Foster care for unaccompanied refugee children: assessment and evaluation of child and fostering factors, cultural matching and placement success based on the perspectives of children, their foster carers and guardians

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The aim of the study was to evaluate foster placements of unaccompanied refugee children based on the child’s, the foster carers’ and guardians’ perspectives. We aimed to gain insight into placement success and related child and fostering factors, as well as development of these factors within one year. Special attention was paid to 'cultural matching', whereby children are placed with foster carers with a similar cultural background as the children.
Overall, we can conclude that children, their foster carers and guardians are positive about the success of their foster placements. The quality of the relationship between the child and carers had an almost one-to-one relationship with placement success. Cultural similarity with carers appears to be important for the child’s placement success, especially in the early stages of their stay; for carers and guardians this was less important. In addition, the absence of behavioral problems and presence of pro-social behavior in the child is positively associated with placement success for carers and children resp., while for guardians the quality of the caregiving environment counts most. Children and carers or guardians disagree more on the success of the placement when they disagree on the quality of the caregiving environment, the child’s conduct and emotional problems, and the quality of the child-carer and child-guardian relationship. Most placements in which children stayed in the same foster family over the one-year timeframe of the study remained relatively stable in terms of child and fostering factors, with an important exception: according to the carers, there often is an increase in the child’s social-emotional problems.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Kalverboer, Margrite, Supervisor
  • Post, Wendy, Supervisor
  • Knorth, Erik, Supervisor
  • Zijlstra, Elianne, Co-supervisor
Datum van toekenning2-dec-2021
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
Gedrukte ISBN's978-94-6421-531-1
StatusPublished - 2021

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