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Centre for Family Research


Relationships in Foster Families Study

We are conducting a study into the experiences of birth children in foster families from across the UK.

We believe that the whole family should learn, grow and benefit from fostering. However, previous research has shown that the impact of fostering on birth children is the #1 reason given for placement breakdown, and many potential foster families report concerns about the effects of fostering on their birth children.

We want to understand which child/placement characteristics are associated with doing particularly well, and if any indicate that children may need extra support when adjusting to fostering. We believe this knowledge can be used to help provide the most effective support to birth children in the future.

As part of this, we want to understand how “fostering stakeholders” (those who directly/indirectly work with fostering families) understand this relationship. We also want to understand how academic work which looks at fostering is understood and perceived by stakeholders.

Who can take part?

  • Foster carers' birth and foster children, aged between 7-15 years, who have been in their current placement over 2 months (completion of an online questionniare taking about 40 mins)
  • Anyone experienced in working with foster families; foster carers, teachers, social workers, academics, child prtection agencies, policy makers, MPs etc. (completion of 3 online questionnaires, eamiled over a 5 month period, each taking approx 20 mins).

Interested in taking part or learning more?

More information can be found here. For any questions, or to register interest, please contact Rachael Chapman at or on 07864 829197.