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The road to placement breakdown: foster parents' experiences of the events surrounding the unexpected ending of a child’s placement in their care
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2014 (English)In: Qualitative Social Work, ISSN 1473-3250, E-ISSN 1741-3117, Vol. 13, no 2, 255-269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Placement breakdown is a frequently occurring phenomenon in the context of out-of-home care. Although research has pointed to the many problems associated with placement instability and breakdown, less is known about foster parents’ experiences. We carried out deep interviews with foster parents to investigate connections between their caring experiences and experiences of placement breakdown. Results of our study demonstrate that breakdown is a complex process rather than a single event – a process that starts in the discrepancy between the statutory obligations of the social services toward the foster home and the foster parents’ perceptions of the kind if information and support they actually receive from the social services. High demands are placed on foster parents’ ability to provide care and offer a loving home to children who have been raised in difficult environments and who have behaviour problems. The road to breakdown also included a lack of knowledge about the child’s needs, insufficient understanding of the placement process, a difficult relationship with the social worker, and a lack of individualized service with the right supports at the right time. Although the placement may have ended in breakdown, foster parents described a continuing relationship between their families and child which was of lasting significance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2014. Vol. 13, no 2, 255-269 p.
Keyword [en]
foster care, foster carers, placement breakdown, experiences, children
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79082DOI: 10.1177/1473325012474017ISI: 000339333100009ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84897746527OAI: diva2:639353
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2013-08-07 Created: 2013-08-07 Last updated: 2014-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Khoo, EvelynSkoog, Viktoria
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