Creating connections with child welfare workers: Experiences of foster parents’ own children

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The British Journal of Social Work,

There is little research on the interpersonal relationships between child welfare workers and foster parents’ own children (FPOC). This qualitative study asked young adult children of foster parents (twenty to thirty-three years) to participate in an open-ended interview and also bring a ‘show-and-tell’ object to share their experiences of fostering to the present date. There were fifteen FPOC who consented to participate. Data analysis on the emerging themes around the relationships between FPOC and child welfare workers was conducted through a constructivist grounded theory approach. The results indicate that FPOC perceive strengths, but also struggles in creating and maintaining relationships with child welfare workers. The relational and embodied experiences of fostering are discussed alongside how child welfare practitioners can help positively strengthen their interpersonal relationships with FPOC by specifically setting time and space aside for them and by deeply listen to their fostering experiences.

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Canadian CW research
Journal article