Journal Article

Foster Carer Strain and its Impact on Parenting and Placement Outcomes for Adolescents

Elaine Farmer, Jo Lipscombe and Sue Moyers

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 35, issue 2, pages 237-253
Published in print March 2005 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Foster Carer Strain and its Impact on Parenting and Placement Outcomes for Adolescents

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Drawing on recently completed research funded by the Department of Health, this article examines the extent of strain on the foster carers of adolescents, its influence on parenting practices and the overall impact on placement outcomes. The research find­ings show that foster-carers’ parenting capacity was markedly reduced in a number of specific areas when they had experienced a high number of stressful life events in the six months prior to the young person’s arrival or were under considerable strain during the placement. Conduct problems, hyperactivity and violent behaviour by the young people increased carer strain, as did contact difficulties with the children’s families. Problems in contacting social workers were linked to elevated strain, whilst strain was lessened when carers received help from friends or from local professionals. Signifi­cantly higher disruption rates were experienced by strained carers and these placements were also less beneficial to the young people.

Keywords: Foster care; fostering adolescents; foster carer strain; parenting skills; placement outcomes

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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