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Title: Capturing the voices of looked-after children via computerised assisted self-interviewing technology : a longitudinal approach
Author: Johnson, Emily
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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AIM: The study aimed to evaluate and utilise a method which allowed for more widespread views of looked-after children to be captured. As well as exploring these views longitudinally, to offer an understanding of the impact of being in care over time. METHOD: The views of 171 looked-after children, aged 10-14 years, collected via computerised self-interviewing technology (CASI), were analysed using a mixed method, longitudinal design. The surveys open-questions were analysed using thematic analysis. The themes and subthemes informed which of the closed-questions were explored using frequency tables and a repeated measures analysis, to investigate whether the children’s responses changed over time. FINDINGS: The findings from the qualitative analysis revealed that some children felt frustrated with adults not listening, keeping them informed and being unreliable. Many children wish to return home - or at least increase contact with their family, many children miss their friends and home community, and expressed emotional distress as a result. Alongside these findings, there were children expressing positive achievements and experiences of being in care. In contrast, the quantitative findings were encouraging, revealing that over 80% of children express satisfaction with their placement, foster carer, and felt listened to. Over 70% expressed satisfaction with access to their social worker, friends, family and hobbies. Over half of the children reported minimal feelings of anger or frustration and were content with the amount of information they received. The longitudinal analysis showed that these views only slightly change over time, which is positive for those children reporting high levels of satisfaction, but it does suggest a number of children remain vulnerable throughout their time in care. CONCLUSION: This study makes a valuable contribution to the knowledge base regarding using CASI to capture the voices of looked after children, as well as discussing the impact being in care has on these children over time.
Supervisor: Owen, C. ; Hill, V. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available