Children who are Crown wards have increasing access to biological parents and family members. The literature on the benefits of supervised access is mixed, resulting in no solid conclusion to suggest that access should or should not be supported. The current qualitative study examines the perceptions of child welfare workers, foster parents and children who have supervised access with family members. Semi-structured interviews were held with 24 children (mean age of 10.8 years). Focus groups with foster parents and child protection workers regarding supervised access provided additional information. The purpose of access visits differed among respondents. Children believed that they would return home, given their continued access with family members, even when told otherwise. Foster parents and workers believed access maintained relationships and attachment between child and family. Workers and foster parents suggested that the utility of supervised access must be assessed on an individual basis. Authors suggest workers who supervise access require training to fully grasp the goals and their role during visits, as well as an increased need for support to children who continue to have access with family members.
Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp. 1476-1482.