Foster Placements: Why They Succeed and Why They Fail

By Ian Sinclair; Kate Wilson et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Ten

Foster Children: Characteristics,
Personalities and Problems

Introduction
This chapter deals with the children's individual characteristics. We look first at the children's motivation. Did they want to be in this foster placement? We then turn to their histories and personalities. Have they been abused and, if so, in what way? Do they have 'attractive' personalities? What can we say about their degree of disturbance, the ease with which they make relationships and their general development? Our model, common sense, and the general literature on foster care all suggest that these characteristics are likely to have a major effect on outcomes.In focusing on these variables our aims are:
to describe–much of this information has not been provided before on a large sample of foster children in England
to explore the associations between our variables–this may suggest causal chains and also allow simplification as variables which are closely associated can be combined or used as proxies for each other
to identify variables which are associated with good or poor outcome.

In terms of method we look first at the associations between the variables and outcome. We then examine whether they remain significant if we take account of age. Finally, we try to build a more complex, multi-variate model predicting outcomes on the basis of all the key variables explored in the chapter.

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