A rapid review of attachment themes in existing training programmes for social workers
A qualitative research approach was followed in this rapid review, followed by the basic research goal which was to explore existing literature and obtain an answer on the review question. The review question was: What are the common themes of attachment that social workers should be acquainted with in order to render quality foster care services? This question arose from practice but was confirmed by literature. Research on attachment have indicated that foster child is most likely to demonstrate insecure attachment in foster care relationships. On the other hand, research also suggested the attachment related intervention in foster care placements can enhance attachment formation between the foster child and the foster parents. As foster care placements are an ever-increasing form of alternative care in the field of child protection in South Africa, social workers need to ensure placement stability and render quality foster care services. Unfortunately, social workers do not have the appropriate knowledge on the theory of attachment and thus, fail to provide foster families with the beneficial value thereof. Therefore, this review aimed to find out what are the common themes of attachment in existing training programmes that social workers should be familiar with in order to render quality foster care services, and thus improve foster placement stability. During this rapid review, a scientific process was followed to search for literature concerning the content of training programmes for social workers on the common themes of attachment that social workers should be acquainted with in order to render quality foster care services. Due to the fact that not much scientific literature could be found during this search process, the search was extended to find and make use of grey literature. The records found were critically analysed, where-after a synthesis of the extracted data highlighted five themes. The first theme deals with why attachment matters. The second theme looks at attachment core concepts, while the third theme that originated from the synthesis specifically looks at attachment and foster care. The fourth theme identified attachment enhancement factors, and the fifth theme looks at the role of the social worker. After a rapid review of the extracted data, the review question could be answered satisfactorily. The study succeeded in the aim to identify the common themes of attachment social workers should be acquainted with in order to ensure foster care stability. Recommendations for further research could be made in terms of developing an attachment training programme for social workers.
- Health Sciences