Who is this Information for?

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This booklet is for foster parents, adoptive parents and the birth parents of children who have returned home from care.  It is the second in a series of three booklets developed by the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen’s University Belfast.

The booklets summarise findings from a research study called Care Pathways and Outcomes.  The aim of the study was to find out what happened to children under five who were in care in Northern Ireland on 31st March 2000.  We wanted to look at the experiences of children in foster care, children who were adopted, and children who went home to their birth parents.  We also wanted to find out parents’ views on how these children were getting on.  If you want to know about the way the study was carried out, you can find out more at the back of the booklet.

The term ‘foster carer’ is commonly used to define the fostering role, particularly where a placement is short-term and the child has an on-going relationship with the birth parents.  However, as this research is focused upon more long-term foster placements, the term ‘foster parent’ is used to depict the fostering role. 

This booklet is divided into two main sections:  Part One contains figures regarding the children’s placements; Part Two contains information gathered through interviews with parents. 

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