Phase 3 Methods: innovation and creativity
Qualitative and quantitative methods were used with 77 families (children and/or their parents/carers) when collecting data for this phase of the study.
When interviewing the children, we used a range of techniques to engage them. This included adapting the completion of standardised measures from a form-filling exercise to activity-based tasks; and the use of an activity book as a means to shape a semi-structured interview. Before data collection, in order to obtain their information consent, a short introductory DVD about what taking part would involve was produced, and distributed to the potential participating families. Recruitment video CPO3 .
What did we do?
Families were sent an invitation pack containing information leaflets for children and their parents, and the Recruitment video CPO3 that introduces the researchers and explain what would be involved if they were to choose to participate.
Data collection with the families took place at their own home. There were two visits to the families: the first one consisted of introductions and quantitative measures, and lasted approximately one hour; while the second one involved qualitative methods seeking the participants’ perspectives, and lasted about 1 ½ hours. During both visits, one researcher spoke to the parent(s), while simultaneously another engaged with the child in the information gathering activity (in the presence of a second researcher). Thus, children were interviewed individually, but parents were in an adjoining room.
The parents and children were introduced to the study, and informed consent to participate is sought. Parents completed the Parenting Stress Index- Short Form (PSI/SF - Abidin, 1990); and the questionnaire, which included the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ - Goodman, 1997). Children completed the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale 2 (Piers & Herzberg, 2002); the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment – revised (IPPA-R) for children (Gullone & Robinson, 2005); and the British Picture Vocabulary Scale – Second Edition (Dunn, Dunn, Whetton & Burley, 1997).
The children were able to engage in task-based activities while answering the questions from these measures, that is putting stickers on a large poster (each type of sticker representing a different answer), and placing cards (with different statements written on them) into a ‘green’ and a ‘red’ post-boxes to indicate ‘yes; or ‘no’ answers.
The parents took part in the semi-structured interview. The children completed the book (which had been developed by the research team), which allowed the children to express their own views on their lives, and how they were getting on in their placements. Discussion with the children and their parents was audio-recorded with the permission of the participants, transcribed and is being analysed now using framework analysis.