Outcomes for permanence and stability for children in care in Ireland: implications for practice
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Devaney, Carmel, McGregor, Caroline, & Moran, Lisa. (2018). Outcomes for Permanence and Stability for Children in Care in Ireland: Implications for Practice. The British Journal of Social Work, doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcy078
This paper reports on a qualitative study of outcomes for permanence and stability for children in long-term care in Ireland. The aim of this research was to inform social work practitioners on how to enhance stability and permanence for children and to inform decision making and report writing for children in care. The research was designed and delivered in partnership with social work practitioners in the relevant areas. Drawing from the significant literature on this area the main factors impacting on permanence and stability are summarised and presented in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Biographical narrative interviews were conducted with twenty-seven participants (children and young people, parents and foster parents). This paper reports how, amongst a complex array of findings, three themes most linked to affect permanence and stability were found to be Relationships, Communication and Social Support. Underpinning these, the importance of Continuity was significant. Based on these findings, recommendations and practice guidance for social workers were developed in partnership with the Irish statutory Child and Family Agency and are summarised in the Conclusion.