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May 2021Vol. 22, No. 5Meeting the Informal and Formal Support Needs of Foster Caregivers

An article in Children and Youth Services Review, "Fostering Healthy Families: An Exploration of the Informal and Formal Support Needs of Foster Caregivers," looks at the different kinds of supports foster caregivers need as well as their formal service and training experiences. It also explores the challenges foster families face and how informal networks provide them with support. Data were collected through a series of focus groups and interviews from participants in North Carolina.

Participants expressed their stress and the strains on their relationships, fears about the foster care system, and ways that formal support networks can provide better support for them by providing information, adoption support, and trainings that focus on what foster caregivers will encounter in the real world. The article also includes examples that address the concerns discussed in the study and that help boost supports and resilience in foster families.