The 'Study on the Ways to Support Vulnerable Family's Parenting Capabilities' is a five-year project to seek ways to improve the support system and develop parenting guide books, focusing on strengthening parenting capabilities. In 2022, the study targets foster families raising children in needs. Foster children need a deeper understanding, more attention, and affection from caregivers because they have experienced separation from their biological parents (original families) and have had a lot of changes in their home environment including social and physical contexts. It is absolutely necessary to consistently support the parenting capabilities of foster families so that forster children can be protected safely and raised physically and psychologically healthy in their foster homes. The purpose of this study is, first, to seek ways to improve foster family support systems that can lighten parenting burden of foster parents and solve difficulties in their parenting. Second, it is to develop parenting guide books that are helpful in building their parenting capabilities up and caring foster children with special needs.
For this study, a variety of research methods were used including literature review, survey, discussion meetings, expert advisory meetings, and policy forum. In particular, 1) 283 foster parents were surveyed on the demographic characteristics of foster parents and their children, household characteristics, their parenting styles and psychological characteristics, foster children's characteristics, family relations, and experiences and needs of support programs. 2) An interview was conducted with 33 non-related foster parents.
The results of this study are as follows: 1) Survey Study: The parenting capabilities of foster parents of school-aged children were a little lower than those of foster parents of younger children. Forster parents said that caring for infants is physically demanding where caring for older children is financially demanding. They go through more economic burden as their children gets older. There are a lot of factors that affect children's adjustment to foster care, of which the first and most important is the children's age at the time of entering foster care. Second, they answered ‘characteristics of foster children and foster families’ as the most necessary contents for preliminary education, and ‘how to raise children’ as the most necessary contents for supplementary education for foster parents. The adaptation of the foster children and the preparations of the foster families differ depending on the children's age at the time of entering foster care, so this should be reflected in educational contents. Third, most foster parents said that they need the authority of legal representatives for their children. 2) Developing Parenting Guide books: Parenting guides are theoretically based on ‘positive discipline’ and ‘strengths perspective’. Under the title of "Parenting Guide Empowering Foster Parents", the parenting guide books contain the initial period (spring) – adaptation period (summer and fall) – final period (winter) by comparing the process of the foster care to four seasons.
Based on the study results, the plans to strengthen the parenting capabilities of foster families, the ways to improve the supporting systems for the foster care, and legislative improvements to the foster care system were proposed. First, as a way to strengthen foster family's parenting capabilities, it is suggested to enhance foster parents' psychological health, to provide customized support taking their situation into account, to develop the content system of parent education, to activate information exchange through self-help groups, to support physical environment improvement, and to use parenting guide books. Second, as a way to improve the foster family support system, it is proposed to strengthen social responsibility for foster children through childcare support, to expand psychotherapy for foster children, to prepare various support programs to meet handicapped children's needs, to cooperate between organizations for foster children to return to their original families, to keep long-term/ short-term foster care separate and dualize the policies, to change the termination process of foster care placement, to improve management system considering the characteristics of foster families, to provide coherent administrative support, to secure a stable budget, to improve the public awareness of foster care, and promote foster care system. Third, as a legislative improvement plan, it is suggested to establish a legal framework for definition and qualifications of foster parents, legislate the programs for training foster parents, improve the systems for caring long-term foster children, work out the details for the visitation right, and strengthen the guardianship of foster parents.
Table Of Contents
Ⅰ. 서론 13 1. 연구의 필요성 및 목적 15 2. 연구내용 18 3. 연구방법 18 4. 연구범위 24
Ⅱ. 가정위탁 제도 및 현황 29 1. 가정위탁 지원 사업 및 정책동향 31 2. 가정위탁 현황 44 3. 위탁가정 양육 및 아동발달 특성 63
Ⅲ. 위탁가정 자녀양육 실태 및 지원 요구 75 1. 일반적 특성 77 2. 위탁부모 및 위탁아동 특성 80 3. 자녀양육 및 가족관계 특성 90 4. 부모교육 및 정책지원 106 5. 소결 121
Ⅳ. 양육역량 지원을 위한 위탁부모의 경험 및 요구 분석 125 1. 실증적 분석을 위한 위탁가정 부모 심층면담 운영 127 2. 위탁가정 부모의 양육경험 및 지원 요구 132 3. 소결 149
Ⅴ. 위탁가정 양육역량 강화를 위한 육아지침서 개발 151 1. 육아지침서 개발의 필요성 153 2. 육아지침서 개발 배경 및 과정 154 3. 육아지침서 구성 167
Ⅴ. 결론 및 정책제언 171 1. 위탁가정 양육역량 강화 방안 173 2. 위탁가정 지원체계 개선 방안 177 3. 가정위탁제도 내실화를 위한 입법적 개선 방안 183
부록 209 부록 1. 위탁가구 대상 설문조사 질문지(영유아기/초등학령기 이상) 209 부록 2. 설문조사 결과 추가 표 244 부록 3. 위탁부모 면담 질문지 253 부록 4. 정책토론회 초청장 257