Evidence based interventions to improve fostering relationships
Icheku, V and Paris, C (2018). Evidence based interventions to improve fostering relationships. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
|Authors||Icheku, V and Paris, C|
The number of looked after children in the United Kingdom (UK) is at a thirty year high (DOE 2015). With a current decline in adoption placements (DOE 2015), it is imperative social workers throughout the country are knowledgeable about effective interventions that improve birth parent and foster child relationships. Mullen (2014) postulated that social work practitioners require evidence-based knowledge as a guide to the development of interventions in practice. The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), which is an overarching professional standards framework for Social Work requires the use of research to inform practice (BASW, 2018). The Social Work Knowledge and Skills Statement for child and family practitioners, in addition, require social workers to make use of best evidence from research to support families and protect children. In other words, social workers must understand and use research evidence in practice if they are to provide effective support for families and safeguard children (Community Care, 2017). The evidence from systematic review of literature is often required to support effective social work interventions for specific social problems and populations (Mullen, 2011). The recommended interventions in this book is the result of a systematic review of literature conducted through a combination of hand and electronic database searches to select, appraise, extract, synthesis and analyse primary articles to find interventions that work. The book demonstrates that through a narrative and cross studies synthesis; a variety of appropriately targeted interventions provided collaboratively and inclusively work to improve relationships between birth parents and foster children. These include an assortment of parenting programmes (birth parent, joint birth parent-foster carer or foster carer training), Family Treatment and Drug Courts, Family Centred Practice, Outreach case work and a Parent Partner mentoring service. Parent Partner mentors were of particular interest in their potential ability to engage birth parents. They were able to offer a unique perspective and present as excellent role models, having successfully reunified with their own children via welfare assistance. The book also discusses evidence, which shows that a number of parenting programs were effective when incorporating birth children and taking a whole family approach. For example parent-child therapy, allowing opportunity for contact to practice learnt skills, open foster carer approaches and collaborative case work. Furthermore, the book argues that fathers were a potentially missed resource and if engaged appropriately through the use of written agreements, birth family relationships could be improved at no added cost to the government. The book also highlights that if effective evidence based interventions and approaches are used more widely in practice, there is potential for increased birth family reunification and/or on-going positive relations, contributing to child/parent wellbeing and easing pressure on the care system in the process. Finally, the book recommends further research to establish if Parent Partner mentors are as promising as they appear, within the UK and also whether written agreements alone will be enough to engage fathers to impact positively on family relationships.
|Publisher||LAP Lambert Academic Publishing|
|23 Apr 2018|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||10 May 2018|
|Accepted||08 Apr 2018|
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