'Foster carers' perspectives on permanence: a focus group study

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There is undoubtedly a need to establish a firm legislative, policy and practice basis for adoption. At the same time, it is recognised that a range of permanence options is required to meet the needs of children for whom adoption is not appropriate, not achievable or against their wishes. Although the Prime Minister's Review of Adoption recommended consultation on all aspects of the Adoption and Children Bill, it was not clear whether there would be mechanisms for consulting foster carers who currently offer permanent placements to children. As a result, the Nuffield Foundation funded a series of three focus groups to take place during the Bill's passage through parliament, with a view to contributing to the debate on what might be needed to ensure the effectiveness of the range of permanence options sought by the Government. This paper by Mary Beek and Gillian Schofield is a result of that consultation exercise. However, the richness of the discussions in the groups allowed the authors to go beyond and behind the immediate question of legal options and explore how foster carers view their role in offering children a long-term commitment and a place in their families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
JournalAdoption and Fostering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002

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