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Evaluation of a training programme for foster carers in an independent fostering agency

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Publication details

JournalPractice: Social Work in Action
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2014
DatePublished (current) - 2015
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)35-49
Early online date20/12/14
Original languageEnglish


The aim of this study was to evaluate a parenting programme designed for foster carers from an independent fostering agency. The programme (Park’s Parenting Approach) adapted existing parenting programmes to be more specific to the needs of looked-after children. Sixty-one carers consented to take part in the evaluation of the training, and 55 (90%) completed the programme. The training was delivered over 9 weeks, once a week for 2 h, and pre- and post-course evaluations were carried out at the first and last sessions of the course. The evaluation included carers’ ratings of their fosterchild’s most challenging problems, parenting style, carer efficacy and a survey of carer satisfaction with training. Results showed a decrease in foster children’s problem behaviours and an increase in carer confidence. Carers expressed a high level of satisfaction with the programme, and 100% felt that they would be able to retain the information and skills they had acquired on the course. The implications of providing training within an independent foster care context are discussed.

    Research areas

  • foster carers, training, evaluation, independent fostering agencies, attachment theory

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