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A critique of: Barn, R & Mantovani, N. Young Mothers and the Care System: Contextualising Risk and Vulnerability. British Journal of Social Work (2007) 37, 225-243. Research Methods Date: 01st February 2011 Assessment: Critique: Assessment 1 Word Count: 1642 The purpose of this essay is to critique Barn and Mantovani’s research article. There are many different tools to help critique research arguments, such as systemised approaches designed by Toulmin (1958) or Fisher (1993)[1]. I have used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool to evaluate and analyse the paper. Developed in 1993, the CASP appraisal checklist[2] is used to examine the rigour, credibility and relevance of the research and paper. The CASP appraisal tool provides 10 sets of questions, which I have used as a guide, to help make sense of the research paper Barn & Mantovani based this paper on their 2005 empirical study, “Life after Care”. Their research on young mothers and the care system is highly relevant “given the concern about high rates of teenage pregnancy in the UK and the paucity of literature about young parents from care”[3] They state a better understanding of local authority care as a risk variable to young people becoming parents needs further exploration. The paper is well-written and structured. There is an orderly and logical presentation of ideas with smooth transitions. All the content promised in the introduction section of the article is present and follows correct sequencing. The authors are implicit that the main research objective is to obtain a better understanding of why looked after young people are at greater risk of early parenthood. The aim for this paper was to “explore key factors that may lead to early sexual activity and early motherhood, as well as young women’s attitudes and behaviour towards becoming

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