Children in Foster Care.
Barber, James. Delfabbro, Paul.
xi, 228 p.
29 W. 35th St.
New York, NY 10001-2299
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This book reports the major findings of a two-year longitudinal study of 235 foster children who entered the foster care system in South Australia between 1998 and 1999. As well as examining the changing policy context of children’s services, the book documents the psychosocial outcomes for the foster children, their feedback on their experiences of care, and the views of their social workers and carers. The research reveals that while most children do well in foster care up to the two-year point, placement instability has an extreme effect on children who are moved from placement to placement because no carer will tolerate their behavior. These children are consigned to a life of disruption and emotional upheaval because of the lack of alternative forms of care. The research found that early reunification tends to be associated with admission to care for reasons of temporary parental incapacity, and that being Aboriginal and a victim of neglect decreased the likelihood of reunification in the short term. Finally, the research found that increasing the rate of parental contact achieves little or nothing in relation to the likelihood of family reunification. 41 tables, 23 figures, and numerous references. (Author abstract modified)
Australia; child abuse; child neglect; family reunification; predictor variables; indigenous populations; placement stability; foster children