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Foster care in Europe: what do we know about outcomes and evidence?


The aim of this book is to present the different forms of «foster care», as it is commonly called in Europe. We need to move forward on this issue, after so many years devoted to the implementation of new solutions for taking care of out-of-home children and young people. It is necessary to prepare a future that is able to provide better, more appropriate, more effective solutions for deprived children that are exposed to ever increasing problems due to the difficulty of many parents in adequately nurturing their children.

The book investigates what we know and how we know it, based on the comparison among different European countries. The authors consider the outcomes of the solutions which are actually adopted, the conditions for effectiveness, the measures really benefiting children and young people in the face of «diverse» difficulties. This is the critical point: in front of different needs there should be targeted solutions, rather than common ones, and foster care should be considered an intervention to be adapted depending on situations, needs and opportunities to address them in a positive way.

These are questions that we can no longer avoid. We need to face the widespread risk of assuming that «foster care» is a solution in itself, to be favoured also because it is less expensive. By its very nature foster care is a mean, not an end. It cannot be considered a solution, since in many cases it does not guarantee the expected results and the data observed in several European countries hardly reach acceptable thresholds.

There is considerable room for innovation, mainly depending on the capacities of professionals to courageously face the issue of the outcomes of their choices, based on better evidence. From the outcomes, it will be easier to understand why things are working or not. It will be easier to figure out how to activate different professional competences, with new solutions, without replicating errors and without taking for granted that a good mean can reach the expected results if it is not commensurate with the nature of the problems to be addressed.

For these reasons, I am very grateful to the Fondazione Emanuela Zancan and to the International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services for organising this international event. Also I wish to thank those who contributed to gather and share the experiences and knowledge available in different countries. It is a valuable contribution that is now available to a wider audience of political and professional decision-makers. It is primarily available to the professional and scientific community for developing those shared solutions which we really need to better deal with the problems of our children.

Klaus Wolf, International Foster Care Research Network



Part one – Foster care: issues and strategies

Entrusting or Caring: care pathways in Italy (Cinzia Canali and Tiziano Vecchiato)

Reunification, process of transformation, multiperspectivity, retro- & prospective (Klaus Wolf, Daniela Reimer and Dirk Schäfer)

Permanence in long-term foster care: family relationships and professional systems (Gillian Schofield)

Meeting the needs of foster children with (complex) trauma and their foster families:A recent initiative in the Netherlands  (Hans Grietens)

Evaluation of the circle therapeutic foster care program in Victoria, Australia: Outcomes and implications (Patricia McNamara, Margarita Frederico, Maureen Long, Lynne McPherson, Richard Rose and Kathy Gilbert)

How does a new training program Pride for foster families work in Lithuania? (Dalija Snieškiené)

A family for a family: The Italian experience (Giorgia Salvadori and Fabrizio Serra)

The development of problem behaviour in foster children: A Flemish longitudinal research (Johan Vanderfaeillie, Frank Van Holen, Femke Vanschoonlandt, Skrallan De Maeyer and Marijke Robberechts)

Making the right decision: A comparison between professionals approaches (Cinzia Canali, Roberto Maurizio and Nina Biehal)

Contact Family: A preventive supporting intervention or a kind of placement for children and teenagers? (Lotta Berg Eklundh)

Cross-national comparison of caseworkers’ attitudes towards child welfare issues and their impact in risk assessments and decisions to place a child out-of-home  (Mónica López, A. Carien Koopmans and Erik J. Knorth, Cilia Witteman, Rami Benbenishty, Bilhah Davidson-Arad, Jorge F. del Valle, Trevor Spratt, David Hayes and John Devaney)

Head, Heart, Hands programme: Introducing social pedagogy into UK foster care (Lisa Holmes and Raina Sheridan)

Protecting overseas children in informal care arrangements: A UK-based model for social work practice (Angela Wilson and Karen Wells)

Evaluating a group support program for kinship foster families: evidence on how to enhance resilience (Nuria Fuentes-Peláez, Pere Amorós, Mª Angels Balsells, Mª Cruz Molina, Crescencia Pastor and Ainoa Mateos)

Increasing the benefits of foster carer peer support (Nikki Luke and Judy Sebba)

Evolution of foster care in Portugal: Perspectives of foster children and carers (João Carvalho, Paulo Delgado and Vânia S. Pinto)

Part two – Foster care: specific issues and experiences

Outcomes and life courses of children taken into care (Heidi Pohjanpalo)

Fostering adolescents: how to recover the relationship with the mother thanks to another woman’s help (Gemma Beretta and Germana Cavallini)

What school means to young people in foster care in Sweden (Lena Hedin)

The challenges for family foster care of children in the Province of Bolzano: trend analysis 2005-2012 (Sabine Krismer)

Motivation for foster care (Skrallan De Maeyer, Johan Vanderfaeillie, Femke Vanschoonlandt, Marijke Robberechts and Frank Van Holen)

Tie caring in the context of fostering (Marianna Giordano and Chiara Capasso)

Efficacy of a Flemish foster parent intervention for foster children aged 3 to 12 with externalizing problems (Femke Vanschoonlandt, Johan Vanderfaeillie, Frank Van Holen, Skrällan De Maeyer and Marijke Robberechts)

Experiment on a bilingual cross cultural approach in a foster care situation: An access to childhood’s memories (segregated systems) of maternal grandfather’s foster care family (Fabrizio Gori)

Disinterest of child protection for kinship care in the north of France (Bernadette Tillard and Lille university)

Constructing grounded theory focused on youth’s rights in residential care (Eunice Magalhães and Maria Manuela Calheiros)

Participatory planning: Involvement as an outcome (Massimiliano Ferrua)

Vulnerable young people in Israel: Their stories about transition to adulthood (Anat Zeira)

Overview of programs aiming to increase the involvement of birth parents in foster care (Marijke Robberechts, Johan Vanderfaeillie, Frank Van Holen, Skrällan De Maeyer and Femke Vanschoonlandt)

Preventing child placement through the help between families. The experience of family helpers in the program P.I.P.P.I. (Marco Ius, Sara Serbati, Diego Di Masi, Ombretta Zanon, Adriana Ciampa, Raffaele Tangorra and Paola Milani)

Family relationships in a sample of non relative foster families from Madrid: The representation of the family «confines» and the place of the birth family (María Teresa Díaz Tártalo)

Foster care in Portugal. Evidence of the present, challenges for the future (Paulo Delgado, João Carvalho and Vânia S. Pinto)

Foster care as outcome strategy of deinstitutionalization process in Croatia(Antonija Zizak, Ivana Jedud Boric and Ivana Maurovic)

Changes in the nature and sequence of placements experienced by children in care in England and Wales 1980-2010  (Roger Bullock)

COD: N/A Categoria: Product ID: 6714


Editore: Fondazione Zancan
Autore: Cinzia Canali e Tiziano Vecchiato (edited by)
Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
Codice ISBN: 88-88843-71-1
Numero di pagine: 140