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Foster Carers who Care for Children with Challenging Behaviour: A Total Population Study

By Andrew Joseph Pithouse, Kathy Lowe and Jan Hill-Tout

Abstract

Given the concern that those undertaking the foster care task in the UK may not have all the skills and capacities necessary to care for the special needs of looked after children, particularly those with challenging behaviour, it is essential to gain a deeper insight into what carers themselves own by way of personal background, experience and perception about their role. This is important, for if we are to 'professionalise' the carer role we need to know more about those in whom we would seek to build capacities in order to make them 'professional'. Thus we need to know more about carer attitudes, motives and experience in order to design the right sort of capacity-building and not simply to think that a 'one size fits all' response of training and support will suffice. Andrew Pithouse, Kathy Lowe and Jan Hill-Tout examine carer characteristics as found in a total population of carers (n = 115) in four neighbouring Welsh unitary authorities caring for all children (n = 114) considered to exhibit challenging behaviour. Selective findings are presented and connected to other relevant UK research. Key categories include the carers' social background, tenure in fostering, children fostered, their training, their perception of the fostering role within the local authority, their views on support from social services and their experience of stress. A concluding section identifies those areas where capacity-building in carers is most pressing

Topics: H1, HQ
Publisher: British Association of Adoption and Fostering
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:http://orca.cf.ac.uk:3033
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