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Title: "Remember when ... " : exploring the experiences of looked after children and their carers in engaging in collaborative reminiscence
Author: Shotton, Gillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 3333
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: ‘As the corporate parent of children in care the State has a special responsibility for their wellbeing ... That means being a powerful advocate for them to receive the best of everything and helping children to make a success of their lives’ (Department for Education and Skills, 2006, p. 31). The background literature outlines the positive impact that life story work can have for children in care, although there is only a small amount of published research to support these claims and to date no research which explores both carers’ and looked after children’s experiences of engaging in collaborative memory work which forms an important component of a child’s life story. Aim: To explore the experience of foster carers and looked after children in carrying out collaborative memory work using the memory store approach and discover what their talk could tell us about how using the approach had affected: the carer-child relationship, child’s self perception, aspects of the child’s thinking and learning and their emotions. Sample: Five carers who attended the memory store approach training and volunteered to take part in the research and four children in their care who also volunteered to take part. Method: Two-three months after a one day training course for carers in using the memory store approach, semi-structured interviews were carried out with the five carers and a board game session took place with each of the children to explore their views. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to guide both the data generation and its subsequent analysis. Findings: The talk of the carers and children suggested that using the memory store approach has a number of perceived benefits, emotionally, relationally and in terms of the child’s self perception and learning. A memory store approach model was postulated on the basis of these findings. Conclusions: Using the memory store approach (or similar) should be a statutory requirement of foster carers, not only because of the potential benefits outlined in this study but also because of the ethical necessity to safeguard the memories of a child’s time in care. Further research would be helpful to explore the general uptake of the memory store approach following the training as well as wider research into the experience of children undertaking particular forms of life story work with social workers/other professionals. The study also highlights the utility of games in research and educational psychology practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available