Safe contact? - Children in permanent placement and contact with their birth-relatives

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By Catherine Macaskill

Large format paperback, 160 pages

Published 2002

As recently as 1997 it was stated that "it is seriously misleading to think that what we know about contact is at a level of sophistication to allow us to make confident assertions about the benefits to be gained from it" (Quinton et al. 1997). As a result of the research that underpins this important new book, we begin to know rather more. It considers the impact of face-to-face contact on adopted children as well as on the smaller number in permanent fostering. it covers not only birth parent contact, but also contact with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and siblings, which can include multiple contacts with different family members.

It is " about the day-to-day dilemmas associated with face-to-face contact for adopters, foster carers, children and professionals. It examines:

  • the issue of preparation of children and permanent foster and adoptive families for contact
  • the perspective of children who can talk from personal experience about real experiences of contact with their birth relatives
  • the importance of confidentiality as a means of safeguarding children from further abuse
  • particular dilemmas in sibling contact
  • the very difficult theme of how to provide an effective support service extending beyond adoption

These and a host of other insights into what helps contact to succeed on some of the pitfalls make this a book essential reading... it will be an invaluable guide through the complexities of contact for many years to come" (Karen Irving).


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