My name is Brandy Witthoft and I am a doctoral candidate at Syracuse University. I am inviting you to participate in a research study entitled: The American State and the Foster Families who Care for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors in State Custody. Involvement in this study is voluntary, so you may choose to participate or not. This will explain the study to you and please feel free to ask questions about the research if you have any. I will be happy to explain anything in detail if you wish. My email address is

I am interested in learning more about foster parents who care for foreign born foster children and youth. As the former foster mother of a refugee teenager myself, I hope that the knowledge generated from this study will contribute to making the foster care experience better for the parents, the children, and the many professionals who work on behalf of foreign born foster children.

In this survey, you will be asked to describe your experiences as a foster parent. This will take approximately 30 minutes of your time and will be anonymous. This means that your name will not appear anywhere and your specific answers will not be linked to your name in any way. While not the intent of the research, answering some of the survey questions may bring up feelings of frustration or concerns about harm to self or others. If you feel that you would like further assistance or need additional resources to better function as a foster parent, please visit the Foster Parent Links page of the National Foster Parent Association website at:

As a former or current foster parent, you have gained expertise that could be invaluable in improving how foreign born children are fostered. By collecting and compiling your specialized parenting techniques, strategies, and experiences, and by better understanding your role, I hope to document this expertise and to understand any unmet needs you may have. I will then make my findings/recommendations available to those most closely associated with the fostering of foreign born children, thereby helping foster parents and professionals identify practical ways to improve the foster parenting experience. Your participation is greatly appreciated and will contribute to a better understanding and a better implementation of this unique type of foster care.

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about the research, contact Dr. Kristi Andersen at (315) 443-9341 or at If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, or if you have questions, concerns, or complaints that you wish to address to someone other than the investigator, or if you cannot reach the investigator, contact the Syracuse University Institutional Review Board at 315-443-3013.

All of my questions have been answered, I am 18 years of age or older, and I wish to participate in this research study. I have been advised to print a copy of this consent form for my records. By continuing I agree to participate in this research study.

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Social Science Program
413 Maxwell Hall - Syracuse, NY 13244-1090
315.443.2275 / Fax: 315.443.1463