Understanding children’s contact and relationships with family in out-of-home care

Stream: Special Session: Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS)
Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Time: 2.55 pm – 4.35 pm


A critical issue for children and young people in out-of-home care is how they manage their relationships with people they live with and the frequency and type of contact they have with members of their immediate and extended family while in care. The POCLS provides a unique opportunity to examine children’s feelings of security and closeness to the people they are living with as well as members of their birth family. This presentation will outline children’s representations of closeness and how that changed from Wave 1 to Wave 2, and how it relates to the frequency and type of contact they have with their birth family in different types of care placement (kinship, foster care, and residential care). The analyses also allow these factors to be examined in relation to carers’ assessments of how children are faring in care, particularly in terms of their socio-emotional well-being and how well carers feel that contact is meeting the needs of the children in maintaining their family connections.


Judy Cashmore AO (Presenter), University of Sydney
Professor Judy Cashmore

Judy Cashmore has a PhD in developmental psychology and is Professor of Socio-Legal Research and Policy, Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney.

Her research is concerned with children’s involvement in legal proceedings and other processes in which decisions are made about children’s care and protection, guardianship and post-parental separation arrangements. She is conducting ARC funded research on how decisions are made in the NSW Children’s Court concerning children’s care and protection, linking to POCLS, in research agreement with FACS. She is also leading a large ARC project on prosecutorial discretion in child sexual offence matters.