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Welfare in out-of-home care. A study of living conditions among children and youth in residential and foster care
Prof Marie Sallnäs
Department of Social Work
FAS - Swedish Research Council for Working Life and Social Research
In modern social research the children are often seen as independent actors able to solely act within different aspects of their lives. From this point of view it is important to know which resources of welfare children in different living circumstances have at hand in forming their lives. In this study the degree of welfare among children placed in out of-home-care (foster care and institutional care) will be examined in terms of levels of living conditions. Prior national studies of levels of living conditions do not include information about children placed in out-of-home care.
A legitimate claim concerning society’s care for these children is that the youngsters during their placement in care receive a high standard of living conditions. In the present study a link between two research areas is formed by the appliance of a perspective from welfare research in general to the issue of child-welfare. This linkage makes it possible to highlight one of the key issues regarding child-welfare, namely the significance of placing children in out-of-home care.
In the study levels of living conditions for children in out-of-home care will be related to non- cared for peers. The study makes it possible to investigate both the caregivers’ ability to compensate deficiencies in care the children might have experienced prior to the placement and the quality of the care. An important issue in the context is what significance different care facilities have on the level of living conditions and on the distribution of welfare among the children cared for.
The project will employ a modified version of the questionnaire used in Child-LNU, and use data from the above mentioned study for comparative purposes. The study’s population consists of approximately 500 children currently placed in care in different parts of the country. The youngsters will be interviewed in the care facilities where they are currently placed.
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