From Moral Development to Healthy Relationships: The Role of Religion in Out-of-Home Placement.Reportar como inadecuado

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Neither public nor private agencies address the extensive religious involvement that children and youth receive in child care facilities and foster home placement situations. In a five-state mid-west study (N=252), this paper examines religious practices in foster homes. The study identifies a strong Christian-based affiliation of foster homes. The findings illustrate the daily, weekly, and monthly religious rituals practiced in foster homes including grace at meals, bedtime prayers, church-going, and religious social groups activities. These activities complement the process of moral development in children through religious involvement. The pervasiveness of religious practices and beliefs as reported suggests that even when both parents of these out-of-home children do not stipulate a preference for a specific religiously-affiliated foster home, the experience of the foster child will probably include practices and education in a specific religious persuasion. Though foster parents generally state that they allow the child to choose to be involved in the religious activities of the home, anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that while some children gain a great deal from involvement in the religious practices of the foster home, other foster children have experienced both confusion and rejection due to the demands by foster parents to be involved in religious activities. Child-serving agencies and government social services should take heed that foster parents are of the opinion that the issues of religion and religious involvement of foster children is not adequately addressed by agencies at orientation and placement. In this study, only two states had any training in this area. (Contains 6 tables and 15 references). (Author/MKA)

Descriptors: Adolescents, Children, Christianity, Church Programs, Foster Care, Foster Family, Moral Development, Religion, Religious Differences, Religious Education, Social Services, State Regulation, Training

Autor: Schatz, Mona S.; Horejsi, Charles


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