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Title: To explore the perceptions of children living in a children's home using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Author: Mills, Emma Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 4833
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of children living in a children's home. In particular, the study aimed to explore what the children identified as important to them, what helped them and what they perceived to be the difficulties of living in a children's home. The research took place in a local authority (LA) children's home in England. Seven children, aged between 10 and 13 years, participated in the study. They took photographs of what was interesting to them and this formed the basis for a photo-elicitation interview. In addition, semi-structured interviews were carried out, using a range of creative methods, such as Lego, clay and drawing materials. The data collection took place at the children's home at weekends and in the school holidays. A flexible approach was applied to ensure that the children had the opportunity to be involved in as many of the sessions as they wanted and ranged from two-four for each participant. The data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The results indicate that objects, people and places were important to the children. These were significant for providing the development of the children's identity, security and sense of belonging. Building positive relationships with others was central to the findings and having a network of support around the children helped and supported them. It was striking that the children who had experienced loss and separation from key adults in their lives wanted to maintain previous relationships and build new relationships with others, and the children's home offered an environment for the children to do this within a community setting. This study highlights the complexities of negotiating the care system; children spoke about threats to their social identity, difficulties regarding a sense of loss, uncertainty and adjustment. Furthermore, there was evidence that they had a growing self-efficacy and desire to have their voices heard. The findings raised implications for professional educational psychology (EP) practice to support looked-after children living in children's homes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available