Trends in relation to the involvement of biological family in the lives of children in long-term residential care.
Goba, Fairhope Dumile.
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There are many challenges that face children in residential care. Among those challenges is the little or no interaction between the children in residential care and their biological family. This study investigated if biological family involvement in the lives of children in residential care had any effect on the children's development while they were in care. The study was a comparison between children with biological family involvement and children without any biological family involvement. The comparison focused on two main variables, namely, academic performance and behaviour characteristics. This was qualitative, multiple case study research where triangulation was used as a tool for collecting information. Ten children participated in this study i.e. five children with biological family involvement and five children without any biological family involvement. Data used in this study was collected from children, their housemothers and from children's files. Findings from this research indicated that there was a difference between children with biological family involvement and children without such family involvement in terms of academic performance and behaviour characteristics. Children with biological family involvement performed better academically and displayed fewer negative behaviour characteristic than children without biological family involvement. Findings also suggested there was a need for further research on this topic in order to find ways to assist children in residential care to develop optimally.
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