Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Not applicable

Advisor Role

Not applicable


The criteria used to judge the acceptability of foster parent applications and the relationship of these criteria to the actual rate of foster parent success are issues of great concern for people working with foster children. The purpose of this study is to test the predictability of a rating scheme in order to one, make effective use of home-study time and two, minimize unsuccessful placements.

Factors important in this analysis are those of agency time and commitment to both client groups involved—potential foster parents and children—as well as the expectations and gratifications of the foster parents. These people are the backbone of a child care agency; in addition, they ahve a great potential in the areas of public relations and recruitment for their agency. Finally, there is the matter of effiency: the agency and applicant time spent on the home-study should be as fruitful as possible in terms of mutual assessment of the services to be provided and of suitability for the job. In relation to these assessments, whom do we accept? Whom do we reject? Why?

Two specific areas are explored in this study. First, what are some characteristics of foster parents which might be of predictive value? Second, what procedures might be established to predict foster parent success? To facilitate this analysis, several assumptions are made: one, that preduction is possible in this situation; two, that reliable predictive judgments can be made; three, that predictability of foster parent success would be beneficial to foster parent applicants, to agency planning, and to the children involved; and four, that the predictive data obtained can be used in making decisions about accepting foster parent applicants.

The hypothesis of this exploratory study is that: If a high score is attained on the Predictive Instrument, the rate of placement failures will be reduced. The independent variable is the score attained, and the dependent variable is the rate of placement failures.

Convocation Year


Included in

Social Work Commons