Peer violence in foster care: A review of the research evidence

Eleanor Lutman, Christine Barter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Whilst a small amount of research has been undertaken on peer violence in residential settings, very little is known about peer violence in foster care. This paper reviews the published research since 1995 about the nature and extent of peer violence in foster care and interventions for preventing and managing these negative peer interactions. The evidence indicates that young people in foster care can be the instigators and recipients of peer violence, but the limited number of studies found means that conclusions cannot be drawn about the extent of the problem. There is some evidence about the impact of this type of violence on young people and fostering households. However, there remain gaps in the evidence about the full extent of all forms of exploitation and violence that are experienced and instigated by young people in foster care, the circumstances in which it takes place, the young people affected and its co‐occurrence with other difficulties. Critically, young people's views were largely absent from included studies, an important area that requires further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1113
Number of pages10
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date23 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lutman, E & Barter, C 2017, 'Peer violence in foster care: A review of the research evidence', Child & Family Social Work, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 1104-1113 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • abuse in care
  • child welfare
  • foster care
  • interventions
  • peer violence


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