Study to identify the skills level, experience and training needs of foster carers in regards to high-risk self-harming behaviours

Study to identify the skills level, experience and training needs of foster carers in regards to high-risk self-harming behaviours

Study to identify the skills level, experience and training needs of foster carers in regards to high-risk self-harming behaviours

Poster presentation84Stephen Gethin-Jones, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom

Room P3Fri 14:30 - 15:15

Foster carers play a valuable role in meeting the needs of children who are “looked after” with Foster Care in the U.K. being the chosen method of care for children who have not been adopted or cared for by their families. This papers purpose was the evaluation of the training needs of foster carers in the North West of England with a view to examining their learning needs around self-harming behaviours, as this appeared to the local government as a major cause of placement breakdowns. The study utilised a mixed methods approach with the use of two self-administered questionnaires. The sample consisted of 48 Foster carers, who were subject of two questionnaires. The data was then analysed by the use of SPSS and qualitatively utilising thematic analysis. The research established that fosters carers regardless of their experience had major training needs around coping with self-injurious self –harming behaviours and that it was the anxiety this caused that was seen as the most likely cause of placement breakdown. This paper provides an insight into how self-injurious behaviour has the greatest impact on the foster parent’s ability to deal with self-harming behaviour, and this paper in the development of appropriate support and training will assist that professionals and agencies.

Practical implications
This paper will assist professionals and agencies to understand the profound impact that self-injurious behaviour specifically has and its impact for the potential breakdown of foster placement and will assist all those involved in foster care to develop appropriate training and support strategies for the foster carers.

Peer & family perspectives
foster children, foster families, self injurious behaviour, training needs
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