Special Needs Adoption and Foster Exigencies (SAFE): A Model for Case Managers

Kristen Linton, Andrea Birmingham, Loren Case, Laura Ezzy, Jandee Ferguson, Courtney Harrison, Leina'ala Launiu

Abstract


Children with special needs disproportionately receive child welfare services in out-of-home placements, such as foster and adoptive homes. This theoretical model has been developed to describe or explain exigencies of adoptive and foster families of children with special needs (n = 82). A web content analysis, including theme, feature, link, exchange, and language analyses, of online discussion forums of adoptive and foster parents of children with special needs using a phenomenological framework was conducted. Inductive and quantitative web content analyses were conducted on themes. Parenting concerns were clustered into two main themes, disability and placement issues, and focused on children’s pre and post placement needs. A phenomenological analysis resulted in the development of the Special Needs Adoption and Foster Exigencies (SAFE), which outlines exigencies of adoptive and foster parents of children with special needs during engagement, assessment, and intervention phases of case management.

Keywords


Special needs, adoption, foster, case work

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