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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Contact between children in out-of-home placements and their family and friends networks : a research review

Sen, Robin and Broadhurst, Karen (2011) Contact between children in out-of-home placements and their family and friends networks : a research review. Child and Family Social Work, 16 (3). pp. 298-309. ISSN 1365-2206

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Abstract

This paper provides a detailed narrative review of the current knowledge base regarding family contact for children in out-of-home foster, kinship and residential placements. The review considers the research base around the familiar topics of the relationship between contact and outcomes for children, the perspectives of children, parents and carers in respect of contact and contact between siblings. It also discusses research evidence around emerging, and less well-recognized themes which include the impact of intensive contact on infants, re-establishing contact between children and birth parents when it has been lost, contact between children, their extended family and ‘significant others’, and the role of technology in family contact. In providing an overview of key research, the review concludes that good quality contact with family members in conjunction with other positive professional interventions, will likely promote positive outcomes for children regarding successful family reunification and/or placement stability. Social workers' central role in influencing the pattern and quality of contact for children is underlined. However, the review cautions against making broad prescriptions for all children, given that poorly planned, poor quality and unsupported contact may be harmful. Finally, key areas of learning for practice and priority directions for future research are summarized.