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Title: Stable foster placements : the weird dance : experience of natural siblings' relationships and support
Author: Youngson, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 7382
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Foster placement breakdown has an adverse effect on a looked after child’s (CLA) educational outcomes and social and emotional wellbeing. One third of foster families have Natural Siblings (NS) and it has been reported that these placements are significantly more likely to break down than placements with no NS. Problems between foster child and foster parents’ own children have been given as the reason for termination in 56 % of placements that failed in nine months or less. The aim of this research is to explore the experiences of older NS in relation to their relationships with CLA and explore what support they receive in making and maintaining those relationships. The research focussed on foster families where there had been at least one, successful, long-term placement of over two years. Six participants between the ages of 18 - 25 were recruited from one Local Authority (LA); three male and three female. They were purposefully selected to a set criterion to enable them to discuss their experiences in relation to the topic of study and choice of methodology. They each took part in a semi-structured interview that was recorded, transcribed and analysed using a Thematic Analysis methodological approach. The data was reduced to emerging themes from which six main themes resulted. These themes were; the family as a system, how fostering impacts on NS personally, making relationships with CLA, increased knowledge and training, layers of support and the difficulty of transitions. The research findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and psychological theory with the intention of sharing the participant’s knowledge and understanding of their experiences to highlight elements of positive relationships and support between CLA and NS and areas that may need development. Suggestions that have arisen from these findings may be shared to potentially enhance further positive relationships between CLA and NS so that placement breakdowns are reduced.
Supervisor: Hughes, Martin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available