“They needed the attention more than I did”: how do the birth children of foster carers experience the relationship with their parents?

Adams, Emma, Hassett, A. and Lumsden, V. (2018) “They needed the attention more than I did”: how do the birth children of foster carers experience the relationship with their parents? Adoption & Fostering, 42 (2). pp. 135-150. ISSN 0308-5759.

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Abstract

Research has demonstrated that there is more likely to be a disruption to the placement where foster carers have birth children living at home. Given the limited presence of the birth children of foster carers in research and the importance of the retention of carers, it seems relevant to policy and practice to investigate the parent-child relationship in this context. Therefore, this study aimed to explore how the birth children of foster carers experienced their relationship with their parents. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse semi-structured interviews with eight young people (aged 14-16 years) who were the birth children of foster carers. Three superordinate themes emerged: 1. ‘relational processes that give value to my role in the family’, 2.‘threats to our relationship’ and 3.‘making sense as a way of managing the threats’. Each superordinate theme contained subthemes and whilst there were consistent patterns of experience, there was also individual variation.

The findings suggest that the processes of ‘making sense’ and ‘feeling valued’ serve to buffer the impact of potential threats to the parent-child relationship. Theoretical implications include the application of a model that has been developed to elucidate the relationship between the themes. This has clinical implications for further understanding and informing the way services support both foster carers and their children.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Foster care; looked after children; birth children of foster carers; parent–child relationship
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Alex Hassett
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2018 12:40
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2018 18:45
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17450

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00