Fostering capacity: The role of faith-based congregations in the child welfare system in the United States


This article focuses on recent collaborative efforts between child welfare agencies and local congregations to recruit foster families. Drawing on in-depth interviews with persons involved in collaborations of this type, the article discusses the advantages and pitfalls associated with faith-based collaboration in the child welfare system. The major advantages seem to accrue both in congregations' strong religious motivations to care for children and the supportive social network provided by congregations. Potential pitfalls include a lack of flexibility and possible conflicts that could arise from unwanted proselytization of foster children. The article concludes with suggestions for future empirical inquiry that flow from these exploratory qualitative findings.

Publication Title

International Journal of Public Administration