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Journal article

Early care and education arrangements and young children's risk of foster placement: findings from a National Child Welfare Sample

Authors:
KLEIN Sacha, FRIES Lauren, EMMONS Mary M.
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.168-178.
Publisher:
Elsevier

A primary goal of the U.S. child welfare system (CWS) is to maintain children investigated for maltreatment in their parents' homes whenever safely possible. This study explores the possibility that early care and education (ECE) services (e.g., child care, preschool, day care) can help the CWS achieve this goal by using a nationally representative sample of children referred to CWS for suspected maltreatment to measure the relationship between ECE receipt and the likelihood that 0–5 year olds in the CWS will be placed in foster care approximately 18 months later. Specifically, logistic regression analyses explore the relationship between: (1) regular ECE participation (yes/no), and (2) type of ECE arrangement (Head Start, other center- or home-based ECE, family/friend/relative ECE, other ECE, and multiple types of ECE) and foster placement risk. After controlling for multiple socio-demographic characteristics and foster placement risk factors, children who received ECE (yes/no) were no less likely to be placed in foster care than children who received no ECE. However, when exploring type of ECE arrangement, children who received Head Start were 93% less likely to be placed in foster care than children with no ECE. Children who participated in multiple types of ECE were almost seven times more likely to be placed in foster care than children with no ECE. These results suggest that Head Start may help maltreated children avoid foster placement and that experiencing multiple types of ECE is a risk factor for foster placement. It is recommended that caseworkers routinely assess the ECE service history and needs of families with young children who come in contact with the CWS, paying attention to the type and number of ECE services used. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Wilderness therapy, therapeutic camping and adventure education in child and youth care literature: a scoping review

Author:
HARPER Nevin J.
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.68-79.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Background and objectives: Credible empirical support for the therapeutic potential and positive outcomes associated with outdoor adventure approaches for children, youth and families has grown in the past decade. Historically, child and youth care practice has included therapeutic camps, adventure sport and outdoor recreation although this reality is not reflected in the training and education of practitioners. The purposes of this scoping review were to identify and articulate the extant literature of outdoor adventure programs and approaches found in child and youth care literature between January 1997 and March 2017. Method: Periodical selection and subsequent publication selection were conducted within Ulrichsweb utilizing specific inclusion/exclusion criteria, search words and abstract reviews. As a scoping review, study type and quality were not used for inclusion criteria thereby opening the review up to peer-reviewed English language publications of research, conceptual development, and program evaluations and descriptions. Results: Out of a total of 9731 periodicals identified in the first selection phase, only 25 met the inclusion criteria and are presented herein as home to child and youth care literature. Of 291 publications found within the child and youth care literature in the first selection phase, only 63 empirical and conceptual publications met the final inclusion criteria for review. Three thematic areas of practice and research emerged from analysis of included publications: (1) wilderness and adventure therapy, (2) therapeutic camping, and (3) adventure education and physical activity. These three content areas are explored and discussed in consideration of child and youth care context and practice, providing the basis for a synopsis and recommendations for practice and future research. Conclusions: This review identifies a need to more clearly identify and articulate outdoor adventure practices as they relate to child and youth care practice. Considering child and youth care's historical linkages to therapeutic camps and outdoor adventure activity, findings of this review suggest these approaches are underrepresented in the field's literature outside of the United States, potentially underappreciated in practice, and as an area requiring specific training and research. While research outcomes in outdoor adventure approaches to child and youth care appear positively robust, ethical concerns in wilderness therapy practice are identified and deserve further attention. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Validating the job satisfaction survey in voluntary child welfare

Authors:
LI Yong, HUANG Hui
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.1-8.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Job satisfaction has been linked to workforce retention in child welfare agencies. One of the most widely used measures on job satisfaction is the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS). Although it was validated among workers of public social service agencies, its psychometric properties remain untested in workers of voluntary (private, nonprofit) child welfare agencies. Using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), this study aims to examine the reliability and validity of the JSS in frontline child welfare workers in voluntary agencies. The sample was randomly split into two subsamples for factor analyses. Based on Sample 1 (N = 343), the EFA yields a six-factor structure with 23 items: 1) pay, 2) supervision, 3) promotion, 4) benefits, 5) communication, and 6) nature of work. Using Sample 2 (N = 358), the CFA confirms that the six-factor model fits the data well. Except for the communication subscale, the other five subscales have good internal consistency reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity. The five subscales also have good criterion validity in that they are strongly correlated with both intent to stay in child welfare and intent to leave the current agency. These findings suggest a short-form version of the JSS (JSS-SF) with 19 items loading on five subscales, which can be used to measure job satisfaction among voluntary child welfare workers. Directions for future research and implications for voluntary child welfare agencies are discussed. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Concept mapping the needs of grandmothers who take care of their grandchildren in formal foster care in Flanders

Authors:
van HOLEN Frank, et al
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.159-167.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Concept mapping was used to identify the needs of grandparents who take care of their grandchildren in formal foster care in Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium). One hundred and nine grandmothers were asked to describe their needs in response of the question: “What do you need to be a good foster parent for your grandchild(ren)?” Next, the unique responses were sorted by 41 grandmothers, and analyzed using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. Furthermore, grandmothers were asked to indicate the degree of importance of each statement. Twenty-eight unique responses were grouped into eight clusters. In descending order of importance these clusters referred to the parenting relationship with their grandchild, parenting conditions, support and trust in the future and the child's schooling, collaboration with and support from the foster care agency, material conditions, social support from the wider context, respite care, and contact arrangements. Their needs resemble the needs of regular foster parents, with the exception of some specific needs related to their specific situation, such as feeling ‘out of step’ with innovations and new technologies, health issues, finding a balance between the grandparent role and foster parent role, and the need for a positive and reassuring vision of the future. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

The reality of relationships with young people in caring professions: a qualitative approach to professional boundaries rooted in virtue ethics

Author:
HART Peter
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.248-254.
Publisher:
Elsevier

The rigidity of professional boundaries have been critiqued in previous work and alternative models and metaphors have been offered, however few are rooted in empirical research that highlights normative practices. In this article, professional boundaries are examined in light of an ethnographic study into youth work practice in the UK. The quasi-quantitative language around boundaries (e.g. someone is ‘too close’ to a client) can be considered unhelpful and fail to reflect the complex reality of youth workers' practice (and those of wider caring professions), where relationships between youth worker and young person are based on multiple interrelated aspects. It is suggested, therefore, that a qualitative approach to boundaries is adopted based on interactions that differ in kind rather than quantity. This approach to boundaries is then rooted in virtue ethics to provide a framework that makes the adoption of qualitative professional boundaries plausible. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

The team as a secure base: promoting resilience and competence in child and family social work

Authors:
BIGGART Laura, et al
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.119-130.
Publisher:
Elsevier

This paper outlines research findings on the relevance of the Secure Base model (Schofield & Beek, 2014) for developing supportive teams in child and family social work. When the social work team functions as a secure base, this can help workers cope with the emotional demands of the role. The concept of the secure base comes from attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969) in which our relationships with significant others, who are available, sensitive to our needs and reliable, provide us with a secure base to return to when life is stressful and provide us with comforting internal mental models when we are physically away from them. This ‘secure base for exploration’ reduces anxiety and enables us to engage with the world, consider the internal world of others (empathy) and remain resilient when life is stressful. Using data from 52 phone interviews with child and family social workers across eight local authorities in the UK, we show how the Secure Base model has relevance for emotion regulation and resilience for child and family social workers. Data were analysed using Theoretical Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). In the context of the emotional demands of social work, our data indicate that the supervisors and teams provide a work related secure base across five dimensions by behaving in ways which instil these beliefs: Availability -‘People are there for me’; Sensitivity - ‘My feelings are manageable’; Acceptance - I don't always have to be strong’; Cooperation - ‘I can work with others to find a solution’; Team belonging - ‘I am valued and I belong’. Implications for practice are proposed to help supervisors and team members reflect on beliefs and behaviours which can help provide a secure base for their teams. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Foster home integration as a temporal indicator of relational well-being

Authors:
WAID Jeffrey, et al
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 2017, pp.137-145.
Publisher:
Elsevier

This study sought to identify factors that contribute to the relational well-being of youth in substitute care. Using data from the Supporting Siblings in Foster Care (SIBS-FC) study, youth responded to a 9-item measure of positive home integration, a scale designed to assess the relational experiences of youth to their caregivers and their integration into the foster home. Data were collected from youth in six month intervals, for an 18-month period of time. Latent growth curve modelling procedures were employed to determine if child, family, and case characteristics influenced youth's home integration trajectories. Results suggest stability in youth reports of home integration over time; however, children who were older at the time of study enrolment and youth who experienced placement changes during the period of observation experienced decreased home integration during the 18-month period. Results suggest youth's perspectives of home integration may in part be a function of the child's developmental stage and their experiences with foster care placement instability. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Unfinished stories: from juvenile sex offenders to juvenile sex offending through a developmental life course perspective

Authors:
McCUISH Evan C., LUSSIER Patrick
Journal article citation:
Aggression and Violent Behavior, 37, 2017, pp.71-82.
Publisher:
Elsevier

The developmental context in which adolescent sexually abusive or aggressive behaviours arise is not fully considered by current policies. The perception of adolescents as sexual predators on a life-course persistent pattern of sexual offending has largely contributed to the current, more punitive, sociolegal context. The authors suggest that myths, misconceptions, and unsubstantiated claims about adolescents involved in sexually abusive behaviour have persisted due to the abundance of research focusing on the “offender”, neglecting the “offence”, and the two being confused as one: the juvenile sex offender. The authors describe the current state of knowledge on the characteristics of adolescents involved in sexually abusive or aggressive behaviour and present the developmental life course criminology perspective as a framework for organising research on the course of juvenile sexual offending, including the process leading up to the behaviour and what happens in adulthood. Important research questions and the associated research design and measurement tools necessary to address these questions are presented to better understand the dynamic aspect of juvenile sex offending, its onset, course, and termination. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Coercive control in intimate partner violence

Authors:
HAMBERGER L. Kevin, LARSON Sadie E., LEHRNER Amy
Journal article citation:
Aggression and Violent Behavior, 37, 2017, pp.1-11.
Publisher:
Elsevier

The construct of coercive control has been central to many conceptualisations of intimate partner violence (IPV), yet there is widespread inconsistency in the literature regarding how this construct is defined and measured. This article provides a comprehensive literature review on coercive control in regards to conceptualisations, definitions, operationalisation, and measurement; and attempts to provide a synthesis and recommendations for future research. A summary and critique of measures used to assess coercive control in IPV is provided. At least three facets of coercive control are identified: 1) intentionality or goal orientation in the abuser (versus motivation), 2) a negative perception of the controlling behavior by the victim, and 3) the ability of the abuser to obtain control through the deployment of a credible threat. Measurement challenges and opportunities posed by such a multifaceted definition are discussed. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

The lives of female gang members: a review of the literature

Author:
SUTTON Tara E.
Journal article citation:
Aggression and Violent Behavior, 37, 2017, pp.142-152.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Although female gang membership was overlooked for several years, recent work by feminist criminologists has provided a much more complex picture of female youth involved in gang life. This literature demonstrates that gender shapes the risk factors and consequences of gang involvement for female youth in several ways. In the current review, four main areas are discussed: 1) risk factors for female youths' gang involvement, 2) the extent and characteristics of female gang members' violence and crime, 3) the influence of gender on victimisation experiences resulting from gang membership, and 4) female gang members' desistance from gang life. In each section, work specifically focusing on female gang members as well as work comparing the experiences of male and female gang members are presented. Finally, directions for future research are offered. (Publisher abstract)

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