New Directions in Family Placement
This detailed tour of Support Care evidences how it can be central to preventative work with children and families: what it is, how it works, who benefits and why the Government is currently looking to encourage the establishment of its principles and practice throughout the UK. Supplemented by an overview of the policy and legislative context and a concluding report on a research study, each chapter details schemes developed and run in five local authorities. Some are called Neighbourhood Care, Part-time Fostering or Short Breaks rather than Support Care. But the 'stories' about the development and realisation of these schemes - told by parents, carers, practitioners - all describe how a 'lifeline' at a difficult time for a family can prevent a family breakdown, which might result in children being separated from their families. The stories are all about stress, and conflict between parents and children for a variety of underlying reasons...families who don't want to be told what to do, and want to remain in control of their lives, who feel they have a right to get the help they are asking for: just 'a break'.
Low-key supportive intervention to help out during a particularly difficult time succeeded when the people involved were committed to open, warm and clear relationships, underpinned by integrity. When the carers and social workers were experienced as 'kind', that was probably one of the most important factors that contributed to the positive outcomes.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Here is a family support service that parents value, that provides real and practical help that foster carers are enthusiastically providing." Robert Tapsfield, Fostering Network."