A qualitative study of the parenting support needs of mothers raised in out-of-home care. (2021)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
This thesis explored the experiences and perspectives of parenting support for mothers who spent time in out-of-home care. First, it investigated how their experiences and relationships while growing up influenced later support. Second, it identified what mothers believe to be the most valuable forms of support and how they accessed them. Using a qualitative methodology, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants. Study findings consisted of four superordinate themes: the influence of upbringing on a mother’s supports, obtaining support, accessibility of support, and pathways to support outcomes. The women in the current study had complex upbringings which influenced their early days of mothering and support networks. Although they experienced a range of difficulties, they also experienced and valued compassionate support and people who were available for them and their children. Findings suggest that mothers are open to parenting support but face various barriers to accessing it. Practice and policy implications are discussed in view of meeting the needs of these young mothers at a time when they may be more open to support, in hopes of creating positive pathways for them and their children.