Because of their previous damaging experiences, many children and young people enter the care system having already developed emotional problems or at a greater risk of developing them. However, in addition to this, research and experience consistently show that being in care is likely to aggravate or worsen developmental problems. Why does public care have these negative effects on children and what is needed to alleviate their problems?
This important book looks at how children in care can best be helped to attain desirable developmental outcomes. Owusu-Bempah introduces his notion of socio-genealogical connectedness to help explain why children in kinship care fare better than children in non-relative foster care. He argues, using recent empirical research as well as a wide range of literature from the adoption field and attachment theory, that knowledge about one’s hereditary background is an essential factor in looked-after children’s long-term adjustment to placement. As with all children, this knowledge forms the basis of their identity, self-worth, and general outlook.
An invaluable contribution to the area, this book offers promising routes to understanding better and working more effectively with virtually all families, irrespective of their cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. It will interest researchers and students of attachment theory, adoption and fostering, child development and children’s mental health.
Table of Contents
Selected Contents: 1. Fostering and adoption in historical perspective, 2. Fostering: cross-cultural perspective, 3. Fostering in contemporary Western societies, 4. Motives for fostering, 5. Public care and kinship care, 6. Public care versus kinship care: psycho-social developmental outcomes, 7. In the interest of the child: kinship care, 8. Policy, practice and research implications
Kwame Owusu-Bempah is Emeritus Reader in Psychology at the University of Leicester, UK.
‘A valuable resource for anyone interested in or involved in human service.’ – Choice