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Patterns of foster care in Saskatchewan: The impact on the family connections and the early adult lives of careleavers.

McKibben, Sherry A.E (1994) Patterns of foster care in Saskatchewan: The impact on the family connections and the early adult lives of careleavers. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This study of former foster children from Saskatchewan examines three aspects of their circumstances: their care experience, Kinship, and early adult lives. Data collection took place between 1985-1986. Using the children's files, the care careers of 206 children born between January 1964 and July 1966 were detailed. Ninety-one were interviewed, 67% of whom were of Native ancestry. These children were brought into care with their siblings because of a cycle of neglect, alcohol abuse, abandonment and marital difficulties. The children averaged 9.7 placements in 10.9 years in care. Factors linked to placement instability were: number of admissions, race, in-care abuse, inappropriate care, and education. Educational achievement was low. Approximately half of the young people used Saskatchewan's post-care educational financial support provisions. These young people had not experienced placement instability, inappropriate care, and ear1y independence. Three kinds of abuse -- physical, sexual, and exploitation -- were experienced in-care by 27% of the interviewees. An additional 32% described aspects of their care as inappropriate, including excessive punishment, neglect, inequitable treatment and inappropriate placements. Social workers never acted to protect the chi1dren-in-care from abuse. Despite these difficulties, 57% assessed their care as 'good' and 85% said being in care had either improved their lives or had had no effect. These careleavers were doing less well than their non-care peers. They had an unemployment rate of 42.5%; high income assistance receipt; were less 'happy'; and 42% of the women's children - 57% of the men's -- were being reared by others. It was argued a care-poverty-care cycle had been established. An outcome profile was developed which showed the Native interviewees fared particularly poorly. The lowest quartile were described as 'The Troubled Twenty'; the circumstances of those in the third quartile were precarious. Those individuals in the top half were managing well. The relationship factors associated with a better outcome were: frequent foster family contact at interview; the presence of friends in early adulthood; and either no biological family contact or else regular family contact while in-care. The careleavers who had experienced good quality care maintained foster family relationships into adulthood.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Individual and Family Studies, Sociology, Public and Social Welfare, Canadian Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2441

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