Fostering “Belonging-ness”: The Role of Private Foster Care Agencies with Foster Parents and Youth: Private foster care agencies are charged with recruiting, hiring, training, and monitoring foster parents. Additionally, they are responsible for helping to facilitate the relationship between a youth, his or her biological parent(s), and the foster parent(s). Recruitment and retention of quality foster parents is dependent on multiple factors. Foster parents voice a need for comprehensive training, reasonable monetary support, and to be treated as an integral member of their foster child’s team. Foster youth voice a desire to be treated as a family member and to have autonomy. The theoretical lens of emerging adulthood supports the notion that independence does not equal lack of connection, and that interdependence into adulthood is normative. Private foster care agencies play an important role in helping foster parents to navigate the fine line between being both parent and paid professional, while simultaneously helping the children in their care to cultivate developmentally appropriate independent living skills.