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Title: "There's just something about him" : a grounded theory study of relationships in foster care
Author: Melson, Naomi
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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Children in foster care face a significant constellation of risk factors, not least of which is their separation from the family of origin and early experiences of abuse and neglect. Forming a positive relationship with a foster carer has the potential to confer a number of developmental advantages for the child, however factors relating to both the child’s and foster carer’s history can make this difficult to achieve. The relationship between the foster carer and child has been explored in relation to placement outcome and attachment theory (Sinclair et al 2005; Schofield et al 2004), however by increasing understanding of foster carers’ subjective experiences of relationships with foster children, it is proposed that we can more accurately support foster carers with this part of their role. In the present study data was gathered and analysed according to the principles of Grounded Theory with the aim of developing and testing hypotheses about participants’ experiences of relationships with foster children. The core category, sustaining the relationship, and the three most significant principal categories are presented within this study. A strand throughout the categories relates to participants’ experiences of an emotional connection with the child and hypothesised processes accounting for this are explored. The findings contribute to existing research documenting the presence of these factors within the relationship between foster carer and child. However, this study highlights the complexity of the interaction between these factors and represents an initial attempt to bridge the divide between describing what constitutes a successful placement and the experience of forming relationships with a foster child. Implications and recommendations for research and practice are explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available