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Looked after children and the ethic of care

Holland, Sally ORCID: 2009. Looked after children and the ethic of care. British Journal of Social Work 40 (6) , pp. 1664-1680. 10.1093/bjsw/bcp086

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This paper draws on the growing field of literature that discusses the relevance of the ethic of care to social work. It is argued that an ethic of justice predominates in looked after children policies and practice, which can serve to underplay the relevance of the traits associated with an ethic of care. Using case examples from a small-scale longitudinal qualitative study of looked after children and care-leavers, the author notes that care is likely to be found in relationships beyond formally ascribed carers and that relational aspects of interactions with social workers are important, despite the lack of opportunity to develop these relationships. Like most people in society, these young people are care-givers and care-receivers, reminding us of the interdependency of human relationships and potentially alleviating some of the ‘othering’ of these young people as care-recipients. It is suggested that the care system pays attention to informal, complex networks of care relationships that may be held by young people and encourages continuity in formal and informal care relationships. It is also suggested that interdependency be acknowledged and valued alongside a goal of self-sufficiency for care-leavers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: Looked after children; ethic of care; ethic of justice; foster-care
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 08:50

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