Publication Details

Ciarrochi, J. V., Randle, M. J., Miller, L. M. & Dolnicar, S. (2012). Hope for the future: Identifying the individual difference characteristics of people who are interested in and intend to foster-care. British Journal of Social Work, 42 (1), 7-25.


High-quality foster placements can help a foster-child to thrive and can counter some of the risk factors normally associated with being a foster-child. Unfortunately, demand for foster-carers has been outstripping supply. The present study sought to identify the characteristics of people who have high potential to become a foster-carer. A large, representative sample from the general population (544 male; 544 female; Mage = 40.8; SD = 13) completed an anonymous survey that included comprehensive measurement of demographics, personal resources (e.g. social support), personal characteristics (e.g. hope) and foster-care interest, intentions and information seeking. Analyses revealed that people who sought information about and expressed interest/intention towards foster-caring where those who had high social support from friends and were high in perspective-taking empathy, trait hope and positive problem-solving orientation. We discuss the implications of these findings for foster-care marketing and recruitment campaigns and foster-care agency practices.



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