The Pursuit of Permanence
320 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Dec 2007
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The Pursuit of Permanence

A Study of the English Child Care System

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Children in public care complain that they have too many placements. Professionals agree but little is known about the reasons for this instability or how it affects different groups of children. The Pursuit of Permanence explores this core issue for children's services.Based on the largest study of the English care system in recent years, the book examines the children (what they need and what they want), their movements into, out of and within the care system, the nature and quality of their placements and the outcomes (whether the children are settled or happy). It analyses the reasons for movements and outcomes in different groups of children, and the relative impacts of the departments, social work teams and placements. It concludes with suggestions about how the care system should work, what it should offer and how it should be managed and inspected.This detailed, innovative and comprehensive study is essential reading for all professionals and academics involved with fostering, leaving care, adoption and children's services, as well as policy makers and students on social work courses.
'The primary value of the study is in its detailed insights into the workings of the care system, helping to move beyond the patchwork that is generated by official statistics, performance measurement and relatively small-scale research... This is a long awaited study and represents a very welcome and valuable addition to the child-care literature -definitely a recommended read.'- British Journal of Social Work'This study provides a rich source of information for those in quest of permanent placements for children in care.'- Adoption & Fostering'This book is the result of a large in depth study of the English child care system, designed to provide reasoning for the movements of children throughout the care system. It looks at why some placements are more successful than others and how things differ between councils...a very comprehensive study, carried out by highly qualified individuals.' - Adoption Today'The findings of this research are likely to have significant implications for policy decisions and funding in Emgland in the next few years.'- CAFCASS'For any professional involved in making or supporting decisions about children the book provides both evidence and inspiration to develop quality placements, decisions and staffing to ensure that care matters.'- Lawyers for Children 'Some clients of Britain's foster care system complain they are moved from place to place so often they have difficulties bonding with their caregivers and establishing place relationships in the communities and schools in which they are sent. Others settle in their first foster homes and thrive. Are these differences the result of individual differences? How much influence do professional and their agencies have on whether a foster care placement is successful? This study, the largest of the English foster care in recent years, examines the reasons for movements, the nature and quality and quality of placements, and the role of social status or other individual characteristics of children and youth.'- Book News'The Book is a strong reminder that amid all the complexities of the care system, there is a very simple aim - helping children to feel secure and giving them a chance to develop the positive attachments that we all need as human beings.'- Children and Young People Now
Ian Sinclair is a research professor in the Social Work Research and Development Unit at The University of York, UK. Here he has been responsible for a large programme of work on children's homes, foster care and movement within the care system. Claire Baker worked at the Social Work Research and Development Unit at the University of York, in the fields of children in and leaving care (particularly disabled children), children in foster care, and stability and permanence issues for looked after children. She now works at the National Leaving Care Advisory Service. Jenny Lee worked as a research fellow at the SWRDU at the University of York, in the fields of looked after children, young people leaving care and young people running away from home. Ian Gibbs is a research consultant at the SWRDU at the University of York. His main area of research is looked after children, particularly those in residential care and foster care.
Preface. Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction. 2. Who is Looked After? The Children's Characteristics. 3. Who is Looked After? The Children's Families, Wishes and Behaviour. 4. Groups of Children and Their Chance of Permanence. 5. Admissions and Discharges. 6. The Children and Their Different Paths in Care. 7. Going Home and Leaving Care: The Case Studies. 8. Placements: How They are Used. 9. Placements: How One Leads to Another. 10. Children Based in Care. 11. Children and Outcomes. 12. Placements and Outcomes. 13. Carers, Homes and Outcomes. 14. Teams and Outcomes. 15. Councils and Outcomes. 16. An Overview. Appendix 1. Representativeness of the Study Samples. Appendix 2. Analysis of National Data. Appendix 3. Monitoring and Quality Assurance. References. Subject index. Author index.
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