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



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.


Conference10th International Foster Care Research Conference
Verkorte titelInternational Foster Care Research Conference
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