12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Contact between children in out-of-home placeme...
View graph of relations

« Back

Contact between children in out-of-home placements and their family and friends networks: a research review

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date08/2011
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Journal number3
Volume16
Number of pages12
Pages298-309
Early online date15/02/11
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper provides a detailed narrative review of the current knowledge base regarding family contact for children in out-of-home foster, kinship and residential placements. The review considers the research base around the familiar topics of the relationship between contact and outcomes for children, the perspectives of children, parents and carers in respect of contact and contact between siblings. It also discusses research evidence around emerging, and less well-recognized themes which include the impact of intensive contact on infants, re-establishing contact between children and birth parents when it has been lost, contact between children, their extended family and ‘significant others’, and the role of technology in family contact.

In providing an overview of key research, the review concludes that good quality contact with family members in conjunction with other positive professional interventions, will likely promote positive outcomes for children regarding successful family reunification and/or placement stability. Social workers' central role in influencing the pattern and quality of contact for children is underlined. However, the review cautions against making broad prescriptions for all children, given that poorly planned, poor quality and unsupported contact may be harmful. Finally, key areas of learning for practice and priority directions for future research are summarized.