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Type: Journal article
Title: The psychosocial functioning and family background of children experiencing significant placement instability in Australian out-of-home care
Author: Osborn, A.
Delfabbro, P.
Barber, J.
Citation: Children and Youth Services Review, 2008; 30(8):847-860
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0190-7409
Statement of
Alexandra L. Osborn, Paul Delfabbro and James G. Barber
Abstract: This paper profiles the family and social background, and psychosocial wellbeing of 364 children (Mean age = 12.9 years) with a high level of placement instability in Australian out-of-home care. Children were selected based on reliable predictors of instability and detailed interviews were conducted with case-workers, along with extensive case-file readings. The children in this population were found to originate from families that share many risk factors. In most cases, a family history of domestic violence, physical abuse, and parental substance abuse dominated over a history of sexual abuse and neglect. Based on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), over 75% of children were found to have clinical level conduct disorder, two-thirds have peer problems, and around a half are clinically anxious or depressed. The results provided some evidence that children with the poorest overall psychosocial adjustment were most prone to placement breakdowns, but there was no clear relationship between the overall number of family background problems and the level of placement instability. However, individual risk factors, including a history of family violence and abuse were related to more disrupted placement histories for children in care.
Keywords: Placement instability; Foster care; Family background
RMID: 0020084439
DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2007.12.012
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Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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