Foster parent licensing: personal characteristics, parenting attitudes, and training experiences
The purpose of this study was to examine the factors influencing foster parent licensing. Data collected on survey questionnaires and telephone interviews included personal characteristics, altitudes toward parenting, attitudes toward foster parenting, and perceptions of foster parent training. Data were collected prior to foster parent preservice training, immediately after training, and 6 months following training. Participants included 113 persons (77 females and 36 males) who attended foster parent training in Iowa. Logistic regressions were performed and indicated that attitudes toward parenting and perceptions of foster parent training had significant (p <.01) effects on foster parent licensing. Permutations were performed to ensure results were not artifactual. The model explained 23% of the total variance and correctly predicted 79% of all cases. Persons with more appropriate parenting attitudes were more likely to become licensed foster parents. Perceived usefulness of 2 of the 7 training objectives were found to have an effect on foster parent licensing. The significant (p <.05) training objectives were "preparing for the role of foster parent" and "understanding the foster care system." Neither personal characteristics (such as age, gender, and income) nor attitudes toward foster parenting influenced foster parent licensing;Persons with more education were less likely to perceive foster parent training as useful in meeting several training objectives. Furthermore, more educated participants were less likely to perceive foster parent training as useful overall. T-tests indicated significant differences (p <.01) in parenting and foster parenting attitudes between white and nonwhite participants. While both whites and nonwhites held appropriate attitudes toward parenting, white participants scored significantly lower (p <.01) than nonwhite participants. Lower scores indicated more appropriate parenting attitudes. Female participants identified with the role of foster parent significantly more than their male cohorts. These results suggest that foster parent preservice training must take into account the various needs of persons from diverse backgrounds.