Enhancing foster carers' training and professionalism

Butcher, Anne Marie (2005) Enhancing foster carers' training and professionalism. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This thesis reports on a study of the adequacy and appropriateness of current education and training for foster carers. The study utilised a multi-method research design to collect, collate and analyse data from foster carers, social science experts and 'other key informants'.

The research first identified the existing educational attainment levels of foster carers in the Mackay Whitsunday region of North Queensland and the extent of foster carer training undertaken by them. The study then explored the barriers and incentives to foster carers' attendance at training, and foster carers' own perceptions of their learning needs and preferred modes of foster carer training delivery. Areas in which foster carers seek to be better supported while fulfilling their fostering role were also identified.

Having examined the adequacy of current education and training, the views of all participants were then sought regarding ideal foster carer training qualification levels and content areas that would best assist carers to provide high standards of good quality care to children placed in foster care.

Several major findings emerged during the course of data analysis relating to foster carers' recognition of their need for accredited training, trends towards the professionalisation of foster care with commensurate payment for undertaking this work.

Indigenous and Australian South Sea Islander foster carers' views were also taken into consideration and their unique cultural perspectives, in regard to the topic of this research, are reported in this thesis. One of the main findings in relation to Indigenous foster carers is their desire for improved working relationships with Department of Child Safety officers.

In conclusion, recommendations are made to the Department of Child Safety based on the findings of this research, for areas in which improvements should be made to Departmental policy and practice concerning foster carer training, accreditation, professionalism, payment and support.

Item ID: 1288
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Foster carers, Educational attainment levels, Foster carer training, Barriers and incentives to attend training, Perceptions of learning needs, Preferred modes of training delivery, Foster carer support, Ideal foster carer training qualification levels and content areas, Need for accredited training, Trends towards professionalisation, Payment, Indigenous foster carers, Relationships with Department of Child Safety officers, Mackay Whitsunday region, North Queensland
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2006
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160703 Social Program Evaluation @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940112 Families and Family Services @ 100%
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