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Using part-time fostering as a family support service: advantages, challenges and contradictions

Roberts, Louise ORCID: 2016. Using part-time fostering as a family support service: advantages, challenges and contradictions. British Journal of Social Work 46 (7) , pp. 2120-2136. 10.1093/bjsw/bcv075

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This paper examines the use of part-time fostering as a means to support families with social care support needs. It is based on a qualitative case study of the support care service. Support care is a supportive intervention for families at risk of breakdown and long-term separation. The service attempts to forge positive relationships with parents and provides short breaks for children and young people. The service aims to be flexible and responsive to individual needs, but is time-limited, with typical intervention periods lasting between six and twelve months. Three support care schemes participated in the research and ten placements were followed for their duration. Eighty-two individual interviews were conducted and data were collected from twenty-two participant observation sessions. The aim of the research was to examine the ‘doing’ of support care. This included exploring stakeholder experiences, the aims and outcomes associated with the service, together with attempts to facilitate family change. The paper considers the advantages and contradictions inherent in this form of family support. Key aspects are related to broader considerations of family support services including the effectiveness of time-limited interventions and competing social work demands to support families as well as safeguard children.

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: Children and families, family support, part-time fostering, foster-care, short breaks, prevention
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 8 September 2015
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 18:17

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