Author: Lam, Lai-hung Patricia
Title: A study on attachment relationship and its implication for the parent-child reunion after foster care placement
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1998
Subject: Foster home care -- China -- Hong Kong
Parent and child -- China -- Hong Kong
Attachment behavior in children -- China -- Hong Kong
Family reunions -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Pages: iv, 136 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: The focus of the study is to investigate how clients experience and perceive the usefulness of foster care placement on the maintenance of parent-child attachment. Foster care service was provided since 1970's as a new form of residential child care service. As a service resource, foster care service is operating as a supplement to other services and is usually made available by the Government to the child when the family and its support systems have failed to perform the caring functions. As Hong Kong moves to a western-style of living structural changes of the family, relocation of the population to new towns, extended life expectancy, increase in the number of broken families, and increased women participation in the labour force, all have raised questions about the caring capacity of the family. Foster care placement is arranged for the child and family in need for the ultimate goal of family reunion. It is this essence of remaining the family together that attracts me to explore more of this service. Besides, foster care services was expanded rapidly since 1980's and was more accepted by the service users, so it is worthwhile to examine the placement arrangement and the reunion process in our practice. Furthermore, I choose to study from clients' views because their feedbacks are very valuable in enhancing our understanding of the service delivery process and for its betterment. Qualitative case study was employed as a research strategy in this study. In-depth interviews with informants were used to collect retrospective data. Ultimately, four families including four parents and five foster children were selected to participate in the study. To summarize, my research objectives are to investigate in what ways can a foster care placement as perceived from natural parents and foster children has facilitated to parent-child reunion. I also explore the helpfulness of parent-child contacts to the maintenance of parent-child attachment during the foster care placement as perceived by natural parents and foster children. From the findings, I hoped to investigate the relatedness of parent-child attachment relationship with the success of parent-child reunion after the foster care placement and at the same time to find out how other factors as perceived by natural parents and the foster children might be affecting the parent-child attachment relationship during the foster care placement. There are four areas to be explored in this research including clients' feedbacks and experiences on foster care placement, clients' evaluation of the changes of parent-child attachment during foster care placement, clients' feedbacks and comments on the helpfulness of parent-child attachment on the facilitating parent-child reunion and overall comments on the foster care arrangement. It is interesting to find out that there are several areas for the implication of the present service. The emotional support for natural parents and their families during and after foster care placement and the specific services such as grief work or counseling service for families with special needs in the pre-placement period were highlighted from the findings. I was most impressed from the sharing with the informants that unless we really concern on the parent-child attachment as an important elements in building up the family relationship, we did not recognize the impact of separation resulted from the foster care process. Throughout the foster care process, if the parent-child attachment is somehow maintained, then foster care placement is likely to help both the natural parents and their children because they can eventually come together while in the placement period, natural parents can have more time and resources to resolve their personal struggles. We tended to know in what ways can the foster care placement minimizes its negatives impact on the parent-child attachment while maximizing its positive influence on the parent-child attachment which is the key to eventual successful family reunion. Hoping that the gathered information can shed light on the applicability of foster care service in Hong Kong situation.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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