We study the link between couple, co-parenting, and parenting practices to inform services that enhance the quality and stability of care for Georgia's foster youth.

While foster parenting can be very rewarding, there are many unique challenges and stressors that foster parent couples experience following the placement of a child in their home that may jeopardize placement quality and stability. These challenges are likely to put a strain on foster parents’ couple and coparenting relationship. Common conflicts experienced by foster parents include a lack of equal commitment to fostering, role ambiguity, lack of communication, and disagreement on parenting decisions. Negativity in the couple/co-parenting relationship leads to ineffective parenting, which compounds the stress already experienced by foster children.

In Process

  • A needs assessment survey we conducted with DFCS County Directors in 2015 reinforced the need and value of relationship enrichment training to support foster parents across Georgia. Read the full report.
  • We launched a statewide survey of foster parent couples to help us better understand their couple and co-parenting relationship experiences and needs.
  • We are working in collaboration with various state and local partners to launch relationship enrichment trainings for foster parents using the new ELEVATE couples education curriculum. The first pilot was funded by DFCS and was completed Spring 2016; read the full report.
  • We are currently evaluating the impact of weekend intensitve retreats with foster caregiver couples as a part of our federally funded initiative, Project F.R.E.E.