The impact of burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction on foster parenting
McLain, Kimberly Bradford
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Despite findings within the literature indicating the negative effects on professionals who work with clients, there is a lack of research examining the impact of burnout and compassion fatigue on foster parents. Burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction utilizing the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQoL), and personal, work, and client burnout utilizing the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) in a foster parent population were investigated. In addition, age, education level, time as a foster parent, number of children fostering, number of sexually abused children fostered, number of adults, work, religion, exercise, therapy, support groups, annual hours of training, and personal history of trauma were examined. Results indicate foster parents in this study have low levels of burnout, compassion fatigue, work burnout, and client burnout, but high levels of compassion satisfaction, and personal burnout. Findings suggest that foster parents experience great satisfaction from their work with foster children, even though they are experiencing burnout on a personal level, indicating they may not be attributing negative effects from foster parenting to their work with foster children. Compassion satisfaction, having a personal history of trauma, involvement with religion, exercise, and foster care trainings may serve to promote resiliency, while decreasing burnout and compassion fatigue. Findings of this study have direct implications for foster parents, and foster care professionals. Suggestions for the future direction of training, program development and future research studies are presented.