Date



More than 435,000 children reside in foster care in the United States, and despite the high number of children whom need homes, only a fraction of the entire pool of foster parents care for the majority of foster children. Furthermore, about half of foster parents quit within one year of receiving placements. Research has demonstrated that a lack of appropriate foster homes is linked to placement instability and adverse effects on children's overall health and well-being. It is imperative to improve foster parent retention to enhance the well-being of children living in foster care. The current study examined how to best facilitate a healthier professional relationship between case managers and foster families with the goal of identifying concrete ways to improve the relationship and drive foster parent retention. Data were collected via in-depth, qualitative interviews to identify characteristics of the relationship with case workers that are most valuable to foster mothers. Six themes emerged in our study that reflects the importance of quality, timely communication on foster mother/case manager relationship satisfaction.


This article was originally published in Children and Youth Services Review. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Children and Youth Services Review


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