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Title: Together or apart? : an analysis of social workers' decision-making when considering the placement of siblings for adoption or foster care
Author: Sharpe, Rebecca Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 1072
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2014
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There is little consensus regarding whether siblings fare better if placed together or apart in foster care or adoptive placements. This case study explored the decision-making of social workers when considering whether to place siblings together or apart. A psychological framework, the Information Processing Approach to decision-making, was used. I aimed to explore the key information that social workers attended to, the constraints they faced, which people influenced their decision-making and what heuristics they relied on. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six social workers working within one Local Authority. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings suggested that social workers attended to information regarding the individual needs of the children, the detrimental effects of separating siblings, and the positive and negative aspects of the sibling relationship. They faced constraints such as their previous experiences as a social worker and systemic issues. The social workers appeared to be influenced by a number of people during the decision-making process. As part of the assessment process, the social workers took into account published research relating to siblings. The social workers also appeared to use a number of heuristics to aid their decision-making. Implications for future practice and research are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare ; LC Special aspects of education