The potential of successful parenting in foster families

The potential of successful parenting in foster families

Bezrukova O.N.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Acting Head of the Department of youth sociology and youth policy, Saint Petersburg State University. Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Samoilova V.А.

Cand. Sci (Psychol.), Assoc. Prof., Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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For citation:

Bezrukova O.N., Samoilova V.А. The potential of successful parenting in foster families. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 11. P. 111-121


The article contains analysis of parental potential in foster families and the resources of its strengthening with the support of the professional community. The research is based on focus group of 36 parents and 29 experts. We analyzed typological features of parents in foster families based on the evaluation of parental potential and successful parenting distinguishing following four groups of foster parents: “Competent”, “Adaptive”, “Rigid”, and “Tired”. As a result of the study, we have revealed the images of an adopted child as perceived by the parents – “Broken child”, “I don’t want to, I can’t, I won’t!”, “ Mowgli ”, “Typical hooligan”. Based on numerous cases of repeated rejection on the part of foster parents we suggest analysing the parental potential and successful parenting in foster families. We have developed the key principles for specialists to work with parents in foster families – development of motivation for parenthood, concentration of efforts on individual’s strengths, focusing attention on resources at all levels of social support, differentiated care with due regard to the typological characteristics of children and parents, children’s age, stage of adoptive parenthood, familycentered approach in providing assistance, preparing and guidance of fathers in their role of a foster parent, testing the parental potential of candidates for foster parents, and public recognition.

foster family; foster parenting; prevention of recurrent child abandonment; orphan children; parental potential; successful parenting; guidance for foster families


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Content No 11, 2017