Carer perspectives of factors affecting placement trajectories of children in out-of-home care

Withington, Tania, Burton, Judith A., Lonne, Bob, & Eivers, Areana (2016) Carer perspectives of factors affecting placement trajectories of children in out-of-home care. Children and Youth Services Review, 65, pp. 42-50.

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Carers are at the frontline working with children in the care of the child protection system. This paper reports carer's views about key factors influencing the placement trajectories of children and young people living in out-of-home care in Queensland, Australia. The study sample included 21 foster and kinship carers with a minimum two-year experience in the carer role. Study data were from semi-structured telephone interviews in which carers shared their experiences of the factors impacting upon placement stability and placement movement. Carers' responses were analysed thematically. Data analysis yielded an overarching theme regarding placement trajectory: Carer engagement, and its three sub-themes; with the child; with the child protection system; and, with the caring role. Findings suggested that carer engagement and ‘fit’ are complex constructs that play critical influential roles in placement outcomes (stability or movement) for individual children in out-of-home care. It is argued that practice needs to be better grounded in these relational dynamics, and better aligned concerning the power differentials that exist.

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ID Code: 95278
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child protection, foster care, carer perspectives, carer engagement, out of home care, placement trajectories, placement outcomes
DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.03.006
ISSN: 0190-7409
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 05 May 2016 02:14
Last Modified: 06 May 2016 00:47

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