Page 1: Participation Information Sheet

Information about the study

Foster carers provide a vital and highly complex service to vulnerable children and young people across the UK. However, this important role can be very stressful for some carers. We want to explore the impact of this stress and the availability of counselling so that services can offer greater tailored support in the future. This study invites current foster carers to tell us about their experiences of role-related stress and their access of support services such as counselling.

Why have I been asked to take part?

You have been asked to take part in this study because you are a current foster carer so your experiences can give us a valuable insight into the stress of foster caring. Your experiences will provide the information on which we will base our recommendations.

What does the study involve?

The research requires you to answer some questions through an online questionnaire. Before progressing to the questions, you will be given a definition of stress and asked to agree to a consent form. The first questions will ask for some basic information, such as your gender, age, ethnicity, etc. You will not be expected to provide your name or any other personal information, which could lead to your identification.

You will then asked to rate the severity of stress you have directly experienced with each of the particular aspects of the fostering role. You will also be asked to indicate whether you have accessed or would benefit from accessing professional counselling. Finally, you will be asked to provide any additional comments that you feel are relevant to this study.

In total, the questionnaire should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. 

Are there any benefits or risks?

This study intends to capture the collective experiences of current foster carers, so that we can better understand the severity of role-related stress and access to counselling support due to this stress. The results of this study could help us to produce some recommendations for relevant stakeholders associated with fostering service delivery. The results of this study may help to inform future policy development, interventions, resources, and support from those tasked with managing and supervising those at the frontline in the delivery day-to-day of foster care. 

If undertaking this questionnaire causes you any distress or upset, then please contact one of the following organisations for a wide range of resources and support:

The Fostering Networkhttps://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/

Foster Talk- https://www.fostertalk.org/

What will happen to my data?

All data collected will be confidential, and you will not be identifiable in any report, thesis, or publication, which arises from this study. The data from this study will be stored securely. Your individual identifiable responses will NOT be shared with any foster agency or local authority. If you choose to withdraw from the study and your data is identifiable to the research team, then you have the right to request that your data is not used until the point at which the outcomes are in the public domain. This means that you can withdraw your data within the next nine months until the study is written up into the PhD paper.

What if I don’t want to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not you would like to participate in this study. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary, and participants are free to refuse to take part or withdraw at any time without penalty. Deciding not to take part will not impact any other aspect of your foster care role.

How can I find out the final results of this study?

The final collated and analysed results of this study will be widely made available to all the participating associations, forums, organisations, networks, unions, social media sites, etc. If you want the results of this questionnaire sent directly, then please provide your email address, in the appropriate section, which you will find at the end of the questionnaire.

Who do I contact with any questions or concerns about this study?

If you wish to contact the Researcher of this study for general enquiries, please email: Pete Sims at sepac4@bangor.ac.uk

If you wish to contact the Principal Investigator of this study, please email Dr Fay Short at f.short@bangor.ac.uk.

If you have any concerns or complaints about this study, or the conduct of individuals conducting this study, then please contact Mr Huw Ellis, College Manager, College of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2AS. 

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Thank you for your time.