Voices From the System: A Qualitative Study of Foster Children's Stories


*University of Kentucky, 315 Funkhouser Building, Lexington, KY 40506 (jwhit6@uky.edu)


This project qualitatively analyzed the stories that 23 preadolescent foster children told about their lives. An ecological framework in conjunction with the social constructionist understanding of stories guided the ethnographic semistructured interviews. These stories contained both common and unique features and provided insight into the lives of foster children whose environments involved poverty, drugs, crime, violence, and racism. Research domains included confusion, social ambivalence, anger, loss, and aids to resiliency. This study highlights the importance of these stories for the children who create them and those who will work with them.