Presentation on theme: "Care Pathways and Outcomes Study"— Presentation transcript:
1 Care Pathways and Outcomes Study Dr Dominic McSherry Senior Research Fellow Institute of Child Care Research School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work Queen’s University Belfast RAFT permanence seminar Waterfoot Hotel Derry 17th September 2013
2 Care Pathways and Outcomes Study Research team: Dominic McSherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, Kerrylee Weatherall, and Greg KellyWhat is it about? Longitudinal study that examines placement patterns for a population of children (n=374) under 5 years old and in care in Northern Ireland on the 31st March It explores how the children & their parents/carers get on within different types of placement – Key question, does care placement matter?Location: Institute of Child Care Research, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University, BelfastFunded by: The HSC Development Division of the Public Health AgencyBook publisher: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)
3 Phase 3Care Pathways and Outcomes: The Children’s Perspective ( )Interviewed sub-groups of children and their parents/carers77 children: 18 adopted; 19 long-term stable foster care; 13 long-term stable kinship care; 15 on Residence Order; and 12 with birth parentsProfile of children interviewed:AdoptedFoster CareKinship CareResidence OrderBirth ParentsAv. age enter placement1yr 8 mts4 yrs3 yrs 5 mts1 yr 5 mts4 yrs 6 mtsAv. time in placement10yrs 1mt8yrs 5mts8yrs 11 mts10yrs 3 mts8 yrs 3 mts
6 Children’s attachments to their parents/carers IPPA-R results
7 Children’s self-esteem and happiness Piers-Harris self-concept scale
8 Children’s health and behaviour Who had behavioural difficulties according to SDQ?
9 Children’s health and behaviour (contd.) Which children had serious health problems according to parents/carers:1/11 in kinship care (9%)5/15 in foster care (33%)6/15 on Residence Order (40%)5/12 with birth parents (42%)11/18 Adopted (61%)Children had a range of conditions, BUT these most prevalent in the adoption group, e.g. 8 diagnoses of FAS in total (n=77), with 5 of these in the adopted group.The majority believed that child’s behaviour had stayed the same or improved.Many parents/carers highlighted the strengths of children and positive behaviours.
10 Children’s educationThe majority of children had poor scores in the BPVSThe majority of children adopted by previous foster carers and nearly half of those in foster care were receiving some additional supports at school. Most children living with birth parents were not receiving supports, despite needing it most.The majority of parents/carers believed children were coping very well/ “alright” at school (considering their limitations), a few identified problems (e.g. bullying and behavioural problems).A few children appeared to do very well at school and had passed the Eleven Plus test – but low expectations from teachers and social services.
12 Social Service Involvement Birth parents were the most critical of the support provided by social services (feeling marginalised, undermined and distrusted by social services).Some adoptive parents advocated for a continued role of social services; while others in addition to some RO carers felt a sense of ‘abandonment’ by social services post- adoption/post-Residence Order.A few kinship carers experienced a sense of disregard and lack of support, and felt less valued/supported by social services precisely because they were relatives.Some Residence Order carers were happy that social services were no longer there, leading ‘normal’ family lives; others advocated a continued role for social services, in terms of the provision of financial support.Most kinship carers were happy with the support being provided by social services.
13 SummaryPlacements characterised by stability, not much evidence of instability, BUT mostly entering teenage years – What happens next is criticalAll long-term placements have the potential to nurture positive outcomes for children in terms of their attachment to parents/carers and self-conceptHighlights the importance of speaking to childrenChildren perspective, most securely attached and happyParental/carer perspective, higher level of problem behaviours and clinical stress for foster carers and birth parentsSignificant health problems most prevalent in adoptionIn educational terms, those with greatest need, i.e. children living with birth parents, received least amount of support
14 Care Pathways and Outcomes Study Thank You!McSherry, D., Fargas Malet, M. and Weatherall, K. (2013). Comparing long- term placements for young children in care: The care pathways and outcomes study – Northern Ireland. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).