Fostering children: The impact of caregivers' attitudes about parenting and foster care on the home environment
Geary, Anne G
Jones Harden, Brenda
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This study examines the parenting of foster caregivers, the quality of the home environment and the caregivers' attitudes regarding child rearing and foster parenting. Previous research on typical families has shown that positive parenting attitudes help to create a context that is developmentally appropriate. This study employed secondary data analysis to examine parenting among 39 non-kinship and 36 kinship foster caregivers. The constructs addressed were parental attitudes of warmth, attachment, and motivation, as well as the overall home environment, and the cognitive stimulation and emotional support aspects of the home environment. The findings showed that the type of caregiver was the most significant predictor of the home environment. Parental warmth also contributed to the total HOME score and cognitive stimulation, and marginally influenced emotional support. The findings from this study have important implications for child welfare practice as it relates to training, support, and intervention with foster caregivers.