Foster parents have the greatest influence on the well-being of a foster child. A good selection procedure is needed to recruit capable and high quality foster families, and to reduce the risk of breakdown. Therefore we examined the coping style of foster parents and their attitudes toward parenting. The attitudes toward parenting and the coping style of 188 Flemish non-kinship foster parents were examined using a Dutch version of the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2) and a Dutch version of the short form of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS-SF). Flemish foster parents had average scores on the four subscales or were at medium risk for negative parenting. Only for the two subscales inappropriate expectations and role reversal half of the foster parents had positive attitudes toward parenting. A total foster parents ranging from 0.5% to 8% were at high risk for negative parenting. No foster and family characteristics were associated with attitudes toward parenting. Foster parents use all of the four different coping styles (task-oriented, emotion and avoidant (treat oneself and find a friend) coping). The preferable coping style is for half of the foster parents taskoriented coping. An emotional coping style could be predicted by age and total years as foster parents. This research shows that foster parents were at medium risk for negative parenting and prefer a taskoriented coping style to handle foster care problems.
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