Comparing long-term placements for young children in care: The care pathways and outcomes study - Northern Ireland

Dominic McSherry, Montserrat Fargas Malet, Kerrylee Weatherall

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    When deciding on a long-term placement for a young child in care, a key challenge is to identify one that will enable children to achieve their full potential and enhance their health and wellbeing in the longer term. However, there is a dearth of research evidence that compares how children fare in the longer term across placement options.

    The Care Pathways and Outcomes study is one of a small number of studies internationally that takes this form of longitudinal comparative approach. Since 2000, it has been tracking the placement profile for a population of children who were under the age of five and in care in Northern Ireland on a particular census day, and gathering comparative data on how the children and their parents/carers have been coping across the different types of placements provided.

    This book reports on the most recent phase of the study, which involved interviews with a sub-group of the children (aged 9 to 14) and their parents/carers in adoption, foster care, kinship care, on residence order, and living with birth parents. Similarities and differences were explored between placement types, in terms of children’s attachment, self-concept, education, health and behaviour, their carers’ stress, social support, family communication, and contact with birth families.

    This contemporary study contributes to evidence-based practice and provides a research base for decision-making throughout the UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherBritish Association for Adoption and Fostering
    Commissioning bodyNorthern Ireland Public Health Agency
    Number of pages350
    ISBN (Print)9781907585777
    Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2013


    • adoption, foster, home, attachment, contact


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