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Perceptions of long-term female foster-carers: I'm not a carer, I'm a mother

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The need for foster-carers has significantly increased in recent decades as growing numbers of children are in need of out-of-home care. However, despite their importance to the foster-care system, the foster-carer role is imbued with ambiguity. The perceptions and expectations of the foster-carer role differ greatly between child protection workers, the children in foster-care, the wider community and foster-carers themselves. This paper seeks to provide insight and understanding of provision of long-term foster-care from the perspective of the female carer. The findings presented in this paper are drawn from a larger doctoral study that examined women's experiences of providing long-term foster-care in Australia. Analysis revealed participants did not perceive themselves as foster-carers, but rather viewed themselves as mothers to the long-term foster children in their care. This understanding has the potential to: inform both policy and practice in relation to long-term foster-care; provide useful recruitment information; and possibly serve to augment relations between child protection workers and women who provide long-term foster-care.

Authors


  •   Blythe, Stacy L. (external author)
  •   Halcomb, Elizabeth (Liz) J.
  •   Wilkes, Lesley (external author)
  •   Jackson, Debra (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Blythe, S. L., Halcomb, E. J., Wilkes, L. & Jackson, D. (2013). Perceptions of long-term female foster-carers: I'm not a carer, I'm a mother. The British Journal of Social Work, 43 (6), 1056-1072.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84888354865

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/2030

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 16

Start Page


  • 1056

End Page


  • 1072

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • The need for foster-carers has significantly increased in recent decades as growing numbers of children are in need of out-of-home care. However, despite their importance to the foster-care system, the foster-carer role is imbued with ambiguity. The perceptions and expectations of the foster-carer role differ greatly between child protection workers, the children in foster-care, the wider community and foster-carers themselves. This paper seeks to provide insight and understanding of provision of long-term foster-care from the perspective of the female carer. The findings presented in this paper are drawn from a larger doctoral study that examined women's experiences of providing long-term foster-care in Australia. Analysis revealed participants did not perceive themselves as foster-carers, but rather viewed themselves as mothers to the long-term foster children in their care. This understanding has the potential to: inform both policy and practice in relation to long-term foster-care; provide useful recruitment information; and possibly serve to augment relations between child protection workers and women who provide long-term foster-care.

Authors


  •   Blythe, Stacy L. (external author)
  •   Halcomb, Elizabeth (Liz) J.
  •   Wilkes, Lesley (external author)
  •   Jackson, Debra (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Blythe, S. L., Halcomb, E. J., Wilkes, L. & Jackson, D. (2013). Perceptions of long-term female foster-carers: I'm not a carer, I'm a mother. The British Journal of Social Work, 43 (6), 1056-1072.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84888354865

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/2030

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 16

Start Page


  • 1056

End Page


  • 1072

Volume


  • 43

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom