Fostering Relational Permanency for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care
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The purpose of this research study was to give voice to children and adolescents in care in fostering relational permanency. This thesis looked to answer the question “how can we better support relational permanency for BC’s children and adolescents in care?” by determining the factors that hinder and foster relational permanency for children and adolescents in care. In this research, five participants, who identified as former youth in care, were interviewed using the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique (ECIT). From these interviews, results yielded a total of 47 critical incidents from which 21 were identified as Helping Critical Incidents, divided into five Helping categories and 26 were identified as Hindering Critical Incidents, divided into seven Hindering categories. Participants also identified 17 incidents that would have been helpful to foster relational permanency through a wish list. These categories bring awareness to what factors service providers, including therapists, may focus on to foster relational permanency, particularly the importance of providing a safe and accepting environment as well as demonstrating empathy and genuine concern for the individual child or adolescent.