The Child Placement Handbook research, policy and practice

Schofield, G. and Simmonds, J. and Hill, Malcolm (2009) The Child Placement Handbook research, policy and practice. British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), London. ISBN 978190566446 7

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The last 30 years have seen a significant investment by successive governments in providing a research evidence base for child placement and in making connections between research, policy and practice. This authoritative collection is designed to capture something of this wealth of knowledge and wisdom across diverse child placement issues. Research in child placement can play an essential role in aiding understanding of the complex relationships between systems, professional practice and child outcomes, by describing, analysing and suggesting links between them. It also plays an important part in informing and supporting the complex roles and difficult decisions of social workers, thus increasing the likelihood that professional judgements will lead to better outcomes for children and families. This challenging task is clearly recognised in every chapter of this collection, as authors from research and practice set out and evaluate the evidence; its strengths, its limitations, and implications for future policy and practice. The first section sets the scene in relation to the role of research in child placement, child placement policy in an international context, the developmental consequences of abuse and neglect and a key issue for all practice in child placement - listening to children and young people. The second section covers not only a range of placement options, but also some key issues relating to each, such as contact after adoption and fostering adolescents, which extend and complement the core chapters. The final section looks at placement issues in relation to meeting the specific needs of children, such as health and education; in relation to certain groups of children, such as disabled children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children; and in relation to specific issues, such as leaving care and access to information. This is an invaluable compilation of reviews of key aspects of child placement, written by renowned and leading academics and practitioners. It will provide qualifying, post-qualifying and experienced social workers and social work managers with a book that brings together expertise from a wide range of specialist research which will inform child placement practice.