This study has transitioned from data collection into data analysis. Results will be made available here after analysis is complete.
However, at the end of each story, I sometimes offer some insights tying key themes in that story to other research in foster care. I use the stories as a way to contextualize shared experiences and trends. Those “insights” at the end of each story can offer tidbits of analysis while the research is still on-going. But they cannot be considered results.
Other points of interest…
- In June 2017, data collection ceased. Former fostered youth contributed 32 stories, professionals contributed two stories, foster parents contributed 18 stories, and kin/parents of fostered children contributed 48 stories. Not all participants chose to have their stories shared publicly on this website, however.
- Some stories are disqualified because they do not meet study inclusion criteria (e.g. age requirements, are actual human beings, complete enough answers to have a story to share because the participant does not give full consent to participate).
- Participants in the online surveys seem to report more negative experiences than those who participated in the local field site research in South Texas. It is probable that people sought to express themselves because they felt silenced and that people are more likely to seek ways of being heard if they are upset than if they have only good things to share. This means online submissions were skewed toward negative experiences. However, this does not invalidate any experience. It does mean that stories expressing negative views of foster care are more prevalent on this website than in the broader study as a whole. There is a caveat, however. As of June 2017, a literature review did not discover any studies seeking to share the experiences of adults whose children were placed in foster care. (There is data about the parents/adults of children who were placed in foster care and there are studies assessing the behavioral impacts of parental visits, but not seeking to understand the experiences of people whose children were placed in foster care.) This means it is possible—and it should not come as a surprise—that most adults whose children were placed in foster care are angry, frustrated, and dissatisfied with their interactions with the system.