Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Biological children of foster parents-Psychology, Foster home care-Psychological aspects, Child welfare, Foster parents, Families, Family social work, Foster care, Foster families, Social work, Family systems


Despite the fact that family foster care is a large part of the current child welfare system, little is known about the experience of biological children of foster parents. This qualitative research study analyzed the stories of ten adults who grew up in foster homes as biological children of foster parents from a family systems perspective. Common themes and areas for future research were identified. Participants identified and described diverse experiences in which both positive aspects as well as individual and family struggles . Participants described exposure to foster siblings behaviors and knowledge about their lives. Due to this exposure, participants describe, areas of stress as well as changes in perspective. In many cases this led to an increase in family closeness, feelings of gratitude and the development of positive personal attributes. Participants also identified an awareness of parental stress in the areas of finances, discipline, and relationships with foster children. Effects of foster children entering and exiting the home in regards to adjustment and closeness of relationships were also discussed. Findings indicated a need for further research and attention to the experiences of foster family members.




iii, 42 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 34-35)