Family foster care: Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater

Dominic Mc Sherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


In 2014, an article written by Dr Frank Ainsworth and Patricia Hansen was published in Children Australia entitled ‘Family foster care: Can it survive the evidence?’ The basic premise of the article was that evidence indicates family foster care either doesn’t change the likelihood of positive outcomes for children, or makes it more difficult for positive outcomes to be achieved. Essentially, the view was that foster care is a risk to children in much the same way as there is a risk for children remaining at home with abusive or neglectful parents. As such, the authors stated that there should be a reduction in the use of family foster care, and increased efforts to keep children at home with supports. This article only came to our attention recently, and we had some issues with the conclusions that were drawn by the authors, particularly in terms of the evidence that is used to support their proposition. We were kindly offered an opportunity by the journal editors to submit this responding article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalChildren Australia
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2017


  • Foster care
  • juvenile offending
  • educational achievement
  • mental health
  • early parenting


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