Want to learn more about caring for foster children? Here are online resources that have been carefully evaluated for Parents.com by a team of academic professionals from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
If you're considering providing care for foster kids, or just curious about the subject, listed below are some places to explore. A team of professors and students at the Tufts University Child & Family WebGuide evaluated these sites and recommends them based on the highly credible research-based information they present on the topic of foster care.
American Academy of Pediatrics
This very large site from the leading organization for pediatricians offers a thorough set of "Recommendations for Young Children in Foster Care." While written with professionals in mind, the article gives an in-depth, well-researched look at issues such as brain development, attachment to caregivers, children's sense of time in care, permanency decision making, and children's responses to stress.
Future of Children
Offering a thoughtful research-based article about the issues involved in foster care and kinship care (care by relatives) is another worthwhile site. Issues covered include the rapid growth of kinship care, comparison of foster and kinship caregivers, and relationship of kinship care to permanent adoption of foster children.
Casey Family Programs
This site presents a wide array of information about foster care. For research reports, click "Research" on the homepage sidebar; scroll to the bottom of the research page and click "Reports" for a full listing of reports available. Click "Ask Casey" on the homepage sidebar to access an online community which includes a Journal with articles from the viewpoints of professionals, foster parents, and foster children. The topics covered include what works in family foster care, profiles of youths in foster care, outcomes for children in foster care, gaining trust, and financing foster care.
Child Welfare League of America
The Child Welfare League site offers a full menu of articles on the topic of foster care. Click "Programs" on the homepage sidebar, then click "Family Foster Care" for a list of articles which include a "Foster Care Fact Sheet", which gives facts and figures on numbers of children in care, reasons children enter care, and reasons children leave a foster home. "Frequently Asked Questions" include rewards of foster parenting, and requirements for foster parents. Journal articles present research information on topics such as foster care in the next century and screening of prospective parents.