Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka


Occupational Therapy, Foster Care, Foster Parent, Kinship/Non-Kinship, ACE’s, Parenting Stress, Reunification, Coping Strategies, Self-care, Communication Skills


Abstract: In 2018, 687,345 foster care children were placed into the foster care system (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). The foster care system is a complex, diverse system that continues to witness an increasing need for foster parents to support and provide for children placed in foster care. Foster parents present as an underserved population that requires education to navigate the child welfare system and develop and utilize skills to appropriately address the barriers and stressors encountered daily in their role as a foster parent. A literature review was conducted and found multiple resources for assisting foster care children with physical and psychosocial challenges, but limited resources exist to provide foster parents with important information regarding their own self-care, communication, and parental skills training (Geiger, Hayes Piel, Lietz, Julien-Chinn, 2016; Miller, Cooley, Owens, Day Fletcher, Moody, 2019). Occupational therapy has the skilled ability to assist foster parents in their role through establishing and re-establishing healthy skills, habits, and routines to improve the health and well-being of the whole family (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2017). The authors speculate that the creation of an occupational therapy-based resource designed to address these gaps in literature will increase foster parent retention rates and improve the overall relationship and well-being of the parent/child dyad. The authors have constructed a workbook that is meant to be used by foster parents to develop and improve their strategies for self-care, coping, communication, and parental skills to improve their overall health and well-being. The authors of this project desire that foster parents use the self-directed workbook as a means to assess and create healthy habits and routines while fulfilling their role as a foster parent.