Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Fifteen foster fathers were interviewed for this study about their experience as foster parents. The men provided information about their motivations for becoming foster fathers, their function as a foster parent, attachment and loss during their relationship, and personal connections between the child and the birth family. In general, the study found that the motivations of foster fathers focused on the emotional benefits and the strength of commitment the man feels to the child. The foster fathers reported involvement in all parts of the child's life, with the exception of contact with child welfare professionals which is usually handled by their wife. They parented their biological and foster children the same way, although they felt more cautious of their actions with their foster children. The fathers described the powerful attachments they developed with the foster children and how they coped with the loss when the child moved. They also respected the importance of the relationship between the foster child and his or her birth parents. Negative attitudes about the birth parents could be supported or changed, depending on the outcome of contact between the child and the parents. 35 references.
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