Almost twenty years ago, conceptual work began in the United Kingdom on what was to become the international Looking After Children initiative. Looking After Children has had a profound influence on child welfare in Canada and some fifteen other countries, including the UK, Australia, Sweden, and Hungary. It has sharpened the developmental focus and improved the quality of services for children and adolescents who, because of abuse, neglect, extreme poverty, or other circumstances, live in out-of-home care. With its emphasis on high expectations, positive substitute parenting, and good short-term and long-term outcomes, Looking After Children has been an important vehicle for promoting resilience (i.e., good outcomes in spite of serious threats to development) in child welfare, one that will remain a beneficial influence in Canada and internationally for many years to come.
This book presents reviews of research, new empirical findings, and useful practice and policy suggestions derived from Looking After Children and related resilience-oriented perspectives. Practitioners, foster parents and other caregivers, youths in care, in-service trainers, students, researchers, and policy makers in Canada and elsewhere will find much in this book that speaks to more effective ways of improving the lives of young people being looked after in out-of-home care.