An Evalution of the Attachment Theory

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THE ATTACHMENT THEORY

AN EVALUTION OF THE ATTACHMENT THEORY

WHEN WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN CARE

Gail Walters

Dissertation

Social Work BA (HONS)

Manchester Metropolitan University

Tutor: Pauline Black

CONTENTS

Pages

Abstract 3

Acknowledgements 4

Statement of Ownership 5

Chapter1: Introduction

1. An Introduction to the Attachment Theory 7

2. Aims of the Study9

Chapter 2: Methodology

2.1 Literature Review & Theoretical Considerations 12

2.2 Secondary Research - qualitative or quantitative 15

2.3 Information gathering & Content Analysis 16

Chapter 3: Literature Review

Applying the Attachment Theory when working with Looked after Children

3.1. Part 1 - Early Attachment Theories, Criticisms & Findings 20

3.2. Part 2 - Emotional and Behavioural difficulties 28

3.3 Part 3 - Effects on Child Development 35

Chapter 4: Critical overview & Conclusion

4.1 Critical overview 43

4.2 Recommendations & Conclusion 45

References 48

Appendices

1. Dissertation Proposal 54

2. Ethical Check Form 63

3. Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs ‘ 64

Word Count – 9490 (excluding preliminary pages and references)

ABSTRACT

This research set out to evaluate the ‘Attachment Theory’ which is central to Child Practitioners working with Looked after Children. The ‘Social Care Institute for Excellence’ (SCIE) was established by the Government in 2001 to improve Social Services for Adults & Children in the UK and recently stated that; ‘’60,300 Children are in residential care in England today.’’(www.scie)

Data gathered from secondary research will be presented in a ‘Broad Literature Review’ and examine how theories of attachment, separation, loss and grief help key workers think about the needs of children coming into care and the implications of secure and insecure attachments when working with Looked after Children. The methodology lays out the researcher’s effective way to highlight significant themes using a qualitative approach seeking ‘insights’ rather than statistical perceptions. The findings highlight criticisms, with the main focus based on culture differences. Concluding with recommendations the researcher highlights the scope for further research on, ‘Attachments’.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you most of all to my lovely family, for supporting me throughout this degree.

Thank you to all my friends, especially, Sarah & Amelia .

Thank you to all my tutors, especially Sue Bell, during my 3rd year.

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP

I Certify, that this dissertation is of my own account, based upon my own work actually carried out by me and that all sources of material, not resulting from my own investigation, have been clearly indicated.

Furthermore, that no part of this work incorporated in the dissertation is a quotation from published or unpublished sources, except where it has been clearly acknowledged as such, and that any specific direction or advice received is also properly acknowledged.

Signed................................................................

CHAPTER ONE

1. Introduction

2. Aims

1.1 An Introduction to the Attachment Theory

Traditionally, it is believed that the family environment in which a child grows up in can have’ a powerful influence on a child’s future development and life chances’. (Crawford:2005) The ‘Attachment Theory’ provides social workers...
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