Legislative and practice guidance in the United Kingdom suggests foster carers are central to effective contact for children in foster care. This article explores the involvement of foster carers in contact between children in their care and their birth parents, drawing on the findings of an in-depth qualitative study of the views and experiences of social workers and Reporters to the Children's Hearing system in one Scottish local authority. While the study was geographically localised and its findings cannot be generalised, it does provide valuable insight into the residual involvement of foster carers in contact arrangements in the authority in question. Exploring the available literature, the authors go on to consider possible explanations of this residual involvement and what type of social work practice is required to enable foster carers to be more centrally involved in contact arrangements within contemporary constructions of a professional foster care service.
- child welfare