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Exploring Wellbeing in Foster Care: Learning from the Stories of Children, Young People and Foster Carers

Goldsmith, Eleanor Hope


Eleanor Hope Goldsmith


Paul Walton


This portfolio thesis comprises three parts: a systematic literature review, an empirical paper andappendices. Collectively, these parts seek to explore children, young people and foster carers’experiences of wellbeing, attending to the complex interplay of interpersonal, organisational andsocietal factors.
Part One: A Systematic Literature ReviewThe systematic literature review explored children and young people’s experiences of belonging infoster care. A systematic search identified ten suitable papers, which were evaluated using theCritical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) assessment tool. Narrative synthesis identified fivecomponents of belonging: (1) reciprocity, (2) integration, (3) acceptance, (4) identity, and (5)nurturing environments. The review adopts a systemic lens to belonging, indicating the importanceof relational understandings of trauma, organisational change, and shifts in societal discourses.
Part Two: An Empirical Study The empirical study explored foster carers’ experiences and narratives of using respite care. Narrative analysis was used to interpret the content and form of eleven foster carers’ stories of respite. Foster carers’ stories typically followed a ‘romance’ plot trajectory and most experienced a turning point related to their use or perception of respite. Experiences and consequences of respite were inherently complex, often related to planning, stability and stigma of support. The research primarily emphasises the importance of implementing a relational approach to respite care, destigmatising its use and therapeutically supporting foster carers.
Part Three: Appendices The appendices comprise information and documentation concerning the systematic literature review and empirical paper, including a reflective and epistemological statement.


Goldsmith, E. H. (2023). Exploring Wellbeing in Foster Care: Learning from the Stories of Children, Young People and Foster Carers. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 14, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2023
Keywords Clinical psychology
Public URL
Additional Information School of Psychology and Social Work
University of Hull
Award Date Sep 28, 2023


Thesis (8.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Eleanor Hope Goldsmith. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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