Researchers: Ian Sinclair, Ian Gibbs, Claire Baker (SWRDU), Kate Wilson (University of Nottingham)
Funder: Department of Health
Duration: October 1999-September 2002
About the project
Successful foster placement does not guarantee a successful life. This study was designed to identify the links between what happens within foster care and what happens after it. The 596 foster children studied in our previous research, Supporting Foster Placements, were followed up over three years. Questionnaires were sent to the current or last foster carer, social worker and the current carer of the child. Thirty case studies were also conducted. The aim of this study was to find out where the children went, how they were now doing and what explained these outcomes. In particular the research addresses:
- Why children remain fostered or move to different settings (adoption, residential care, their own families or independent living)
- How the children fare in these different settings and why
- What the children feel about what happens to them
The children were in a variety of locations after three years:
- A quarter were still with their 1998 foster carer
- The remainder were almost equally divided between new foster carers (15%), adoptive families (15%), their own families (17%) and independent living (18%)
- A minority were in some form of residential care (4%) or could not be traced (6%).
What Happens to Foster Children: Final Report to the Department of Health, 2003
Sinclair, I., Baker, C., Wilson, K., & Gibbs, I., Social Work Research and Development Unit.
*This project took place when the Social Work Team were called SWRDU The Social Work Research and Development Unit