Mixed feelings, curiosity or indifference: Searching and birth family contact for care-leavers and adopted young people
Research output: Contribution to conference › Paper
So far, we have found that the young people can be classified into four groups based on their experiences, attitudes and feelings regarding contact with (and searching for) their birth families. Some of the young people would be included in more than one of these categories, depending on their different types of experience with different family members. The groups are:
• The 'content' group, who are satisfied with their current arrangements for keeping in touch (or not) with their birth family members. Most are still seeing them or/and talk to them via text or social media.
• The 'curious' group, who have searched (usually online via social media) for certain family members.
• The 'no interest' group, who have stated a clear lack of interest regarding their birth family, even in cases where they did not know much about them.
• The 'mixed or troubled feelings' group, who expressed a mixture of feelings towards the birth family, often including anger and/or guilt.
In this presentation, we will also focus on the role of social media in searching or being in touch with birth relatives during early adulthood. We will also highlight the trend of some of the young people making contact with birth parent (or the other way round) as they turned 16, 17 or 18, leading to young people sometimes living with their birth parent for a short period of time.
The analysis will be based on the semi-structured interviews with 43 young people and/or their parents/carers. Data collection is ongoing, and we expect to be interviewing at least another 100 more. In this presentation, we will also be discussing implications for policy and practice. One of them being the need for Social Services to be aware and prepare young people searching and contacting birth relatives through social media, and its implications for young people's mental health and wellbeing, regardless of the placement they grew up in.
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2018|
|Event||XV Conference of the European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF) - Porto, Portugal|
Duration: 02 Oct 2018 → 05 Oct 2018
|Conference||XV Conference of the European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF)|
|Abbreviated title||EUSARF 2018|
|Period||02/10/2018 → 05/10/2018|