Broken circles to a different identity: an exploration of identity for children in out-of-home care in Queensland, Australia

Moss, Michelle (2009) Broken circles to a different identity: an exploration of identity for children in out-of-home care in Queensland, Australia. Child and Family Social Work, 14 (3). pp. 311-321.

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Child protection manuals and literature emphasize that developing a sense of identity is one of the most important elements in achieving good outcomes for children in out-of-home care. Yet, the very issue of identity raises questions that many child protection workers are ill-equipped to answer. In practice, life story book work based on developmental theories has been utilized by child protection workers and foster carers as a response to a sense of `lost identity' for children in out-of-home care. However, Indigenous and psychological concepts of identity may have little in common.

Current theories of identity development in children lack evidence from the children and young people themselves in informing these notions, which have been criticized as adult-centric. Developmental theories may also be problematic for children from non-Western cultural groups. This research was undertaken in a regional area of Queensland, Australia where the majority of children in the child protection system who are identified as Indigenous, come from two or more cultural backgrounds. The research presented in this paper firstly explores identity issues for children and young people in foster care from their own perspective using narrative art therapy. Secondly, the research views identity from the perspective of professionals working in child protection and out-of-home care.

Item ID: 7984
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: hybridity, identity, narrative art therapy, out-of-home care, self-esteem, sense of self
ISSN: 1365-2206
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2010 03:44
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940105 Childrens/Youth Services and Childcare @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 1
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