An evaluative study outlining the experiences and consequences of four people from residential care - from theory to practice

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Kilkenny, Valerie
Issue Date
BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This study explores the impact of Residential Care on forming relationships in life. The research was designed to determine what kind of relationship difficulties are experienced by individuals who had been raised in residential care. Indepth interviews were conducted with a sample of four women, aged 40-45 yrs, who had spent their formative years in a Care centre. Prior to the qualitative research, a questionnaire was designed to explore three particular areas: Early development, Transition experience on leaving care, Experiences in forming and sustaining relationships. This questionnaire was used to carry out the interviews with the four women. It was predicted that the results would show that the interviewees experienced difficulties in relationships, as a result of their experiences in care. The results of the research supported this prediction. Each of the interviewees did, in fact, express difficulties in relationships, both friendships and intimate relationships. The respondents attributed this to their experiences in their formative years, in Care. The author further contends that their relationship difficulties can be attributes to the early experience of separation and loss, prior to entering Care. This is supported by the findings of the theorists in Early Development and other related research in this area.