An exploration of foster carers’ experiences of access between children in long-term care and their birth parents
Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork
This study was undertaken in collaboration with the Irish Foster Care Association (Waterford branch) and is based on interviews with six foster carers. It provides an insight into carers’ experiences of access between children in long-term care and their birth parents. In particular, it focuses on the role of foster carers in facilitating access, the perceived benefits and challenges inherent in fulfilling this role, and the formal and informal supports accessed by carers. The findings are analysed and placed in the context of Irish and international research as well as relevant policy and legislation. This research explores the important and influential role that foster carers have in facilitating access. The accounts of the carers in this study suggest that this role is expanding and that there are now greater expectations placed on them. The accounts also highlight the commitment that foster carers have towards facilitating access as well as the potential for access to be challenging and a source of stress for foster carers. A lack of consistent and adequate supports for foster carers in relation to managing access emerges as a key finding of this study. The findings of the research together with the literature review informed a number of recommendations in relation to supporting foster carers and helping ensure that access is a positive experience for children, their birth parents and the foster carers.
Foster carers , Foster carers’ experiences , Children in long-term care , Birth parents
Tansley, T. (2014) An exploration of foster carers’ experiences of access between children in long-term care and their birth parents. Cork: Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork.
©2014, Treasa Tansley.