What happens to looked-after children in the longer term? This book analyses the outcomes of a large-scale study of foster children in the UK. It includes individual case studies and draws extensively on the views of foster children themselves. The authors examine:
Why children remain fostered or move to different settings (adoption, residential care, their own families or independent living)
How the children fare in these different settings and why
What the children feel about what happens to them.
Other important issues covered include the support given to birth families to enable children to return home, the experience of adopters, the ways in which foster care can become more permanent and the experiences of young people in independent living.
In bringing together these results the book provides a wealth of findings, many of them new and challenging. It offers positive and practical recommendations and will be an enduring resource for practitioners, academics, policy makers, trainers, managers and all those concerned with the well-being of looked-after children.
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Ian Sinclair is Co-director of the Social Work Research and Development Unit at The University of York, where he has been responsible for a large programme of work on children's homes and foster care. His research interests include attachment theory and the evaluation of social work and social work services. Claire Baker is a Researcher at the Social Work Research and Development Unit at The University of York. Her research interests include disabled children, children in foster care and stability and permanence issues for looked after children. Kate Wilson is Professor of Social Work at the Centre for Social Work, University of Nottingham. She has researched and published widely in the fields of therapeutic work and child welfare, including books on social work with couples, social work in a legal context, non-directive play therapy, and adoption and fostering. Ian Gibbs is a Researcher at the Social Work Research and Development Unit at The University of York. His main area of research is looked after children, particularly those in residential care and foster care.Review:
This is a book that should be read by policy makers, social services managers, social workers and students. If reading the whole book seems too daunting, they can benefit from the insights of particular chapters and should certainly read the concluding chapter in full. (British Journal of Social Work)
Practitioners, researchers and policymakers should own a copy of Foster Children and everyone who works in child care should read the book as it represents a major contribution in the field. (Community Care)
We are regularly told that the care system fails young people. The authors here are not starry-eyed. They are honest about the shortcomings of corporate parenthood. But they also offer some encouragement about how we as individuals can still make a difference if we think more carefully and practice more intelligently. Don't accept my inadequate summary; read it for yourself. (Research in Practice)
It is well written, perceptive and sharp, making strong links with policy and practice... It is a very stimulating read and a model example of how to undertake and report a scientifically robust investigation. (Child and Family Social Work)
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