Date of Award

Summer 9-15-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Tim Reagan


Abstract Children in foster care are typically under the direction of adults and are rarely given a chance to share their voices. Whether it be the confusion they have regarding what led them to be placed in foster care, hopes for their future, or what they require to feel safe and supported in their foster home, it is rare for children in foster care to be given the opportunity to communicate their experiences in a creative and safe environment where they are encouraged to play and be the experts of their experience. The placement of a child into the foster care system has a profound influence on their emotional, social, psychological, and physiological wellbeing that can continue into adulthood, especially if not given the resources to work through their trauma. Using an individual case study with a 9-year-old client in the foster care system, it was found in this capstone thesis that the creation and use of narrative puppetry and storytelling aids in forming open communication between a foster child and other adults in their lives, including their foster parent and mental health providers. The information a child in foster care may share during the art therapy-based interventions of creating puppets and storytelling can benefit the relationship between a foster child and their foster parents, potentially lessening the number of foster care placements a child can experience while in the system of Child Protective Services Agencies. Given the freedom to create their own puppets and narrate their own stories, children in foster can externalize their emotions in a developmentally age-appropriate manner and be the expert of their lived experience.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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