ERIC Number: ED277460
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Abuse in Family Foster Homes: Characteristics of the Vulnerable Child.
McFadden, Emily Jean; Ryan, Patricia
This paper briefly reviews current knowledge about child abuse in foster care, and presents preliminary findings from a study identifying characteristics of abused children by type of abuse, and type of abuse by behavior of the child. Research indicates that foster children at risk for abuse exhibit specific characteristics, such as having experienced multiple placements, or having special needs or handicapping conditions. Foster parents who maltreat children are typically older, more affluent, and more likely to be married than maltreating biological parents. Agency practices related to foster care abuse include making emergency placements, overloading foster homes, mismatching child and family, infrequent home visits, and lack of foster parent training. Analysis of 176 abuse incidents shows that certain children may be more vulnerable to abuse in family foster homes than others. Data strongly suggest that foster parents need help in understanding toileting behavior and the regression in this area that is likely to occur when a child undergoes trauma. Behaviors interpretable as direct challenges to adult authority were among those most likely to lead to physical abuse, especially those involving physical aggression or use of bad language toward the adult. If these children are to be safely placed, potential foster families must receive better training. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS/OHDS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti. Inst. for the Study of Children and Families.