Journal Article

The trouble with foster care: the impact of stressful 'events' on foster carers

K Wilson, I Sinclair and I Gibbs

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 30, issue 2, pages 193-209
Published in print April 2000 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2000 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
The trouble with foster care: the impact of stressful 'events' on foster carers

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The article draws on the first stages of a large-scale longitudinal study into foster care with 'looked after' children. It uses data supplied by 950 foster carers in response to a postal questionnaire designed to document the proportions who had experienced one or more of six potentially stressful 'events': breakdowns or disruptions, allegations, relationship with birth parents, family tensions, 'tug of love' cases, and other disagreements with social services. The article uses carers' comments to describe their reaction to the 'events'. It then examines the relationship between the 'events' and measures of carer stress, satisfaction with fostering, and intentions to continue fostering. Overall, two-thirds of the sample had experienced one or more of these 'events' and these were associated with a measure of mental ill-health and with attitudes towards continuing fostering.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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