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Co-parenting Attitudes of Foster Parents Marine Walls and Diane E. Wille Indiana University Southeast.

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Presentation on theme: "Co-parenting Attitudes of Foster Parents Marine Walls and Diane E. Wille Indiana University Southeast."— Presentation transcript:

1 Co-parenting Attitudes of Foster Parents Marine Walls and Diane E. Wille Indiana University Southeast

2 Special thank you to the foster parents who participated in this study. Thank you to Regional Youth Services for their assistance.

3 Co-parents are defined as the executive decision-makers; adults who are responsible for the care and upbringing of children. A child in foster care will have a wide range of co-parents: foster parents, biological parents, other biological family members, officers of the court, social workers and mental health professionals.

4 Methods 10 Foster parents Foster parents for an average of years. Average age of foster parents 52 years. 4 males and 6 females. Average schooling is 1 year of college. Child has lived with the foster parents on average 18 months.

5 Foster parents – Provided information about contact between child and biological parent and between foster parent and biological parent – Provided rating of others as co-parents – Completed Co-parenting questionnaire

6 Co-parenting Questionnaire Please indicate how many times, during a typical visit by the child’s parent, you: Show physical affection (hug, touch or kiss) to the child. Say something nice about the child to the child’s parent. Say something nice about the child’s parent to the child. Say or do something to invite, encourage an affectionate or pleasant communication between the child’s parent and the child (such as “show mom” or “let dad play”.) Take the lead in setting a limit or disciplining the child. Request that the child’s parent set a limit or discipline the child. Take a back seat while the child’ parent deals with the child’s negative behavior. Undo or oppose a punishment or limit that the child’s parent has set on the child. Find yourself in a mildly tense or sarcastic interchange with the child’s parent. Argue with the child’s parent.

7 Co-parenting Questionnaire Please indicate how many times in a typical week (when you are alone with the child) you: Say something to the child about the parenting team (Your mom and dad and I) or the family group (We all…)__________ Make a comment to enhance the child’s image of the child’s parent (“daddy loves you” or “mommy is proud of you”).__________ Make a remark to include the absent parent (e.g., you should show this to your mom).__________ Make a comment about the child’s parent that might create a somewhat negative feeling state in the child (“dad gets mad when you do that” or “I don’t think mom would like that”).__________ Find yourself saying something clearly negative or critical about the child’s parents to the child. __________

8 Attitudes about and interaction with biological parents The child’s parent and I have very good communication about the child. The child’s parent and I share information about child rearing issues. The child’s parent and I have basic differences of opinion about issues related to child rearing. I would like to have more contact with the child’s parents. When the child’s parent and I discuss parenting issues an argument often happens. The underlying atmosphere between the child’s parent and me is one of hostility and anger. I feel I am important in helping the child’s parent maintain relations with his or her child. I feel I have an important role to play in assisting the child to return to his or her parent. I feel that I am more important in the child’s life than the parent.

9 Results How often do the child’s parents interact with the child? – 50% weekly – 10% monthly – 40% not at all Average of 3.5 hours per visit

10 Co-parent selection – Biological parents3 – Other family members3 – Courts5 – Social workers7 – Teachers/day care 4 – Therapist7 – Babysitter3 – DCS2

11 Co-parent rating (7 very much co-parents) – Biological parents3.33 – Other family members2.67 – Courts3.78 – Social workers3.22 – Teachers/day care 3.22 – Therapist4.56 – Babysitter2.67 – DCS1.33

12 Show physical affection (hug, touch or kiss) to the child. 4 Say something nice about the child to the child’s parent. 4 Say something nice about the child’s parent to the child.2 Say or do something to invite, encourage an affectionate or pleasant 3 communication between the child’s parent and the child (such as “show mom” or “let dad play”.) Take the lead in setting a limit or disciplining the child. 0 Request that the child’s parent set a limit or discipline the child.0 Take a back seat while the child’ parent deals with the child’s negative behavior. 4 Undo or oppose a punishment or limit that the child’s parent has set on the child. 0 Find yourself in a mildly tense or sarcastic interchange with the child’s parent. 0 Argue with the child’s parent. 0

13 Say something to the child about the parenting team (Your mom and 5 dad and I) or the family group (We all…) Make a comment to enhance the child’s image of the child’s parent 5 (“daddy loves you” or “mommy is proud of you”). Make a remark to include the absent parent (e.g., you should 6 show this to your mom). Make a comment about the child’s parent that might create a 0 somewhat negative feeling state in the child (“dad gets mad when you do that” or “I don’t think mom would like that”). Find yourself saying something clearly negative or critical about 0 the child’s parents to the child.

14 1- Strongly agree, 3 – neutral, 5 – Strongly disagree The child’s parent and I have very good communication about the child The child’s parent and I share information about child rearing issues The child’s parent and I have basic differences of opinion about issues related to child rearing I would like to have more contact with the child’s parents When the child’s parent and I discuss parenting issues an argument often happens The underlying atmosphere between the child’s parent and me is one of hostility and anger I feel I am important in helping the child’s parent maintain relations with his or her child I feel I have an important role to play in assisting the child to return to his or her parent I feel that I am more important in the child’s life than the parent. 3.25

15 Conclusions Child’s parents not viewed as co-parents Interactions primarily positive and somewhat supportive

16 Future research Determine if factors such as length of time as foster parent may influence attitudes.

17 Questions????


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