Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland

Montserrat Fargas, Dominic Mc Sherry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Placement stability is sought for children who enter state care and need a place to call home. The research literature has very much focused on looking at placement stability (or physical permanence), and how to avoid placement moves and breakdowns. Adoption has been found to achieve stability in a greater degree than other long-term placements, such as foster care or kinship foster care. However, the notion of placement stability does not consider the subjective account of the young person and thus the quality of the placement, whereas the concept of relational permanence does. Relational permanence conveys an enduring positive relationship between a young person and a caring adult. Very little is known about what happens after children move out of long-term placements. Does relational permanence collapse when the child moves out?The Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study is a longitudinal study that has been following all the children who were in care on 31st March 2000 and under 5 years old. Three waves of the study have been completed to date, and Wave 4 (2016-2019) data collection is ongoing. Stage 1 of this wave has been completed. It involved the development of a placement profile for the full study population on the basis of placement data provided by social services through to the 31st March 2016. Stage 2 involves (face-to-face) surveys and semi-structured interviews with the young people and their parents and carers. The study is looking at a range of issues across placement types (i.e. adoption, foster care, kinship care, returning to birth parents, or Residence Order). In this poster, we are going to focus on the issues of placement stability and emotional/relational permanence. This will involve examining placement stability for the 354 young people across the different types of placements; but also the circumstances of some breakdowns/disruptions; some of the young people’s sense of belonging and being part of the family; and their parents’/carers’ feelings of bonding to them. On the one hand, we found high levels of placement stability for the 354 young people in our study, although those who were adopted and placed under a Residence Order appeared more likely to remain in the same caregivers’ home than young people in foster care and kinship care did. On the other hand, interviews with over 30 of the young people revealed high levels of relational permanence, and showed that placement disruption did not necessarily mean a breakdown in the relationship. Our findings have clear implications in terms of policy and practice, which will be briefly represented in the poster.

Conference

ConferenceSixth International Conference on Adoption Research
Abbreviated titleICAR6
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period8/07/1812/07/18

Fingerprint

young adult
kinship
parents
poster
human being
interview
mobile social services
caregiver
longitudinal study

Keywords

  • Physical permanence
  • Relational permanence
  • Adoption
  • Foster care
  • Kinship care
  • Return home
  • Rehabilitation
  • Outcomes

Cite this

Fargas, M., & Mc Sherry, D. (Accepted/In press). Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Adoption Research, Montreal, Canada.
Fargas, Montserrat ; Mc Sherry, Dominic. / Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Adoption Research, Montreal, Canada.
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Fargas, M & Mc Sherry, D 2018, 'Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland' Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Adoption Research, Montreal, Canada, 8/07/18 - 12/07/18, .

Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland. / Fargas, Montserrat; Mc Sherry, Dominic.

2018. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Adoption Research, Montreal, Canada.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland

AU - Fargas, Montserrat

AU - Mc Sherry, Dominic

N1 - Sixth International Conference on Adoption Research , ICAR6 ; Conference date: 08-07-2018 Through 12-07-2018

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Placement stability is sought for children who enter state care and need a place to call home. The research literature has very much focused on looking at placement stability (or physical permanence), and how to avoid placement moves and breakdowns. Adoption has been found to achieve stability in a greater degree than other long-term placements, such as foster care or kinship foster care. However, the notion of placement stability does not consider the subjective account of the young person and thus the quality of the placement, whereas the concept of relational permanence does. Relational permanence conveys an enduring positive relationship between a young person and a caring adult. Very little is known about what happens after children move out of long-term placements. Does relational permanence collapse when the child moves out?The Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study is a longitudinal study that has been following all the children who were in care on 31st March 2000 and under 5 years old. Three waves of the study have been completed to date, and Wave 4 (2016-2019) data collection is ongoing. Stage 1 of this wave has been completed. It involved the development of a placement profile for the full study population on the basis of placement data provided by social services through to the 31st March 2016. Stage 2 involves (face-to-face) surveys and semi-structured interviews with the young people and their parents and carers. The study is looking at a range of issues across placement types (i.e. adoption, foster care, kinship care, returning to birth parents, or Residence Order). In this poster, we are going to focus on the issues of placement stability and emotional/relational permanence. This will involve examining placement stability for the 354 young people across the different types of placements; but also the circumstances of some breakdowns/disruptions; some of the young people’s sense of belonging and being part of the family; and their parents’/carers’ feelings of bonding to them. On the one hand, we found high levels of placement stability for the 354 young people in our study, although those who were adopted and placed under a Residence Order appeared more likely to remain in the same caregivers’ home than young people in foster care and kinship care did. On the other hand, interviews with over 30 of the young people revealed high levels of relational permanence, and showed that placement disruption did not necessarily mean a breakdown in the relationship. Our findings have clear implications in terms of policy and practice, which will be briefly represented in the poster.

AB - Placement stability is sought for children who enter state care and need a place to call home. The research literature has very much focused on looking at placement stability (or physical permanence), and how to avoid placement moves and breakdowns. Adoption has been found to achieve stability in a greater degree than other long-term placements, such as foster care or kinship foster care. However, the notion of placement stability does not consider the subjective account of the young person and thus the quality of the placement, whereas the concept of relational permanence does. Relational permanence conveys an enduring positive relationship between a young person and a caring adult. Very little is known about what happens after children move out of long-term placements. Does relational permanence collapse when the child moves out?The Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study is a longitudinal study that has been following all the children who were in care on 31st March 2000 and under 5 years old. Three waves of the study have been completed to date, and Wave 4 (2016-2019) data collection is ongoing. Stage 1 of this wave has been completed. It involved the development of a placement profile for the full study population on the basis of placement data provided by social services through to the 31st March 2016. Stage 2 involves (face-to-face) surveys and semi-structured interviews with the young people and their parents and carers. The study is looking at a range of issues across placement types (i.e. adoption, foster care, kinship care, returning to birth parents, or Residence Order). In this poster, we are going to focus on the issues of placement stability and emotional/relational permanence. This will involve examining placement stability for the 354 young people across the different types of placements; but also the circumstances of some breakdowns/disruptions; some of the young people’s sense of belonging and being part of the family; and their parents’/carers’ feelings of bonding to them. On the one hand, we found high levels of placement stability for the 354 young people in our study, although those who were adopted and placed under a Residence Order appeared more likely to remain in the same caregivers’ home than young people in foster care and kinship care did. On the other hand, interviews with over 30 of the young people revealed high levels of relational permanence, and showed that placement disruption did not necessarily mean a breakdown in the relationship. Our findings have clear implications in terms of policy and practice, which will be briefly represented in the poster.

KW - Physical permanence

KW - Relational permanence

KW - Adoption

KW - Foster care

KW - Kinship care

KW - Return home

KW - Rehabilitation

KW - Outcomes

M3 - Paper

ER -

Fargas M, Mc Sherry D. Physical and relational permanence in adoption and other long-term placement for young adults who entered care at a young age in Northern Ireland. 2018. Paper presented at Sixth International Conference on Adoption Research, Montreal, Canada.