Purpose: The purpose of my study is to better understand the foster care system in West Virginia. The study will ask a sample of caseworkers and foster parents their thoughts on the benefits and challenges facing the foster care system in WV.
Methods: The research method I will use is in-depth interviews. I will be asking study participants how they became involved in the foster care system, their thoughts on the positive and negative aspects of foster care, any issues or problems that might be of concern to them, and any suggestions they might have for improving the system.
Sample: I plan to interview 20 to 25 caseworkers and foster parents with firsthand knowledge of foster care in WV. The sample will include males and females between the ages of 21 and 65. Participants will be selected using both purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Interviews will take place in an office on campus when appropriate, or another pre-agreed upon neutral location off campus. Unfortunately, my sample does have limitations to it. Where this is an understudied group not many are jumping forward to want to participate. I am also limited by the fact that my starting participants are people I know and the rest are suggested, participants. The issue with this may be that biases ' form because they are from the same region and they interact with each other so they may have a similar collective thought.
Confidentiality: Confidentiality will be assured and participation is voluntary. Participants will be asked to sign a consent form for both participation in the study and to be recorded. Research records will be kept in a locked, password-protected file for wh...
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...care systems structure and how it operates. With the help of the people who participate in this study I am hoping to find themes that appear across the board that they believe are not working. By finding what those who work within the system as a social worker or foster parent belief is not working maybe the system can improve or develop a way to fix these issues.
My plan is to have everything ready and have IRB approval by the beginning of November 2016. I would then like to use November, December, and part of January to collect and analyzed my data, and begin writing up my findings. In February and early March, I will be doing revisions based on feedback from my thesis committee, and with the help of the MU Writing Center. I hope to defend in late March or early April and submit my final approved thesis to the MU graduate department to meet my thesis requirement.
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