Investigating the processes involved in caring for looked after children

DClinPsych Thesis

Hollett, M. 2021. Investigating the processes involved in caring for looked after children. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Institute of Applied Psychology
AuthorsHollett, M.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Clinical Psychology

Section A: A systematic literature review which identifies recent research on burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue in foster carers and residential care workers caring for looked after children. The 13 studies are summarised and critically evaluated, and findings are synthesised. Focus is given to exploring the presence of burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue in this population and examining factors that may influence the development of these phenomena. Results are discussed in the context of theory and existing research on social/health care professionals. Clinical and research implications relating to carer wellbeing are discussed.

Section B: Uses grounded theory methodology to understand the processes involved in fostering, and the relationship between the roles of parent and professional. Ten foster carers and five social care professionals were interviewed. A preliminary model was developed, which depicts the journey of becoming a ‘professional-parent’. The relationship between the two roles was found to change and blend over time. Training and external support were highlighted as important facilitators. Results are discussed in relation to role theory and existing literature. Clinical implications relating to the support/training of foster carers are considered. Suggestions for future research with more diverse samples are discussed.

KeywordsFoster care; Parent; Professional; Grounded theory; Looked after children
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Deposited11 Oct 2021
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