Understanding Adult Foster Care Through Provider Experiences
Munly, Kelly A.
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In this study, I explored Adult Foster Care (AFC) provider experiences. AFC is a small-setting option for community-based long-term care. This option varies considerably in accessibility and structure across states; due to the nature of the state's approach to AFC, this initial research effort focused on AFC provider experiences in North Carolina. As of 2013, there were 632 AFC facilities in North Carolina (NC DHHS, 2013). AFC homes in North Carolina are licensed by the state and allow service for 2-6 residents per home (Mollica et al., 2009). The approach to research was informed by literature on AFC, the disabilities context of AFC, and Child Foster Care (CFC). The theoretical framework guiding the study included theories of care and relational reciprocity; power, difference, and hierarchy; and intersectionality. I conducted semi-structured, guided interviews with 26 providers. As a context for grounded theory data analysis, I also relied on reflexive material stemming from my positionality as a care worker. Emergent codes related to issues of the providers' motivation for beginning work as an AFC provider; providers' personal and professional roles; perspectives on giving residents a choice; balancing "family" with business; reciprocity and how residents express their affection and care to providers; providers' values; and dialectics of power and care. Findings shed light on implications for state and organizational responsibility to the AFC system, and practice context for provider-resident relationships.
- Doctoral Dissertations