A qualitative study of an interagency relationship: Education interventions for foster children

Beverly Jean Holley, Florida International University


The Interagency Agreement between the Broward County School System and District 10 Department of Children and Families (DCF) was implemented to improve the organization's relationship and in turn improve education interventions for foster children. The purpose of this study was to examine and describe key decision-makers' perspectives of this interagency relationship after implementing mutual policy. The research questions which drove this study were: (a) from the perspectives of the participants, what was the relationship between the decision-makers of the Department of Children and Families and the Broward County School System, after the implementation of a unification plan that was influenced by the court system? and, (b) how was the relationship between the school system and DCF reflected in the Interagency Agreement? Data were obtained through a case study that included interviews, document analysis and field observations. Participants were key decision-makers in their respective institutional settings and were chosen using criterion sampling. The researcher analyzed and interpreted data from the District 10 DCF commissioned assessment of foster care, the State of Florida Management Plans (education section), the Interagency Agreement, and participant interviews. This study focused on the following five contextual areas regarding the Interagency Agreement: interagency cooperation, interagency coordination, interagency collaboration, traditional organizational linkages, and organizational climate. The results of this study suggest that the organizations' improved relationship improved the educational system for foster children. This researcher recommends that the Interagency Agreement shares the leadership structure with an active parent organization of 15 foster parents who would be divided into three subcommittees. These subcommittees would perform specific tasks such as involving other foster parents, and writing mini proposals to address the social and tutoring needs of foster children. A Wraparound process including community organizations (clubs, businessmen and concerned community groups, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs) is also recommended in order to engage foster children in activities to build their social skills, friendships and self-esteem. This researcher also recommends that the Broward County School System consider a role that would provide for the development of curriculum for inservice for teachers. This would empower teachers and allow them to better address the academic and social needs of the foster children.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Academic guidance counseling|Welfare|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Holley, Beverly Jean, "A qualitative study of an interagency relationship: Education interventions for foster children" (2002). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3085815.