How can we determine success in foster placements? Based on exhaustive research, the authors discuss the primary concerns in foster placement planning, considering the high frequency of placement breakdowns, their impact on the child's behaviour and school performance, and the challenges this places on foster families.
The specific needs of the foster child are given close attention in determining a pathway to success. By monitoring and describing the individual characteristics of the child within the context of the placement, the authors are able to reveal what types of supports are most beneficial.
The implications for this research are considerable. Social workers are given new methods of assessing the needs of foster children which emphasise the process of care and not just the outcome. Policy makers are provided with rich qualitative accounts with which to increase and strengthen the success of foster placements. This is essential reading for social workers, policy makers and foster families.