Disabled foster children and contacts with their birth families

Author: Baker, Claire

Source: Adoption & Fostering Journal, Volume 30, Number 2, Summer 2006 , pp. 18-28(11)

Publisher: British Association for Adoption and Fostering

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Abstract:

Researchers from the University of York have been working with seven local authorities in England on a major programme of foster care research (Sinclair et al, 2004, 2005a, 2005b). Part of this work included a three-year longitudinal study of 596 foster children. Claire Baker used data from this study to look specifically at the experiences of disabled foster children and here discusses findings in relation to their contact with birth families. Earlier studies of disabled children who are looked after suggest that their need for family contact is at least as great as that of others, but that a combination of practical difficulties and professional attitudes may lead to a lower level of contact. This article shows that disabled foster children do, on average, have lower levels of contact than their non-disabled peers. It then uses qualitative data to consider possible reasons for this along with the implications for good practice.

Keywords: CONTACT WITH BIRTH FAMILY; DISABLED CHILDREN; LONG-TERM FOSTER CARE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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