The lived experience of foster parents of children with special needs living in rural areas.

Research paper by Lori S LS Lauver

Indexed on: 14 Jul '10Published on: 14 Jul '10Published in: Journal of Pediatric Nursing


The experience of 10 foster families living in rural communities in the Northeastern United States was explored through phenomenological inquiry. Through an unstructured interview approach, parents were asked to describe what it was like to parent foster children with specialized health care needs. Recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using van Manen's method. Data analysis revealed that parents fostering children in rural communities have concerns related to accessing medical care and decision making. They expressed feelings of being overwhelmed and unprepared, isolated, and stigmatized.