The Experience of Being a Treatment Foster Mother


Journal Article

This study examines the experiences of treatment foster mothers. It is part of an ongoing longitudinal study of the use, implementation, and effectiveness of treatment foster care. The study sample is 43 treatment foster mothers. Study data are from in-person interviews with mothers in which each is asked to talk about the youth in her care and her experience of being the youth's treatment foster mother. Mothers’ responses were analyzed through an inductive and iterative process. The analysis yielded six mutually exclusive categories of experience. Each category was labeled with a name that reflected a critical element of its definition: Strategic, Struggle, Satisfaction, Mothering, Rejection, and ‘Other’. Findings suggest wide variation in how treatment foster mothers experience their role and relationships with youth. Study strengths, limitations, and relevant theoretical frameworks for further work are discussed. © 2004, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wells, K; Farmer, EMZ; Richards, JT; Burns, BJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 117 - 138

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-3117

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1473-3250

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1473325004043375

Citation Source

  • Scopus