Rewards of fostering children with disabilities

download file
Journal of Family Social Work, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 36-49

Relatively little attention has been paid in the literature to the possible rewards of fostering children with disabilities. This qualitative study sought to identify the benefits of fostering children with disabilities from a sample of 44 foster parents who reported having cared for a foster child with a disability in the past year. Participants were asked the open-ended question, “What are the rewards you receive for fostering a child with a disability?” Twenty-two of the participants agreed to sort the 57 responses to this question into groups. Multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis were used to construct a concept map.

Six clusters describing concepts related to the rewards of fostering a child with a disability emerged: feeling needed, financial/economic rewards, learning something new, observing child’s progress, making a difference, and caring for self and others. Practice implications of these findings include considering the use of a strengths-based approach when working with such families, and building capacity within these foster families at a policy level.

Additional information available for these authors
Canadian CW research
Journal article