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Understanding of motivation to foster in Hong Kong: predictors of foster parenthood satisfaction and foster parent retention

The purpose of this study is to identify satisfaction levels and retention intention of Chinese foster parents in Hong Kong. Foster parents are one of the major caregivers of children in out-of-home care services. However, in recent years, there has been a decreasing number of foster parents. The aim of the study is to discover what aspects foster parents value in fostering, and in what way they perceive value fulfillment through fostering and what their wants are. Finally, the relationship between foster parenthood satisfaction and foster parent retention is examined.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied in this study. The quantitative research data was collected with the aid of a questionnaire. 666 questionnaires were sent out to current foster parents giving Ordinary Foster Care service and 150 questionnaires were sent to deregistered foster parents who had quit since 2009; and these questionnaires were sent out through the Social Welfare Department of Hong Kong SAR Government. 200 responses were received from the former and 15 from the latter. The response rate was 30.03%and 10%respectively. The qualitative research data comprised13 in-depth interviews with three current foster parents joining the service in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s respectively, along with13 deregistered foster parents from 10 families.

The results from analyzing questionnaire data collected from the current foster parents reveal that foster parent retention can be explained through foster parenthood satisfaction (.839). It is found that foster parenthood satisfaction can be explained by foster parents’ perception regarding what they gained as they went through fostering (.513). The results indicate that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to foster parenthood satisfaction. The in-depth interviews reveal that foster parents are happy when they can see positive changes and development in children under their care. All 16 interviewed respondents stated that foster care worker support was important to them, particularly to those looking after special needs children.

The author recommends that foster care agencies review their practices and find ways to facilitate foster parents to achieve what they value. It is recommended that the foster home ownership system be evaluated so that foster care agencies can try to build up a stable relationship with foster parents to strengthen their support. It is also recommended that the need for developing different types of foster care apart from ordinary service be reviewed as a method of relieving foster parent shortage. In addition, further research is recommended to be carried out into understanding the different wants of foster parents at different stages of their fostering experience. / published_or_final_version / Social Work and Social Administration / Doctoral / Doctor of Philosophy
Date January 2013
Creators周翠琴., Chow, Chui-kam, Jean.
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Source SetsHong Kong University Theses
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works., Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
RelationHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)

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