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State division working to improve foster parent retention

State division working to improve foster parent retention

December 12th, 2017 by News Tribune in Local News

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2017, file photo, Missouri's first lady and University of Missouri Assistant Professor Sheena Greitens sits at her desk for an interview in Columbia, Mo. (Luke Brodarick /Missourian via AP, File)

Missouri first lady Sheena Greitens announced Monday the Missouri Children's Division is enrolled in a new study on foster parent recruitment and retention.

The study, funded by the National Council for Adoption, tracks foster parents from the time they express interest in a foster program through the training and placement progress, according to a news release from Gov. Eric Greitens' office.

"One of the things we've heard loud and clear is that foster parents want their role to be respected and valued. The statistics aren't great — nationwide, as many as 60 percent of foster parents quit within a year," Sheena Greitens said in the news release. "I'm especially happy that the study is being done by someone who is both a respected researcher and a foster parent — someone who knows firsthand the experience of foster parenting and can ask the right questions to find out how to better support our foster families."

Lead researcher Elise Dallimore, of Northeastern University, has been a foster parent for seven years, according to information on the university's website. The study will focus on foster and adoptive parents in Missouri and Mississippi.

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