First published in 1992, this book draws on attachment theory to offer a framework for understanding adolescents’ reactions to the experience of being fostered. It discusses the three-way relationship between adolescents, their birth families and their foster families. The experiences of joining a new school or finding work, going missing and returning, and leaving the foster family at the end of the placement are explored. It identifies aspects of family functioning which appear to be helpful or unhelpful to fostered adolescents and considers the functioning of the wider care system and the role of professionals in it. The book is grounded in the day-to-day experiences of twenty-three families who fostered adolescents who would previously have been considered ‘unfosterable’. These experiences were vividly expressed by the adolescents and foster families and provide rich illustrative material.
Table of Contents
Part 1. Perspectives on Foster Care for Adolescents. 1. Introduction. 2. Tom Skipper and the Armstrong Family. 3. An Outline of the Key Theoretical Ideas. Part 2. Negotiating Across Family Boundaries. 4. The Transition to School or Work. 5. Interaction between Fostered Adolescents, their Birth Families and their Foster Parents. 6. Adolescents who Go Missing from their Foster Homes: the Potential for Change at Reunion. 7. How the End of the Placement is Negotiated. Part 3. Providing a Secure Base for the Adolescent. 8. Understanding the Tasks of the placement in the Light of Attachment Theory. 9. Assessing and Working with Foster Families. 10. Constructing a Secure Base for the Caregiving Network: the Role of the Social Worker.