Similar to other wealthy countries with colonised indigenous populations, Australia's indigenous children, those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are seriously over‐represented in the child welfare system. The specific dimensions of this problem warrant detailed examination. It is useful to consider factors such as rates of entry to care, length of stay and the nature of services provided in order to understand the problem more fully. This article uses child protection, out‐of‐home care and juvenile justice administrative data to examine the levels of disproportionality at key decision points in the child welfare system. The data show that child welfare interventions are persistently more intrusive for indigenous children, and that levels of disproportionality have not improved over time. More comprehensive child and family welfare policies are needed to address indigenous disadvantage. Despite calls by indigenous community agencies for more input to decision‐making, their participation in the Australian child welfare system remains marginal.
Permanency planning is a systematic, goal-directed and timely approach to case planning for children subject to child protection intervention aimed at promoting stability and continuity. The present paper reviews research into the area of permanency planning within the foster care system, with the aim of promoting research-informed policy and practice. Research published in both journals and books between 1998 and 2005 was reviewed. Exceptions to this were previously published seminal articles and texts that are theoretically and empirically important. The results of the present review indicate that permanency planning is theoretically informed by attachment theory and understandings of child development and identity formation. Decision making should be individualised, timely and culturally appropriate. Children themselves, their parents and carers all need to be involved in planning. Practitioners must be prepared to undertake extensive observation and assessment to serve the best interests of children when making permanency decisions.
A B S T RA C TIntervention to improve educational attainment for children in outof-home care is increasingly being recognized as important for their well-being and future opportunities. This paper reports on a mixed method study of the school engagement or connectedness of young people in care. The study comprised a survey of 202 young people in care in Queensland, Australia, and a matched comparison group of young people not in care, plus interviews with a subset of 65 young people in care who were surveyed. Both the school environment and the perceived levels of support influenced school engagement, with those who were assisted by carers and caseworkers more likely to be positively connected with school. These young people perceived education as a pathway to achieving work and life goals. The findings suggest that active and focused attention on young people's school engagement should be part of case planning and monitoring as it offers an additional strategy for improving their educational experience. bs_bs_banner
We surveyed 280 students (61% girls; M = 15.3 years) and, in the context of goal setting theory and self-regulation, tested a cross-sectional model in which goal orientation (learning, performance-prove, performance-avoid) was viewed as an antecedent to self-efficacy and outcome expectations, self-efficacy and outcome expectations were tested as antecedents to goal setting, and goal setting tested as an antecedent to career-striving behaviors (exploration, planning). After controlling for educational achievement, learning orientation was directly, positively, associated with self-efficacy and outcome expectations, and indirectly associated with career aspirations, career exploration, and planning; and performance-avoid orientation was negatively associated with self-efficacy. The study demonstrated that goal orientation is an important variable to consider when examining career development in adolescents.
We surveyed 202 adolescents who were in out-of-home care, and compared them with 202 adolescents not in care (matched for age, gender and school achievement) on career-related aspirations (occupational aspirations, educational aspirations, life barriers) and career action behaviours (career exploration, career planning). The outof-home care adolescents reported lower occupational aspirations, less career planning, more career barriers, lower educational aspirations for themselves, lower parental aspirations, and more school engagement. Further, career exploration was lower for out-of-home care children who had higher aspirations, lower self-efficacy, parents who communicated higher aspirations, and low aspiring friends. Results are discussed in the context of providing career development and supports for out-ofhome care adolescents so that their career aspirations and behaviours can mirror more normative levels.
We surveyed 217 students (145 girls; average age = 14.6 years) on two occasions, twelve months apart, on measures of career aspirations (career aspirations and career expectations) and goal orientation (learning, performance-prove, performance-avoid), and tested the relationships between goal orientation and career aspirations over time. We assessed five plausible cross-lagged models (a baseline model testing stability and synchronous effects only, a standard causal model with added cross-lagged paths from goal orientation at T1 to the outcome variables at T2, a reverse-causation model, a reciprocal-causation model, and a model of best fit). We found significant, synchronous associations at T1 and T2 between all goal orientation predictors and the outcome variables, significant stability coefficients for all variables, and found support for a standard causal model, with performance-prove and performance-avoid orientation, but not learning orientation, predicting both career aspirations and career expectations at T2. We discuss the outcomes in relation to theory and the implications for practitioners and policy makers.
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