Does Money Matter?
Foster Parenting and Family Finances
This paper presents findings from a longitudinal qualitative study of Illinois foster parents, which show a connection between how parents view their financial situation and the ways in which they understand and carry out their roles as foster parents.
The study illuminates the child welfare and family system dynamics that underlie the experiences of these families. Foster parents were found to have different perceptions of their financial situation, and were categorized into three distinct groups: strained, managing, and secure. Foster parents within these groups had different views about their roles in identifying children’s needs and helping children access or participate in services or recreational activities. Findings are discussed in the context of opportunities to support foster parents with the goal of meeting the needs of the children in their care.