Comparing long-term placements for young children in care: The care pathways and outcomes study - Northern Ireland

Dominic Mc Sherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, Kerrylee Weatherall

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


When deciding on a long-term placement for a young child in care, a key challenge is to identify one that will enable children to achieve their full potential and enhance their health and wellbeing in the longer term. However, there is a dearth of research evidence that compares how children fare in the longer term across placement options. The Care Pathways and Outcomes study is one of a small number of studies internationally that takes this form of longitudinal comparative approach. Since 2000, it has been tracking the placement profile for a population of children who were under the age of five and in care in Northern Ireland on a particular census day, and gathering comparative data on how the children and their parents/carers have been coping across the different types of placements provided. This book reports on the most recent phase of the study, which involved interviews with a sub-group of the children (aged 9 to 14) and their parents/carers in adoption, foster care, kinship care, on residence order, and living with birth parents. Similarities and differences were explored between placement types, in terms of children’s attachment, self-concept, education, health and behaviour, their carers’ stress, social support, family communication, and contact with birth families. This contemporary study contributes to evidence-based practice and provides a research base for decision-making throughout the UK.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish Association for Adoption and Fostering
Number of pages350
ISBN (Print)978-1907585777
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 May 2013


  • Adoption
  • Foster care
  • Kinship foster care
  • Residence Order
  • Return home
  • Rehabilitation
  • Outcomes


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing long-term placements for young children in care: The care pathways and outcomes study - Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this