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South African social workers' knowledge of attachment theory and their perceptions of attachment relationships in foster care supervision

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  • Lesch, E.
  • Deist, M.
  • Booysen, L.
  • Edwards, E.

Abstract

Despite the prominence of attachment theory in international foster care literature and the importance of attachment relationships in successful foster care, attachment theory and practices do not feature prominently in South African foster care research. Against this backdrop, we interviewed twenty South African social workers' about their knowledge of attachment theory and their perceptions of attachment relationships in their own foster care work. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the interviews. We found that the social workers had limited knowledge of attachment theory and interventions; experienced most biological parents as unmotivated to improve their circumstances and attachment relationships with children; indicated that family reunifications were rare occurrences; reported foster parents were mostly kin; and experienced constraining contextual factors that hindered optimal consideration of attachment relationships in foster care supervision.

Suggested Citation

  • Lesch, E. & Deist, M. & Booysen, L. & Edwards, E., 2013. "South African social workers' knowledge of attachment theory and their perceptions of attachment relationships in foster care supervision," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1101-1109.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:35:y:2013:i:7:p:1101-1109
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.04.025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Coakley, Tanya M. & Cuddeback, Gary & Buehler, Cheryl & Cox, Mary Ellen, 2007. "Kinship foster parents' perceptions of factors that promote or inhibit successful fostering," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 92-109, January.
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    8. Lawler, Michael J., 2008. "Maltreated children's emotional availability with kin and non-kin foster mothers: A sociobiological perspective," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1131-1143, October.
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    10. Unrau, Yvonne A. & Seita, John R. & Putney, Kristin S., 2008. "Former foster youth remember multiple placement moves: A journey of loss and hope," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1256-1266, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Wet, Nicole, 2019. "The association between mother's socioeconomic status and non-orphan kinship care arrangements in South Africa," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 79-86.

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