About the Project



"At home in care" is a study, conducted within the Institute of Child Care Research in Queen's University Belfast, that looked at the experiences of children (and their birth parent/s) who are living / have lived with their birth parent/s subject to a Care Order.

The study aimed to investigate the experiences of returning home for children/young people and their birth parents when the child returning home is subject to a Care Order. The study examined: the care histories for a cohort of children/young people in this situation; the reasons for them being taken into care, returning home, and the Care Order being discharged; the level of social services support and assistance provided; and the outcomes for these children/young people and their families.

Case files for a sample of children subject to a CO living with their birth parent/s on 31st March 2009 were analysed. Information was 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 47 children/young people were accessed.  

Semi-structured interviews with ten children and young people (aged 9+), and their birth parent/s were conducted.

The report has just been released and you can download it here. A summary leaflet can be downloaded here.