Unaccompanied refugee children, their carers and guardians: An exploratory study into different perspectives on successful foster placements

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There is hardly knowledge regarding the perspectives of unaccompanied refugee children or carers on the foster placement (Hek, 2007; Ni Raghallaigh & Sirreyeh, 2015), including the influence of cultural similarity between children and foster carers on the success of the placement. This study explores the (cultural) factors that are related to successful placements of these children in foster families. Semi-structured interviews were held with a (convenience) sample of unaccompanied refugee children who were living in foster families in the Netherlands (n=5), their foster carers, and their guardians. Additionally, refugee children who previously lived in a foster family (n=5) were also included in the study. At the end of each interview, all participants were asked to rate the success of the foster placement. Results show that children were aware that the alternative (to foster care) was worse and that the guardian could play an important role as mediator. Additionally, children with family in the Netherlands were more satisfied with their placement than children without family in the Netherlands. Children whose expectations were not met were less satisfied. Also, most children value the importance of cultural similarity between them and their carers. Implications for policy and practice will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6-Sept-2019
Event10th International Foster Care Research Conference : Better Future Opportunities for Children and Young People in Multicultural Societies - ZAHW University of Applied Sciences, Zürich, Switzerland
Duration: 5-Sept-20196-Sept-2019
Conference number: 10


Conference10th International Foster Care Research Conference
Abbreviated titleInternational Foster Care Research Conference
Internet address

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