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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Barbara M. Howes
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Title: Exploring the Well-Being of Foster Children of Parents with Substance Abuse Problems in Family Dependency Treatment Courts
Dr. Kieran J. Fogarty, Chair
Dr. Robert Wertkin
Dr. Frederick MacDonald
Date: Friday, February 25, 2011 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
College of Health and Human Services, Room 2024
The aim of this three-paper format dissertation is to explore how the well-being of foster children of parents with substance abuse problems is defined and promoted through Family Dependency Treatment Courts (FDTC) within the context of the Adoption Safe Families Act (ASFA). The three-paper dissertation consists of an introduction in Chapter I on the background of the issue under study. Chapters II, III, and IV are three stand-alone papers. Chapter V serves as a conclusion that synthesizes the findings of the study.
The first paper is a policy analysis of the federal Adoption Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997. This paper specifically aims to analyze the mandates of ASFA as they pertain to the well-being of foster children of parents with substance abuse problems. One approach to implementing the mandates of ASFA is through Family Dependency Treatment Courts (FDTC). FDTCs serve parents with substance abuse and dependency problems that have contributed to the removal of their children from their care. The author makes recommendations for amendments to ASFA.
Papers two and three report the findings of a grounded theory study conducted in FDTCs. Paper two aims to define well-being, and postulates a theory to that effect, entitled the Howes’ Theory of Emotional Permanence (EP). Paper three postulates the Howes’ Theory of Fostering as a basic social process that FDTC interdisciplinary use to promote the well-being of parents with substance abuse and dependency problems and their children.