Parental contact for children placed in kinship care through care proceedings

Joan Hunt, Suzette Waterhouse, Eleanor Lutman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Noting a policy thrust in recent years towards increased use of kinship care, including the requirement under the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 for the local authority to give preference to placement with a foster parent who is a relative, friend or other person connected with the child over other forms of placement, this article uses material drawn from a study, which aimed to assess how far kinship placements met the objective of ensuring that children were securely attached to carers capable of providing safe and effective care for the duration of their childhood, to look at parental contact with children removed from their parents because of child protection concerns and placed in long-term care of relatives or family by the courts. The study used a sample of 113 children from 2 local authorities placed with members of their extended family or friendship network from 1995 to 1999, followed up during 2004-5, with data collected from Children's Services case files and interviews, and the article reports on findings relating to patterns of contact, and its benefits and problems. The authors conclude that the research demonstrated the strength of kinship care in maintaining children's links with their birth parents but also some of its limitations, and suggest that more focus on contact planning is needed at the assessment stage and provision made for support to be available throughout the placement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalChild and Family Law Quarterly
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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