Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Mary Beth Janssen

Second Advisor

Sondra Phillips


Foster Care, Family, Biological Parents, Foster Parents, Interior Design


This thesis examines the current problems and support systems within the foster care system and how it could be improved upon. It studies the removal process of children from a hurtful home, the common reasons for placement within foster care, what some of the major problems within foster care are based surveys and existing research. Furthermore, this study seeks to understand the different perspectives of those involved in foster care including; biological parents, foster parents, children and social care workers. In order to better understand what would be best for all of the people involved, research also explores the effects a person raising a child has on their health and well-being, people’s ability to change and the positive and negative effects of the reunification process. It examines these topics through two case studies, multiple interviews and surveys and data from published reports. This study seeks to challenge how the current foster care system works in order to seek out a better solution for everyone. It further explores how interior design could work to provide a solution for these issues through research on the psychology of interior design, and observing similar facilities.

This thesis challenges how the current foster care system works and seeks to provide an alternate solution. Research shows that some of the major reasons children are placed within the foster care system include; neglect, parental substance abuse, inability to cope, physical abuse, child behavior problems, inadequate housing, parental incarceration, abandonment and sexual abuse ((Takayama, 201-207). However, lots of these reasons could be prevented, but there is a lack of support and systems that truly work to prevent these problems. This thesis investigates how interior design could better help the current issues within the foster care system. It explores the idea of a community center that works to support families that are at risk of having their children placed into foster care. This community center focuses on keeping families together, whether that is with their biological parents, or adoptive parents by providing for their basic needs, providing room to grow and play and providing support through counseling (group, family and individual), therapy and classes.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Package 2 Programming Preliminary Activities 10.17.pdf (236 kB)
Programming Preliminary Activities

Construction Documents.pdf (21923 kB)
Construction Documents