Three phases of the study have been completed, and we have just commenced Phase 4:
Phase 1: Care Pathways and Outcomes: Multiple Placements (2000-2003)
examined the placement histories and outcomes for these 374 young children,
and the factors which may influence the type of placement that the children are provided
with. More specifically, Event History Analysis models were developed, using data from
SOSCARE (Social Work Administrative Placement Records) and social work case files
over the period 2000-2002, to examine the type of factors that influence which type of
placement children end up in.
Phase 2: Care Pathways and Outcomes: The Carers’ Perspective (2003-2006)
focused upon the views and experiences of a sub-sample of the children’s current carers
(n=53 adoption, n=56 long-term foster care, n=9 return home) gathered through
semi-structured interviews, in terms of social services involvement in the child’s life;
stresses involved in caring for the child; how the child settled in the placement and at school;
supports available to the family; and contact arrangements. This also involved gathering
quantifiable perspectives on how the children were getting on, via Goodman’s (1997)
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire(SDQ), and the stresses involved in the parent-child
relationship, via Abidin’s (1990) Parenting Stress Index (PSI).
Phase 3: Care Pathways and Outcomes: The Children's Perspective (2006-2010)
focused on the children’s own perspectives on issues such as family, attachment relationships,
self-concept, school, and sense of belonging, although the parent's/carer's perspectives
are also sought.
Phase 4: Care Pathways and Outcomes: The teens and early adulthood (2016-2019)
will find out the views of the young people (aged 17-22) and their parents/carers on a range of issues.
We want to find out whether type of placement (foster care, kinship care, adoption, Residence Order, etc)
makes a difference on how the young people are doing.
In addition, we aim to identify what helps placements remain stable or break down.