Catalogue by countries / Safe Contact? Children in permanent placement and contact with their birth relatives

Documentation presentation
Title Safe Contact? Children in permanent placement and contact with their birth relatives
Author MACASKILL Catherine
Generic unit

General information
Date published/issue 00-00-2002
Date received 00-00-0000
Place published
Publisher Russell House Publishing Ltd., 4 St George's House, Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3LS, United
Page 154
ISBN 1 903855 09 8
Type of material Book
Language of document

Document information
Document description
Country concerned
Index Siblings
Free text Account of a research study of adoptive and foster families' experience of contact with the birth families and siblings of the children in their care. Adoptive and foster parents, birth relatives and children/young people were interviewed about their wishes, their feelings on how contact was handled. The movement that encouraged contact with birth families began in the 1980s when it slowly became accepted that less secrecy and more openness was beneficial to all members involved in adoption. The Children Act (1989) introduced the concept of contact as opposed to access in fostering practice. The study presents the ongoing debate among professionals for and against regular contact with birth families - arguments such as the need for children to create strong attachments with their new families or break away from abusive experiences against their need to maintain a connection with their biological and historical past as well as reducing their feelings of rejection and self-blame. The general consensus seems to be that there is still incomplete knowledge on the subject. From the children's perspective, the recommendations are stated in key points including: listening to children's views on contact, keeping in focus their reasons for wanting contact; managing the frequency of contact and assessing the emotional impact of contact; maintaining the venue confidential to avoid fears the child may have from past abuse by birth relatives; controlling negative attitudes from foster or adoptive parents towards birth relatives while giving clear signs of who is in charge; adapting contact plans according to changes in circumstances and maturing of the child. In addition, the author recommends that all members involved must be prepared for contact, and contact must be prepared properly.

Document qualification
Degree of interest Valuable
Work area Psychology
Social work -->
Potential users
Other potential users Adopt-Agency