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Title: Belonging to two families : how children in foster care engage with loyalty conflict
Author: Dansey, Diane
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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Research into the position of children in foster care has begun to increase. However very limited research which considers the perspective of children who are living in a foster family and maintaining their birth family relationships through contact. This is despite suggestions that loyalty conflict may be common and could have serious Implications for children's well-being and future outcomes. This study aims to develop an understanding of how children in foster care engage with their position. A lack of existing research or theory in this area necessitated a qualitative approach to data gathering. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fifteen children who were living in foster care and having contact with their birth families. The Family Relations Test provided another source of data. Interviews were analysed using grounded theory methodology, from which a grounded theory model of how children were engaging with living in foster care and having birth family contact was constructed. This comprised of five core areas: 'New realities', 'Considering position', 'Making sense', 'Relating emotionally' and 'Working out loyalties'. An overarching category, 'Self-determination' was found to permeate all other processes. The model brings a new perspective to existing research knowledge. It illuminates numerous processes and issues which have clear clinical implications, in addition to highlighting important directions for future research. The results are also discussed in the context of existing literature, which enables a more in-depth understanding of the model. Key Words: Foster care, Children, Loyalty conflict, Grounded theory
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available