Phase 3: The Children's Perspective
The latest phase of the study (2006-2010), Care Pathways and Outcomes: the Children's Perspective, aimed to answer three key research questions:
1. What are the placement histories and patterns for this population? We identified the number of children who have achieved a permanent placement by the 31st March 2007, either through adoption, long-term foster care or a return home.
2. Are children faring differently according to placement type? We obtained and compared data on children who had either been adopted, had remained in long-term foster care, kinship care, had been subject of a residence order or had returned home. This included measures of self-concept, attachment, verbal ability, parental stress, ratings of child difficulty and of parent-child difficult interactions. Carers also provided additional information as to how they felt the children were faring in their placement.
3. What do the children have to say about life in their placement? We explored the children’s own views and feelings regarding how they were getting on at school, their peer relationships, their descriptions and understanding of family life, their sense of belonging to the family, who they relied on for support and help, then and in the future, and what their hopes were for the future.