Foster Placements: Why They Succeed and Why They Fail

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

Chapter Fourteen

Other Forms of Support

Introduction
In this chapter we look at the association between outcomes and forms of support other than social work. We will examine three main groups of factors:
support intended to benefit the carer and hence indirectly the child
schooling and work, and
special interventions such as psychotherapy which are specifically targeted at the child.

General support for carers

The effects of support on outcome could be more or less direct. One hypothesis is that its impact would operate by improving the mental health and morale of the carer. Carers who were supported would feel under less strain and thus be less likely to reject the child or handle her or him inappropriately. Even if the carer became stressed, one role of support would arguably be to prevent this stress turning into rejection and hence breakdown. In the first book we provided evidence that some forms of support could have an impact on carers' mental health and morale. Was this support translated into good outcomes for children?

Our data on the individual foster children showed that our general measures of foster carer morale were not related to outcomes. However, our mental health score, which was based on the General Health Questionnaire, was associated with breakdowns even after adolescent deviancy and the Goodman total score had been taken into account (for reasons explained in

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