Comparing long-term placements for young children in care: Does placement type really matter?

Dominic Mc Sherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, Kerrylee Weatherall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents findings from the third phase of a longitudinal study, entitled Care Pathways and Outcomes, which has been tracking the placements and measuring outcomes for a population of children (n = 374) who were under the age of five and in care in Northern Ireland on the 31st March 2000. It explores how a sub-sample of these children at age nine to 14 years old were getting on in the placements provided for them, in comparative terms across five placement types: adoption; foster care; kinship foster care (with relatives); on Residence Order; and living with birth parents. This specifically focused on the development of attachment and self-concept from the perspective of the children, and behavioural and emotional function, and parenting stress, from the perspective of parents and carers. Findings showed no significant placement effect from the perspective of children, and a statistically weak, but descriptively compelling, effect from the perspective of parents. The findings challenge the notion of adoption as the gold standard in long-term placements, specifically from the perspective of children in terms of their parent/carer attachments and self-concept, and highlight what appears to be the central importance of placement longevity for delivering positive longer-term outcomes for these children, irrespective of placement type.
LanguageEnglish
Pages56-66
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume69
Early online date29 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016

Fingerprint

Child Care
parents
Parents
self-concept
Self Concept
Caregivers
Northern Ireland
Foster Home Care
gold standard
Parenting
kinship
Longitudinal Studies
longitudinal study
Parturition
Population

Keywords

  • Foster care
  • adoption
  • rehabilitation
  • kinship foster care
  • longitudinal
  • outcomes
  • Attachment
  • Stress

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper presents findings from the third phase of a longitudinal study, entitled Care Pathways and Outcomes, which has been tracking the placements and measuring outcomes for a population of children (n = 374) who were under the age of five and in care in Northern Ireland on the 31st March 2000. It explores how a sub-sample of these children at age nine to 14 years old were getting on in the placements provided for them, in comparative terms across five placement types: adoption; foster care; kinship foster care (with relatives); on Residence Order; and living with birth parents. This specifically focused on the development of attachment and self-concept from the perspective of the children, and behavioural and emotional function, and parenting stress, from the perspective of parents and carers. Findings showed no significant placement effect from the perspective of children, and a statistically weak, but descriptively compelling, effect from the perspective of parents. The findings challenge the notion of adoption as the gold standard in long-term placements, specifically from the perspective of children in terms of their parent/carer attachments and self-concept, and highlight what appears to be the central importance of placement longevity for delivering positive longer-term outcomes for these children, irrespective of placement type.",
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Comparing long-term placements for young children in care: Does placement type really matter? / Mc Sherry, Dominic; Fargas Malet, Montserrat; Weatherall, Kerrylee.

In: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 69, 31.10.2016, p. 56-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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