Growing up with foster siblings: Exploring the impacts of fostering on the children of foster parents

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Qualitative Social Work, 16(1), 131-149

Serbinski, Sarah

Journal article
Canadian CW research

Growing up with foster siblings, the children of foster parents have experienced fostering from a different perspective which has continued to impact them throughout their lives. In this qualitative study, the experiences of 12 daughters of foster parents (aged 20–33 years) are explored, along with how they cope with their fostering experiences. Open-ended interviews, demographic questionnaires, object sharing, photographing the object, photo-feedback, and memo-writing were included within the data collection process. Data analysis included initial coding, focused coding, and memo-writing. Dedoose, a data management system, was used to assist in analysing the multiple data sources. Findings reveal that the daughters of foster parents are exposed to multiple foster sibling relationships due to the temporary nature of foster care. To protect their emotional well-being, these participants become apprehensive about developing relationships with new foster siblings, as well as with friends and romantic partners. Participating daughters sought emotional support from their mothers who established a strong, stable, and supportive relationship with them. Recommendations for foster parents and social workers are suggested.