Author: Wong, Pui-ha Cecilia
Title: An exploratory study of the major factors leading to the unsuccessful discharge plan for children aged between six to twelve and having stayed at out-of-home placements for over two years
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1998
Subject: Children of single parents -- China -- Hong Kong
Foster home care -- China -- Hong Kong
Child welfare -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Pages: v, 85 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: To understand major factors leading to the unsuccessful discharge planning of children aged between six to twelve coming from single mother families and having stayed at residential placements for over two years on an exploratory basis, three single mothers were interviewed through qualitative research method by in-depth interviews. Two conceptual frameworks are laid out for the analysis, namely the 'Social Attachment Theory' and 'Ecological Theory'. The respondents were selected and invited for voluntary participation from the pool of single mothers whose children were receiving residential child care services through the Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong, from August, 1997 to December, 1997. Research findings indicated that ecological factor accounted as a dominating factor to the unsuccessful discharge for the children in residential care among the three respondents. Meanwhile, parent-child attachment status seemed not to be the most decisive factor to the unsuccessful discharge planning. Based on the findings, discussion were then made to strengthen single mothers' parental functioning as well as to provide them support to build up favourable environment in child care. Intervention to serve the purposes included providing training to equip the single mothers' skills in handling their perceived inadequacies in parenting, enhancing their flexibility to cope with stress, exploring community services to alleviate their burden and building up social networks in child care through the provision of tangible resource or counselling services. Though the parent-child attachment status did not contribute as a decisive factor in the issue, the findings also highlighted such essential element in building a quality parent-child interaction as mutuality. When a single mother could have mutually rewarded interaction with her child, they could also develop a good quality parent-child relationship. Through the exploratory study with crude findings, it could still help remind us to be more alert as to how the ecological factor affected the parents in planning discharge for their children instead of merely pushing them to work out their children's discharge plans.

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