Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Jason Brown


The purpose of the study was to identify the emotional and spiritual challenges faced by Aboriginal foster parents. Interviews were conducted with a total of 83 Aboriginal foster parents in a central Canadian province. The interviews were conducted over the phone and participants were asked two questions: “What are the emotional challenges that would cause you to consider quitting fostering?” and “What are the spiritual challenges that would cause you to consider quitting fostering?” Responses to the questions were sorted by participants and analyzed using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. Seven concepts emerged in response to the first question including: 1) Defending Integrity, 2) Loss of Hope, 3) Unresolved Conflict, 4) Abuse, 5) Fear for Safety, 6) Burnout, and 7) Resentment. Three concepts emerged on response to the second question including: 1) Meaninglessness, 2) Being Alone, and 3) Religious Restrictions. The concepts were compared to and contrasted with the fostering literature.

Keywords: Aboriginal, foster parents, foster children, emotional challenges, spiritual challenges, supports.