Date of Completion


Embargo Period



foster children, parenting, home environment, parental educational involvement, child welfare

Major Advisor

Preston A. Britner, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Megan Feely, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Caitlin Lombardi, Ph.D.

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Parental involvement in children’s education has been associated with children’s academic success; however, little is known about the academic involvement of foster parents with their foster youth or their understanding of their roles and responsibilities related to education. The primary purpose of this study was to explore associations between and among factors that have been relevant in the general literature around academic success and foster parents’ academic involvement. This study explored the relationship between these factors of parental self-efficacy, knowledge and skills, time and energy, and the foster child’s invitation, and home-based academic involvement practices of foster parents. A secondary goal was to examine foster parents’ understanding of their educational roles and responsibilities related to education, as well as the areas of confusion regarding those roles. A self-reported, online questionnaire was provided to 140 current or past foster parents of middle and high school aged foster youth. Ordinal regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between the foster parents’ self-efficacy, knowledge and skills, time and energy, the foster child’s invitation, and the foster parents’ home-based academic involvement practices. In addition, descriptive and bivariate analyses tested for associations between the motivators of home-based involvement and the foster parents’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Results demonstrated that foster parents’ self-efficacy, perception of their knowledge and skills, and the receipt of invitations from their foster child for assistance, were predictive of their level of home-based academic involvement. However, time and energy were not associated with involvement. Results also showed that foster parents generally lacked clarity on who had the authority to initially access services or to execute those services. Even for common services such as time management and study skills, approximately half of the foster parents thought it was their responsibility and the other half thought it was the professional staff (case managers and educational specialists). Findings are discussed in the context of study limitations and implications for practice and research.