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Returning home from care： The abused children’s family life experience after residential care
Hsieh Pei Chun
returning home from care
family life experience
Families are always regarded as a root of every individual. Therefore, the fundamental belief is to help those children in out-of-home placement return home as early as possible. However, the children who have already returned home, their family lives have been rarely known by others. Thus, through the deep interview as a qualitative research method, the study investigated the experiences of family lives of those abused children that had been in residential placement yet have already returned home. The study interviewed six abused children who had been institutionally placed but have already stayed home for at least half a year. The findings of the research are shown as follows. 1. The life styles of those individual cases could be classified into three categories: continuing to stay home, escaping from home, and leaving home in terms of different experiences of family lives. 2. Those children more or less encountered different degrees of family pressure after returning home, and such situations would influence their aspiration of staying home continuously. Meanwhile, when the majority of children faced family pressure, they seldom attempted to change and recovered the relationship among family members. Fortunately, family system and relationship interact under a continuously changing process. Even though a gap is caused currently, it doesn’t really indicate that there is no possibility of recovering or contacting one another again in the future. 3. The opinions about the abusers, the explanations of significance of family, and the choices of returning home again made by those subjects who have already returned home would be affected by the different lifestyles and realistic situations. Based on the findings and results, the study provides some suggestions to improve the service system. Overall speaking, the policy and practice should strengthen the relationship between the children and their family, and work out plans for relevant activities for abused children after their leaving institutions. Moreover, the authorities should carry out the service of family reunions, implement individual service of preparing to return home, and trace the counseling system in order to enhance such abused children’s family adaptability after leaving residential institutions and returning home, and to offer appropriate and timely assistance as well.
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