Socio-emotional development of children with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in long-term foster family care: a qualitative study

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Abstract

The study investigated the socio-emotional development of children with FASD (n = 34) in long-term foster family care based on foster parents’ descriptions of the child. Children taken into care at birth (n = 7) were compared with children, who had lived the first years of life with their biological parents (n = 27). Children in the second group had faced more traumatic experiences, had more placements and were placed at older age into long-term foster family care. They were reported to have more socio-emotional problems and to be more difficult to foster. In both groups, children had somatic and neuropsychological disabilities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure but in the second group neuropsychological problems, especially concentration and hyperactivity problems, seemed to be more severe. Children who had lived with their biological parents were also reported to have multiple and serious behavioural and attachment problems, and developmental delays at the beginning and during the placement. These problems proved difficult to overcome, even though family care improved the socio-emotional development of all children in the study. In some cases, meetings with biological parents after the placement caused fear and insecurity for the children and increased their behavioural problems. Conclusion: Traumatic experiences in the first years of life during the rapid development of the central nervous system form a major risk for the later development of children with FASD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Social Work Research
Volume3
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)38-58
Number of pages21
ISSN2156-857X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
  • alcohol exposure
  • caregiving environment
  • children
  • socio-emotional development
  • foster family care

Cite this

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title = "Socio-emotional development of children with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in long-term foster family care: a qualitative study",
abstract = "The study investigated the socio-emotional development of children with FASD (n = 34) in long-term foster family care based on foster parents’ descriptions of the child. Children taken into care at birth (n = 7) were compared with children, who had lived the first years of life with their biological parents (n = 27). Children in the second group had faced more traumatic experiences, had more placements and were placed at older age into long-term foster family care. They were reported to have more socio-emotional problems and to be more difficult to foster. In both groups, children had somatic and neuropsychological disabilities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure but in the second group neuropsychological problems, especially concentration and hyperactivity problems, seemed to be more severe. Children who had lived with their biological parents were also reported to have multiple and serious behavioural and attachment problems, and developmental delays at the beginning and during the placement. These problems proved difficult to overcome, even though family care improved the socio-emotional development of all children in the study. In some cases, meetings with biological parents after the placement caused fear and insecurity for the children and increased their behavioural problems. Conclusion: Traumatic experiences in the first years of life during the rapid development of the central nervous system form a major risk for the later development of children with FASD.",
keywords = "3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health, foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), alcohol exposure, caregiving environment, children, socio-emotional development, foster family care",
author = "Anne Koponen and Mirjam Kalland and Ilona Autti-R{\"a}m{\"o} and Laamanen, {Ritva Annikki} and Sakari Suominen",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1080/2156857X.2013.766234",
language = "English",
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pages = "38--58",
journal = "Nordic Social Work Research",
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T1 - Socio-emotional development of children with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in long-term foster family care: a qualitative study

AU - Koponen, Anne

AU - Kalland, Mirjam

AU - Autti-Rämö, Ilona

AU - Laamanen, Ritva Annikki

AU - Suominen, Sakari

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The study investigated the socio-emotional development of children with FASD (n = 34) in long-term foster family care based on foster parents’ descriptions of the child. Children taken into care at birth (n = 7) were compared with children, who had lived the first years of life with their biological parents (n = 27). Children in the second group had faced more traumatic experiences, had more placements and were placed at older age into long-term foster family care. They were reported to have more socio-emotional problems and to be more difficult to foster. In both groups, children had somatic and neuropsychological disabilities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure but in the second group neuropsychological problems, especially concentration and hyperactivity problems, seemed to be more severe. Children who had lived with their biological parents were also reported to have multiple and serious behavioural and attachment problems, and developmental delays at the beginning and during the placement. These problems proved difficult to overcome, even though family care improved the socio-emotional development of all children in the study. In some cases, meetings with biological parents after the placement caused fear and insecurity for the children and increased their behavioural problems. Conclusion: Traumatic experiences in the first years of life during the rapid development of the central nervous system form a major risk for the later development of children with FASD.

AB - The study investigated the socio-emotional development of children with FASD (n = 34) in long-term foster family care based on foster parents’ descriptions of the child. Children taken into care at birth (n = 7) were compared with children, who had lived the first years of life with their biological parents (n = 27). Children in the second group had faced more traumatic experiences, had more placements and were placed at older age into long-term foster family care. They were reported to have more socio-emotional problems and to be more difficult to foster. In both groups, children had somatic and neuropsychological disabilities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure but in the second group neuropsychological problems, especially concentration and hyperactivity problems, seemed to be more severe. Children who had lived with their biological parents were also reported to have multiple and serious behavioural and attachment problems, and developmental delays at the beginning and during the placement. These problems proved difficult to overcome, even though family care improved the socio-emotional development of all children in the study. In some cases, meetings with biological parents after the placement caused fear and insecurity for the children and increased their behavioural problems. Conclusion: Traumatic experiences in the first years of life during the rapid development of the central nervous system form a major risk for the later development of children with FASD.

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KW - foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)

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