Title

Balancing contradictions: the experiences of biological children of foster families

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Nuske, E 2010, 'Balancing contradictions: the experiences of biological children of foster families', Children Australia, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 32-37.

Abstract

This paper presents findings from a recent research project that provided an opportunity for the voices of a special group of young people to be heard. The biological children of foster families have rarely been the focus of foster care research. Their stories are used in this study to highlight individual experiences and, ultimately, to inform the practice of offering support to foster families.

Twenty-two young people between the ages of nine and thirty-two were interviewed. Their stories told of life in a confusing and contradictory world of foster care. This paper presents, through the words of the young people, four essential themes that highlight these contradictions. These are: sharing and losing; being responsible and escaping; caring and resenting; shouting and keeping quiet. Recommendations are made to improve training and support to foster families.