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Boarded out by auction: poor children and their families in nineteenth-century northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).
2004 (English)In: Continuity and Change, ISSN 0268-4160, E-ISSN 1469-218X, Vol. 19, no 3, 431-457 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Boarding out and fostering poor children was a favoured method of poor relief in many rural areas in northern Europe. This article discusses children who were boarded out to foster-parents by public auction in a rural parish in northern nineteenth-century Sweden. Poverty was the main reason why children were boarded out, frequently associated with loss of parents and difficulties in providing for a large household. It is suggested that the Swedish system of boarding out poor children must be understood in the context of a welfare system where cost efficiency was important. The auction method was used in spite of the risks involved because it was considered to be the best way to provide poor children with food, clothes, shelter and care, while keeping the compensation to the foster-parents at a reasonably low level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 19, no 3, 431-457 p.
Keyword [en]
foster children, poor relief, auction, 19th century, household structure, child welfare
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49405OAI: diva2:455722
Available from: 2011-11-11 Created: 2011-11-11 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Engberg, Elisabeth
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Demographic Data BaseCentre for Population Studies (CPS)
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