"At home in care" is a study, conducted within the Institute of Child Care Research in Queen's University Belfast, that looks at the experiences of children (and their birth parent/s) who are returned home from public care, remaining subject to a Care Order, and those who are subject to a Care Order, but have never been removed from home.
The study aims to examine the purpose and appropriateness of pre-return care plans, of care plans where the child is not removed from home, the level of Social Services support and assistance provided, and how these relate to decisions about applications for the discharge of Care Orders and other outcomes for children.
Case files for a sample of children subject to a CO living with their birth parent/s on 31st March 2009 will be analysed. Information is currently being collated from the social work report, produced when the CO was made, the LAC review minutes documenting the decision to return the child home, and the pre-return care plan. The case files for 40 children/young people have already been accessed.
Semi-structured interviews with children and young people (aged 9+), birth parent/s and social workers will also be conducted.