Achieving fostering success: a qualitative enquiry into the experiences of unaccompanied children in care

Ozman, Roberto (2021). Achieving fostering success: a qualitative enquiry into the experiences of unaccompanied children in care. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The purpose of this research was to explore the perceptions of unaccompanied children, foster carers and professionals regarding what they believe contributed to fostering success. This research examined the policy and practice context in relation to unaccompanied children who are seeking asylum in the UK, in order to better understand ways to improve their resettlement experiences. The number of unaccompanied children in the UK and across Europe is increasing. Previous research has focused on the support unaccompanied children receive within children’s services, and highlighted their educational needs and experiences, their health needs and emotional well-being, the support needs of unaccompanied children in the asylum process, their rights and entitlements, the reasons for unaccompanied children leaving their home countries and the experiences of unaccompanied children entering host countries as asylum seekers. Despite its importance, relatively little is known that promotes and inhibits success in fostering for unaccompanied children. We know little about what is meant by a successful foster placement for these children and how best to conceptualise it, so we can provide it. My research identifies and defines fostering success as a concept.

Over a long period of time and using the literature review to shape an understanding of the phenomenon of the study, qualitative research was undertaken to explore factors that lead to foster placement success and to develop a good practice approach that can help to maintain a successful placement for unaccompanied children and their carers. This is a case study of fostering success for unaccompanied children in one local authority in England. The study focused on a sample of 14 unaccompanied children, 14 foster carers and 18 professionals. The study placed the research in the context of current policy initiatives in the UK and discussed the implications of the findings for research and practice. The findings in the study have highlighted a number of factors that facilitate or inhibit the condition of fostering success. A key dilemma raised by the study is the limited nature of the feeling of permanency typically offered to unaccompanied children by children’s services and the UK immigration service. Much of the study is concerned with the ways in which dilemmas might be addressed, either through changing the immigration policy and/ or by changing the support available in the placements to which this group of children go.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)


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