Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

May 2017Vol. 18, No. 3Resource Families Want to Help Youth and Birth Parents

The Center for Poverty Research at the University of California-Davis released a policy brief describing a study to determine who would most likely be willing to act as a resource family, the level of knowledge the respondents had about fostering a child, and the most common motivations and deterrents to fostering.

A total of 466 adults in California completed the study survey in 2016. African-American and Latino respondents each were more than twice as likely to report they would foster than non-Latino White respondents. Adults aged 25–34 were 67 percent more likely to foster than those aged 45–64. Parents who already had their own children were 144 percent more likely to foster a child than people who had no children. Additionally, the results of the survey indicated that most respondents had little knowledge about the foster care system, the experiences of youth in foster care, the foster system's goals for youth and families, and the support available to resource families.

When asked about their motivations to potentially foster, respondents were 2–10 times more likely to focus on the perceived benefits to the child in foster care and their birth parents over any financial, social, or emotional benefits to themselves. Approximately half (52 percent) of respondents reported that the biggest deterrents to fostering were related to the financial strain of fostering a child and the anticipated challenge of caring for youth. About 40 percent of respondents reported they would have a difficult time caring for children and then having to give them up when the time came for the child to be reunited with their family or adopted.

These results have implications for the way outreach efforts target potential resource families and boost public interest in supporting youth in foster care.

To read the policy brief, Survey Shows Likely Resource Families Want to Help Youth and Birth Parents, visit (131 KB).