The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The diversity and complexity of the everyday lives of mixed racial and ethnic families: implications for adoption and fostering practice and policy

The diversity and complexity of the everyday lives of mixed racial and ethnic families: implications for adoption and fostering practice and policy
The diversity and complexity of the everyday lives of mixed racial and ethnic families: implications for adoption and fostering practice and policy
Recent research on mixed racial and ethnic couple and lone parents in Britain indicates that not only are they a diverse group, but that they also have a diversity of ways of understanding their difference and creating a sense of belonging for their children (Caballero, Edwards and Puthussery, 2008; Caballero, 2010; Caballero, 2011). Such research strongly challenges the idea that there is – or should be – a single benchmark of how to raise children from mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds. Nevertheless, placement decisions for children from mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds are often still rooted in longstanding and politicised assumptions about their identities and how best to instil a positive and healthy sense of self (Phoenix, 1999; Okitikpi, 2005; Goodyer and Okitikpi, 2007; Patel 2008).
Drawing on three recent studies exploring the everyday experiences of lone and couple parents of mixed racial and ethnic children, this paper discusses the ways in which mixed racial and ethnic children who are not in the care system experience difference and belonging within their families and how they negotiate and manage these factors. In particular, the paper illustrates the types of strategies and supports that parents draw on to give their children a positive sense of identity and belonging, as well as the ways in which other issues can be more significant for mixed racial and ethnic children and their parents than what they often see as ‘ordinary’ internal family difference.
Arguing that the demographics and experiences of mixed racial and ethnic families are much more diverse and complex than is commonly imagined, the authors thus ask to what extent do policies and practice around the placement of mixed racial and ethnic children reflect the lives of those families outside the care system and, moreover, in what ways can or should the experiences of these families inform policy and practice for those within it? The paper points to a number of implications for adoption and fostering practice and policies emerging from a more multifaceted understanding of the everyday lives of racially and ethnically mixed families as presented by the authors
0308-5759
9-24
Caballero, Chamion
9d0888b3-bc6b-4cd1-8fb2-abe4996100c6
Edwards, Rosalind
e43912c0-f149-4457-81a9-9c4e00a4bb42
Goodyer, Annabel
ce6ee659-2d6b-4a69-bfc8-3c156d2ec126
Okitikpi, Toyin
9eacabd1-a093-4416-904d-bf8abf26b448
Caballero, Chamion
9d0888b3-bc6b-4cd1-8fb2-abe4996100c6
Edwards, Rosalind
e43912c0-f149-4457-81a9-9c4e00a4bb42
Goodyer, Annabel
ce6ee659-2d6b-4a69-bfc8-3c156d2ec126
Okitikpi, Toyin
9eacabd1-a093-4416-904d-bf8abf26b448

Caballero, Chamion, Edwards, Rosalind, Goodyer, Annabel and Okitikpi, Toyin (2012) The diversity and complexity of the everyday lives of mixed racial and ethnic families: implications for adoption and fostering practice and policy. Adoption and Fostering, 36, Autumn Issue, 9-24. (doi:10.1177/030857591203600303).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recent research on mixed racial and ethnic couple and lone parents in Britain indicates that not only are they a diverse group, but that they also have a diversity of ways of understanding their difference and creating a sense of belonging for their children (Caballero, Edwards and Puthussery, 2008; Caballero, 2010; Caballero, 2011). Such research strongly challenges the idea that there is – or should be – a single benchmark of how to raise children from mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds. Nevertheless, placement decisions for children from mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds are often still rooted in longstanding and politicised assumptions about their identities and how best to instil a positive and healthy sense of self (Phoenix, 1999; Okitikpi, 2005; Goodyer and Okitikpi, 2007; Patel 2008).
Drawing on three recent studies exploring the everyday experiences of lone and couple parents of mixed racial and ethnic children, this paper discusses the ways in which mixed racial and ethnic children who are not in the care system experience difference and belonging within their families and how they negotiate and manage these factors. In particular, the paper illustrates the types of strategies and supports that parents draw on to give their children a positive sense of identity and belonging, as well as the ways in which other issues can be more significant for mixed racial and ethnic children and their parents than what they often see as ‘ordinary’ internal family difference.
Arguing that the demographics and experiences of mixed racial and ethnic families are much more diverse and complex than is commonly imagined, the authors thus ask to what extent do policies and practice around the placement of mixed racial and ethnic children reflect the lives of those families outside the care system and, moreover, in what ways can or should the experiences of these families inform policy and practice for those within it? The paper points to a number of implications for adoption and fostering practice and policies emerging from a more multifaceted understanding of the everyday lives of racially and ethnically mixed families as presented by the authors

Text
Adoption and Fostering CABALLERO, EDWARDS, GOODYER and OKITIKPI final submission.doc - Other
Download (135kB)

More information

Published date: October 2012
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346530
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346530
ISSN: 0308-5759
PURE UUID: b302c092-5518-431e-8262-08d35ab01041
ORCID for Rosalind Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3512-9029

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Jan 2013 13:57
Last modified: 15 Oct 2019 00:39

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×