Journal Article

Matches and Mismatches: The Contribution of Carers and Children to the Success of Foster Placements

Ian Sinclair and Kate Wilson

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 33, issue 7, pages 871-884
Published in print October 2003 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2003 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/33.7.871
Matches and Mismatches: The Contribution of Carers and Children to the Success of Foster Placements

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Data were collected on 472 foster children at an interval of 14 months. The children's social workers, the family placement social workers and the foster carers reported on disruptions, and the reasons for placement success or lack of it. These views, combined with comments from the children, led to hypotheses about the origins of successful placements. Statistical tests of these hypotheses suggested that success depended on three aspects of the placement. First of these was the children's characteristics. Children, who wanted to be fostered (had attractive characteristics and low levels of disturbance), did better. Second were the qualities of the foster carer. Placements with warm, child‐oriented carers were more successful. Third was the interaction between carer and child. The findings emphasize the crucial importance of the foster carers to outcomes. They also support the need to pay close attention to children's views, and the potential importance of early intervention to prevent negative spirals of interaction between carer and child.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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