Understanding wellbeing and caregiver commitment after adoption or guardianship from foster care

Kevin R. White, Nancy Rolock, Laura Marra, Monica Faulkner, Kerrie Ocasio & Rowena Fong - Journal of Public Child Welfare


This study explored data obtained from surveys of caregivers who had previously adopted or assumed guardianship of a child from foster care in two U.S. states (N= 937). Descriptive analyses summarized the demographic and wellbeing characteristics of children and families, and multivariate regression models estimated the association between these variables and caregiver commitment. Consistent with previous research, most caregivers (> 80%) reported positive adjustment across measures, but some caregivers indicated family struggles, such as caregiver strain, child behavior difficulties, and lack of access to adoption-competent services. Higher caregiver commitment was associated with higher family nurturing and attachment, lower caregiver strain, less child behavior problems, a younger child age, and a kinship relationship. Results of this study enhance our understanding of the wellbeing of children and caregivers after permanence and provide insight into the malleable factors that may strengthen caregiver commitment after adoption or guardianship from foster care.