What makes a good foster carer?: mothers with children in foster care evaluate the foster care system and foster carers

Klease, Chris (2006) What makes a good foster carer?: mothers with children in foster care evaluate the foster care system and foster carers. In: Papers from CROCCS 4th International Conference: Working Together for Families. From: CROCCS 4th International Conference, 4-6 August 2006, Mackay, QLD, Australia.

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While there has been a plethora of international and Australian research and inquiries into child protection and, to a lesser extent foster care, there is a paucity of Australian research undertaken with the parents of children in care. Complementing a larger study undertaken with 115 foster carers in the Mackay Whitsunday region of Queensland, my honours research was conducted with six Townsville women with children in foster care. Using a strengths' perspective to highlight their status as significant stakeholders in the Foster Care System, my research explored the mothers' experiences of the Foster Care System and foster carers. My research findings posit that valuing and integrating parents' perspectives is congruent with family-focussed casework. Moreover, mothers with children in care are stakeholders in a system that has had a profound effect on their lives however their views are not generally canvassed. This paper will summarise my findings and bring together the women's views on a range of topics including the qualities they valued most in foster carers, their insights into the fostering role and the barriers they confronted in maintaining meaningful connections with their children. The paper will conclude with the women's recommendations for improvements to the Foster Care System, and draw out implications for the training and recruitment of foster carers and Departmental Child Safety Officers.

Item ID: 4388
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
Keywords: foster care; foster carers; natural parents; child protection
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2009 22:28
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111704 Community Child Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940105 Childrens/Youth Services and Childcare @ 100%
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