Does Care Change Children?. Ian Sinclair. Four Questions. Can Care help children to change? If so, which children, in what ways and how? Do the changes outlast the time in care? How can organisations foster such change?. Sources of Information. Probation Hostel Study – mid 60s
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Does Care Change Children?
I will suggest that:
The assumption is that differences in outcomes not fully explained by differences in the children are evidence for change
I’ll spend most time on the probation hostel study since:
Some couples in charge had lower failure rates with relatively old children and some with younger ones
Some took back a high proportion of those absconding and did well with them
Some took back very few absconders, most of whom re-absconded
BUT – Couples with high or low failure rates did not differ in the proportion of high risk young people that they took (‘Risk’ was judged through a survey of 429 young people who were assessed on the basis of records at time of admission and followed up to see if they had a further conviction within three years)
The findings relevant to this talk were that:
Whatever we do some children in care will carry the scars of their heredity, gestation and early upbringing throughout their life. This does not mean that we cannot give them a good experience of care or the skills to cope with their difficulties. Doing this will depend crucially on the quality of placements, on the relationships formed in them and on what happens next. We need to know more about how all this works and in particular about what organisations can do to make sure that it works well.