Ethical Research Involving Children

Obstacles to involving children and young people in foster care research.

Gilbertson, R., & Barber, J. G. (2002). Obstacles to involving children and young people in foster care research. Child & Family Social Work, 7(4). pp. 253-258.

Abstract: Despite increasing recognition of the importance of including the perspectives of children and young people in care in alternative care research, in practice this is not always a straightforward matter. This paper describes the recruitment of disruptive young people in care under the jurisdiction of the South Australian statutory authority to three studies on placement instability. Non-response rates of 72.5% and 82% are reported. A large number of subjects were excluded because agency social workers did not cooperate with the project, and more subjects were excluded for reasons which suggest high levels of distress in this population. The dilemma of providing a voice to distressed subjects when distressed subjects are excluded from research is discussed, and the appointment of an independent representative for children in care to review research proposals and to negotiate research access to children is proposed. (Abstract published by arrangement with Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.).

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