Exploring Trauma-informed Foster Care as a Framework to Support Collaborative Social Worker - Foster Carer Relationships

Maria Lotty - Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies

Abstract Developing consistent collaborative working relationships between foster carers and social workers are important as they impact fostering stability and thus, the outcomes of children in foster care. This paper suggests a new framework, Trauma-informed Foster Care that was developed to reflect the experience of the Irish foster care system, may be helpful to support more collaborative practices between foster carers and social workers in an Irish context. Firstly, the paper explores the relationships between foster carers and social workers drawing on relevant literature. Secondly, the Trauma-informed Foster Care framework is delineated emphasising the principle of collaborative practice. Thirdly, the paper discusses considerations in the implementation of this framework. These include the awareness of the limitations of using a single lens, the need for research-based practitioner training, policy, and practice guidance.

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