Utilizing visual methods to explore young people's experiences of foster care

Justin Rogers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents findings from my doctoral research that explores the social networks of young people in foster care, within the United Kingdom (UK). The research draws on the theory of social capital as well as Goffman’s seminal work on stigma. This qualitative project is based on a total of twenty interviews with young people in foster care aged between twelve to fourteen years old. Each participant was interviewed on two separate occasions. Visual methods were employed, which included photo-elicitation techniques and an eco-mapping exercise.

During the first interview the eco-maps were completed with the participants and then they were left with digital cameras with the brief to take photographs, over the following two weeks, of things that were important to them.

The methods served as a useful way to empower the participants as it enabled them to be active in the data collection. This promoted a partnership approach to the research with the young people acting as photo-researchers. This paper considers the benefits of the methods used and presents some of the important data that was collected, which I argue without these visual methods, may have gone unobserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEuropean Conference For Social Work Research - Grand Union Hotel, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 21 Apr 201524 Apr 2015


ConferenceEuropean Conference For Social Work Research


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