Journal Article

Contact with Family Members and its Impact on Adolescents and Their Foster Placements

Sue Moyers, Elaine Farmer and Jo Lipscombe

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 4, pages 541-559
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch270
Contact with Family Members and its Impact on Adolescents and Their Foster Placements

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This paper discusses findings from a recently completed study of adolescent foster care, which included a detailed assessment of the fostering skills and supports of carers and of the contact that adolescents had with parents, siblings and other family members during a long-term foster placement. Sixty-eight foster carers, young people and their social workers were interviewed at two points in time, 3 months after the start of a new foster placement and again at 12 months or at the point of disruption if this occurred earlier. Detailed questions about contact which were asked of foster carers, young people and their social workers enabled the researchers to make summary ratings about the quantity and the quality of contact and its effect on the young people and on their placements. This paper describes the contact the young people had with their families, its impact on them and on the foster families and how it changed over time. The findings revealed that contact for the majority of adolescents was problematic and had a significant impact on placement outcomes. Ways of managing contact are highlighted, and the corresponding implications for policy and practice discussed.

Keywords: Contact; foster care; foster care for adolescents; young people; placement outcomes

Journal Article.  8237 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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