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Disabled children's experience of permanency in the looked after system

Baker, Claire (2007) Disabled children's experience of permanency in the looked after system. British Journal of Social Work, 37 (7). pp. 1173-1188. ISSN 1468-263X

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Research with seven local authorities in England provided data on the 'care careers' of 596 foster-children over three years (Sinclair et al., 2005). One part of this study looked at the experiences of disabled foster-children compared to non-disabled foster-children. The research aimed to identify if there were any particular difficulties in pursuing permanency for disabled looked after children. This article introduces a concept developed by the author from this work: the idea that disabled children may be at risk of experiencing a 'reverse ladder of permanency', being less likely than their peers to receive permanent placements such as adoption and return home. The results of the study partially supported this hypothesis, reinforcing existing findings and highlighting some new ones. Foster-children with learning but not other impairments were less likely to be adopted. All disabled children were less likely to return home and therefore remained in foster-care for longer. Disabled children who were adopted, or who returned home, did so after a greater delay compared to non-disabled children. By contrast, children who were 'clearly disabled' achieved a greater degree of permanence within the care system. The article concludes by considering the implications of such findings for policy and practice.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The article should only be viewed from the Oxford Journals site, and not hosted by your own personal/institutional web site or that of other third parties, though you or your co-authors may post the URLs on your own sites or those of your institutions/organizations; • Single copies of the article can be printed and distributed to interested colleagues who wish to use the article for personal research/study purposes only. For those wishing to make commercial use of the article, please direct them to journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org for permissions information or see the website.
Keywords: disabled children, permanence, long-term foster-care, adoption, reunification, independent living
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy Research Unit (York)
Depositing User: R Pitman
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2008 13:30
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2010 16:53
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl082
Status: Published
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1093/bjsw/bcl082
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4164

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