Family Rights Group has carried out research into the contact that children being raised in family and friends care have with their parents and others. Other research studies have showed that this can be a particularly difficult and sensitive area. Our study aimed to find out in more detail what are the factors that make contact difficult, so we could make recommendations to improve children’s experiences.
In our study, we spoke to family and friends carers, children’s parents, and practitioners who work with and support these placements. We also carried out a websurvey and an international literature review, and drew on the experiences of the family and friends carers who use Family Rights Group’s discussion forum. There is also a discussion of the legal framework for contact arrangements.
The recommendations we make are aimed at making contact work better for children in family and friends care. We suggest the good practice principles that contact should be based on, and make specific recommendations for practitioners, carers and parents on how they can make contact work well for children.
This is a study which advances understanding of this important area of work, and is recommended reading for all social workers, managers, policy advisers, contact centre staff, mediators and other practitioners who arrange or support contact for children living in family and friends care. The findings are written in an accessible style, and family and friends carers and children’s parents will also find this study helpful.