Love is not enough? Exploring the relationship between attachment and child development for children in foster care

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Woods, Aoife
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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The main objective of this research was to discover whether foster care parents could address child development delays through the use of attachment theory. The researcher carried out a qualitative research design of three semi structured interviews in order to gain the information needed. The findings of these interviews were then reviewed and coded through thematic analysis. The researcher found that children who are brought into foster care initially did not have a secure attachment to a primary caregiver. This research found that there is a direct link between a lack of attachment and developmental problems in the future. The main area of development that was found to be affect most by this was emotional development. Through the use of training and educating foster parents on attachment it was found that they could in turn have a positive attachment with the children. The overall research found that with a child having a secure base and a trusting caregiver it can help them to develop at a steady pace. The researcher found that foster carers can help to heel developmental delays by going back to basics with the child and allowing them to go through the developmental stage they may have missed. Furthermore the research has shown that through the right amount of training and securing that emotional bond with the child foster carers can address developmental delays. Author keywords: Attachment, child development, love, foster care, social care, children