Q? Why didn’t anyone contact me?
If you gave your email or phone number when you completed the survey, you may have wanted a call back and didn’t get one. There are a few reasons that may be the case. First, you might have told your story so well I don’t have any follow up questions for you. Second, some people wrote in their contact info because they are used to being asked for it, but then they were annoyed when I called. They didn’t actually want me to call, just filled out the info without giving it much thought because the survey asked for it. (For that reason, I really only follow up with people who ask me to or who I have additional questions for.) Third, you may have made a mistake typing your phone number or email. (This happens a lot!) If you still want me to contact you, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
And thanks again!
Q? Why isn’t my story on the website?
There are three possible reasons you wanted your story online and it doesn’t appear.
The first and more probable reason is that I have yet been able to process your survey and get it submitted to the website. I tend to work submissions in large groups at a time and it takes a while to process them and get them online. I put them up in the order that I received them. Keep checking back!
The second reason is that you may have mistakenly clicked the button that said not to put your story online instead of saying you wanted it to appear. If that is the case, you may be able to go back into your survey from the same device you initially used and change that button to “yes.”
The third reason is that you are not 18-years-old. According to my agreement with the Institutional Review Board, which is an ethics committee that oversees academic research, participants in this study need to be legal adults, aged 18 or older. If you are under age 18, I cannot publish your story. I’m sorry! If you turn 18 soon, you can always come back and resubmit after your 18th birthday!
Actually, there is a fourth reason your story doesn’t appear on this website: you haven’t done a survey! Go back to the homepage and pick the survey that best describes you!
Q? If I do the survey, will it be posted online?
What if I want to do the survey, but don’t want to share my story online?
No problem! Lots of people do this. You can take the survey and share your experiences for the purpose of the research, with ultimate goal of offering insight to policy improvement and helping the children, families (foster and bio), and professionals. At the end of the survey there is a question that will ask if you want your story to be shared on the website, if you don’t want your story shared (with a false name), simply say “no.” I won’t post it.
Q? Is my survey anonymous?
Only one researcher, Nikky, sees your original responses. I take your responses and remove potentially identifying material (e.g. the name of a town or person’s first name). Then I will post your responses online, ONLY if you gave me permission during filling out the survey! The anonymity of the internet combined with a little selective editing will help protect your identity. If you do not give permission for your quotes to be shared online, they will only be used for research – but the same process applies – I still remove identifying information.
Q? Why do you ask demographic information (e.g. ethnicity, income, age)?
You can skip these questions and still participate fully. I ask them because they can offer more insight into what is going on. Also, I want to understand the sample of participants as well as I can. For example, studies have revealed that nationally there more female black/African American foster moms than other groups – if I have an overrepresentation of white/Caucasian foster parents that raises questions about how people are finding the website or who is choosing to take the survey. It doesn’t make the results invalid, but it does indicate who takes it. Or, for example, (this is not true – just an example), what if males only have positive experiences while females all share negative experiences? There could be gender-based differences related to those experiences. Demographics help us understand with more detail. But they aren’t the whole story. So if you don’t want to share that info, you don’t have to. Sometimes, it just helps clarify mysteries that appear when the data is analyzed.