Open Hearts, Open Homes: An Exploration of Motivational Factors in Foster Parenting
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Foster parents care for some of the most vulnerable children and youth in the community. Finding qualified foster caregivers is an ongoing task for social workers. This thesis proposes a mixed methods pilot study on foster parent motivation. The three most common motivational factors for becoming a foster parent are finances, altruism and personal experience. With reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Motivational Theory and the Transtheoretical Model of Change, a closer look is given to the decision making process that caregivers experience in their choice to foster. The proposed study involves collecting data through the use of both interviews and questionnaires with foster parents. The data will be analyzed in order to identify the predicted motivational factors as well as any additional themes that may surface. The results of the study can be used to improve current foster parent recruitment strategies.