Conflict When Christians Foster Children Term Paper

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" By telling stories, allows for a certain level of openness or vulnerability on the part of the parent and makes them human to the child. Stories give children a captivating medium in which to explore their emotions but really stories give them something to believe.

Jesus was the original storyteller. Reynolds Price discusses Jesus' involvement with establishing how stories promote the act of good works among His followers with, "Leviticus 19:18: 'you shall love neighbor as yourself.' This provides an insistence that no human relation can proceed with any pretense of moral foundation" unless of course, one moves away from God's love.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this proposal is to act as a vision in which groundbreaking research can be facilitated. This research will focus on religion as a catalyst for conflict among people who share a parent-child relationship within the foster care framework. Specifically, the dissertation wants to discover what happens between a Christian foster parent (who has bore witness to Christ) and a non-Christian foster child who comes from a background of different faith equal to, less than or no faith at all. What conflict results, if any? What are the chances of violent situation occurring due to religious differences? The purpose of this study is to write a survey, which can presented to a segment of the population who is a part of the foster care system and meet the study requirements. The purpose of this study is to discover if concrete data can exist within the demands of the criteria.

Depending on the outcome of the data collection, another purpose would be for this paper to become the gold standard of religious study within a sociologic framework. Such a groundbreaking work will act a catalyst for change within the foster care system and act as a promoter for social change for people of all faiths. This study will reach across religious barriers and cross cultures as it explores a topic where data is inconclusive, limited and vague. This paper will also act as a motivator for Christians to take action within the church environment and work locally within their communities for social reform. This will promote Christian good works by inspiring other Christians to become foster parents. Still the bottom line, this study will look at a relationship that has had very little focus in the past and as a result bring it to the attention of theological community and the American public.

Study Significance and Implications

It is hoped that through studying such a relationship that much can be learned to aid the future of foster care parenting. It is also hoped that such study will highlight the importance of religion and faith as tools for healing and resolution of conflict. Knowledge is power. By understanding the issues and details of the relationship cannot only aid in understanding what to expect but also how to handle the situation again and again. It also promotes the best intentions for the child. This study is significant because it can teach the public and theologians about cross-cultural understanding. This expands upon the Christian moral of love thy neighbor by promoting a deep belief in love and passion for humanity. This study in the best possible scenario reflects humanity and how people can move beyond conflict to a resolution. By analyzing religion in such great depth, opens up a movement for other studies of factors that could cause conflict within the same parent-child relationship. These factors could include: race, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities.

With any analysis of this nature, the assumed implications of this study are numerous and profound. One can expect both positive and negative responses to result. It is assumed progress will result just attempting such a study. The fact, it is being attempted is a step in the right direction. However, one is hopeful the outcomes will elisit some form of impact upon society. The responses to the proposed method of data collection presented below will influence an outcome of change for the relationship studied. Bearing this in mind, it is important to keep an open mind and learn from any possibility set forth by the study. The data will set the tone for how the public and theologians react to the study. One hopeful impact of the study is that it will promote the Christian faith as one of harmony and love. It is hopeful that foster children exposed to this faith as a result of their foster parent's bearing witness will embrace it as their own as a resolution of conflict. Analysis of the data will allow one to prove if this is possible on some level and present the percentages of such likelihood. It is hope that such impact will create an atmosphere for Americans to return to a concrete value system and re-establish their faith. Of course, it is possible an implication of the study could be that the opposite is found. Only upon completion of the analysis will the implications really be realized.

Relationship to Previous Research

Thousands of books have been published on foster parenting and to the behavior of children in this foster care system. Much negative press of foster care disasters exists. Many recent cases of children falling through the cracks of social services have become public knowledge and implored with outcry the government implement radical change. One such recent case involves the state of Florida losing a little girl who later was found killed. When will there be justice for the forgotten, unwanted children of America so that they can become functioning and well-adjusted adults? Thousands of books have been published on Christ, his life and teachings. To this day He remains history's most influential public figure. Still few books and works in academic journals have covered the relationship between foster parent and foster child when differences in religion exist. Few studies have been ventured in this area of theological expertise. Few have explored the impact a Christian upbringing can have on a foster child of another faith. Not many studies allow for this distinction in the relationship between foster parent and child nor do they explore the difference a Christian environment can have vs. A non-Christian household. This study will test the limits of this relationship and create new academic relevance

Study Questions

1.What kind of conflict already exists in the foster family household?

2.What degrees of conflict will be studied and how will they be rated in relation to violence?

3.What conflicts are found?

4.What groups of religious combinations will be found?

5.What combinations will the study allow? Christian and Jewish, Christian and Muslim etc.

6.What happens if these set combinations are not found in a chosen segmentation?

7.How do the foster parents handle the general conflicts of foster care life?

8.How do the children handle the general conflicts of foster care life?

9.When religious differences are introduced into the scenario, what conflicts arise?

10.How do the foster parents react to religious conflicts or the child's rejection of their beliefs?

11.How do the foster children react to religious conflicts or the parent's insistance upon exposure to Christianity?

12.Did the foster parent have church influence?

13.What of discomfort did the conflict cause? For the foster parent? For the foster child?

14.What was the result of this discomfort? State action?

15.What was the foster child's condition upon entry into the home?

16.What kind of experience does the foster care parent have? How many years? What is their success rate?

17.How did this condition affect the foster parent's faith and the foster child's exposure to it?

18.If other children are in the household, how are they affected? What is their reaction?

19.Are there other differences present in each selected study participant? If so, what are they?

20.How was the conflict resolved? Positive or negative outcome? Neutral outcome?

21.What is the short-term outcome? For the foster parent? For the foster child?

22.What is the long-tern outcome (if experience available)? For the foster parent? For the foster child?

Works Cited

Fowler, James, W. 1981. Stages of Faith. San Francisco: Harper.

Gardner, H. 1995. Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York:

BasicBooks Harper Collins.

Hepperman, Christine, M. 2004. Barbara O'Connor: Taking Care of Moses. The Horn

Book Magazine, 1 November.

Jersild, Paul. 1990. Making Moral Decisions. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Kagan, Richard. 1996. Turmoil to Turning Points. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Kellog, Bob. 2003. Foster Care System Assailed [online]. Available at; Internet; accessed 17 March 2005.

Kersey, Katherine. (Ed.). 1986. Helping Your Child Handle Stress: The Parents Guide to Recognizing and Solving Childhood Problems. Washington, D.C.: Acropolis Books, Ltd.

Neuhaus, Richard. 2004. Religion and Democracy: a necessary tension. First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, 1 June.

Price, Reynolds. 2003. A Serious Way of Wondering. New York: Scribner.

Urys, William. 1991. Getting Past No. New York: Bantam Books.

Neuhaus, Richard. 2004. Religion and Democracy: a necessary tension. First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public…[continue]

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