An Application of the Fifth Province to Kinship Care Networks

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Title: An Application of the Fifth Province to Kinship Care Networks
Authors: O'Brien, Valerie
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Date: 2014
Abstract: Kinship care represents a significant option for increasing numbers of children in need of state care (Nixon 2007; Colton et al 2008). There are many positive outcomes from such placements (Hunt et al 2008, O’Brien 2012a). While there have been some interesting systemic developments (Crumbley & Little 1997; Portengen & DerNeut 1999, Ziminski 2007a, 2007b), a level of confusion remains as to the nature of the relationships involved in kinship networks. Furthermore, a service delivery model, characterised by the professionals holding much of the power, expertise and regulatory responsibility has dominated (O’Brien 2012b). This has led to disquiet among many practitioners, family members and managers. This paper contends that an understanding of the different networks is a critical starting point to aiding development. Building on earlier work (O’Brien 1997, 1999), the 'fifth province model' from the systemic field, is shown to provide a conceptual and intervention framework to aid this development. The model provides a means to understand various networks that can evolve. This analysis is achieved through an application of 'diamonds', which are a hallmark of the fifth province. Discussion of the author’s journey towards understanding of the fifth province model is central to this appraisal of its application in kinship care.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Human Systems
Keywords: Systemic therapyFamily therapyKinship careCare networks
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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