Ohio Foster Parent Experiences Leading to Exits from the Foster Care System


Franklin University Dissertation Excellence Award - Honorable Mention (Spring 2023)

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Susan Campbell

Committee Member

Dail Fields

Committee Member

John Nadalin


Foster parents in the State of Ohio were explored in this dissertation study. The purpose of this research was to address a gap in existing literature concerning foster parent experiences in Ohio within the foster care system. The job of a foster parent is to provide a safe place and to make a difference in the lives of children that come into their homes. This role is oftentimes accompanied by high demands, low autonomy, and low support. It is imperative to correct this pattern as it can result in adverse psychological effects and negative impacts on mental health, leading to foster parents exiting the system in high volumes. This study used a qualitative approach to address the research question. The Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) model was applied to this research and used as a guide in providing a deeper analysis of the inner workings of the foster care system as it pertains to foster parents. A purposeful and snowball sample of 20 Ohio foster parents participated in open-ended Zoom and telephone interviews. They provided in-depth responses on their experiences within the foster care system. The interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed for major themes. ATLAS.ti Cloud software was used for coding analysis of the collected data. Four major themes and nine sub-themes resulted from the interviews. The findings contributed to research by providing future foster parents and leadership within the foster care system with meaningful strategies to improve foster parent retention rates in Ohio.