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Title: Growing up in a family that fosters : a qualitative study
Author: Strachan, Julie Isabella
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This study aims to examine fostering through the eyes of foster carers’ own children. The very nature of fostering requires these children to share their family and their home, yet the impact of this change has seldom been considered from the birth child’s perspective. This research aims to identify the changes that occur as a result of fostering and to consider the impact of these changes in relation to the adjustment, psychological well-being and development of the foster parents’ own children. A qualitative approach was adopted whereby the process of data collection and analysis was informed by the principles of grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Nine interviews were conducted with participants aged between 12-17 years old. Interviews were recorded and transcribed so that the narratives could be coded and analysed. A provisional framework that was grounded in the data was developed to explain the findings. Perceived changes identified by the participants were conceptualised by the core theme of ‘loss’. Findings suggest that these changes facilitate greater emotional and practical responsibility in the birth child, which in turn was associated with accelerated maturity and a positive sense of self. External factors that reinforce and maintain self worth were also identified. Negative feelings associated with fostering appear to be reduced by the positive feelings associated with helping others. Although the birth children of foster carers appear to find it difficult to adjust, the findings suggest that the changes experienced have a positive influence on their psychological well being once they have adapted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available