An Untold Story of Hardship: How COVID-19 Has Uniquely Impacted American Foster Parents




Das, Rahul

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COVID-19 has drastically impacted our world from a health, economic, and psychological perspective. However, certain segments of the American population have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and historically neglected. One of these groups if foster parents. In this thesis, I aim to unearth the unique challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for American foster parents . My ultimate intentions of this paper are to raise awareness, particularly within The University of Texas at Austin community, for the need to support American foster parents in times of crisis and to spur said awareness into tangible action.

I begin the paper by providing an overview of the American foster care system to establish baseline knowledge and context for the rest of the thesis. I then describe my interview-driven research methodology and employ the insights from my primary and secondary research to describe nine pre-pandemic problems for foster parents that were exacerbated by COVID-19 and six novel challenges that were created by COVID-19. Finally, I conclude the thesis with recommendations based off insights learned from my research and discuss key life lessons I took away from this thesis-writing and research process.



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