Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Information:

  • Access

Actions:

      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        Editorial
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        Editorial
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        Editorial
        Available formats
        ×
Export citation

Abstract

Current emphasis on intriguing gains in our understanding of child psychopathology, though of major importance, should not weaken our attention as mental health professionals to “old” issues that tend to be ignored both because they render us helpless despite our increasing knowledge and because they seem so hard to remedy. I refer to those children who are subjected to severe disadvantaged conditions, both materially and psychologically, with parents who provide grossly inadequate or severely abusive care to them. These children may be considered for placement in foster care. Although there have been arguments against long-term foster care and in favour of short-term care, long-term foster care remains a persistent and important form of substitute care. The question must then arise as to whether permanent foster care can provide adequate alternatives. Practitioners are sometimes confronted with the detrimental effects of “oscillation” of children in and out of care, and reluctance as to the decision to place the child into permanent foster family care. Minty, in this issue's Annotation, provides an overview of the outcomes of long-term foster family care. Contrary to much current prejudice, Minty shows that there is ample evidence that long-term foster family care can provide a satisfactory upbringing for most children who lack adequate care in their birth families—provided that foster care begins early in life and continues at least until the late teens. Large-scale longitudinal studies have found that where psychosocial development is disturbed and educational progress deficient, these inadequacies are largely attributable to the social factors impinging on children before admission to, and discharge from, family foster care. Nevertheless, there is room for much improvement in the educational attainments of foster children, and there needs to be better training in the safe caring of children who have previously been seriously abused. Also, it is clear from Minty's overview that more methodologically sound research is needed to unravel the mechanisms that hamper or facilitate the healthy development of these children.