Examining risk, strengths, and functioning of foster families: Implications for strengths-based practice

Francie J. Julien-Chinn, Katie Stalker, Megan Hayes Piel, Jennifer M. Geiger, Cynthia Lietz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Foster families provide safe and stable homes for children and youth who are removed from their homes due to maltreatment. Despite the stressors associated with bringing children in and out of a family’s home, many maintain healthy family functioning and continue fostering for many years serving an essential function in the child welfare system. This study sought to understand the factors that explained higher levels of family functioning within foster families. Collaborating with one statewide public child welfare agency, 681 licensed foster parents participated in an online survey that examined the association between family functioning with family strengths and risk factors. Findings from this study can inform strengths-based practice including training, assessment, and interventions for new and existing foster families to strengthen families and improve the well-being of children and youth in their care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 8 2017



  • Family-centered practice
  • foster families
  • resilience
  • strengths-based practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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