Steenbakkers, Anne, Ingunn T. Ellingsen, Steffie van der Steen, & Hans Grietens (2018). Do foster parents and care workers recognize the needs of youth in family foster care with a history of sexual abuse? Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 27(7), 811-831. (doi: 0.1080/10538712.2018.1520378) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/10538712.2018.1520378)

Abstract: Children in family foster care have the right to participate in decisions regarding their life, however, adults often advocate on behalf of children. This Q methodological study explored whether shared perspectives among foster parents and care workers resemble shared perspectives of youth regarding the psychosocial needs experienced by youth with a history of sexual abuse. Participants sorted a set of statement cards according to what they thought was most important for youth. By-person factor analyses examined how the Q sorts of foster parents and care workers related to those of youth. The results showed that foster parents mostly recognized the group of youth who value an instrumental relationship with their carers, while care workers mostly recognized the group of youth who value support of both foster and birth parents with regard to their preparation for independent living. The two youth groups characterized by ambivalence and autonomy were barely recognized. Results are discussed in light of the expected roles of foster parents and care workers, and youth’s contact with birth parents. Lastly, this study highlights the importance of youth participation, because youth offer unique and varying perspectives about their needs.

Anne Steenbakkers <a.t.steenbakkers@rug.nl> is in the Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

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