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Research project Foster care: a layman assignment in a time of professionalization and privatization

The aim of this proposal is to map the current diversified field of foster care by using register data and by distributing a survey to municipalities nationwide.

Project description

Foster care represents the most common out-of-home intervention in Swedish child welfare In spite of this dominant position, empricial studies focusing Swedish foster care are typically locally sampled and extensively dated. Furthermore, Swedish foster care has undergone a substantial transformation in recent decades.

Traditionally, the intervention has been a non-professional activity with foster carers commited to the assignment without extensive economic incentives. In recent decades, however, the intervention has been exposed to an internal as well as external professionalization trend in conjunction with an extensive establisment of for-profit actors in this field. The transition has transformed foster care i several aspects. Central actors have, for instance, argued that foster care should be considered as paid work. In addition, there has been an increasing demand for theoretically underpinned interventions as well as a considerable establishment of for-profit companies which offers enhanced foster care consisting of articulated treatment strategies and available health care resources.

The aim of this proposal is to map the current diversified field of foster care by using register data and by distributing a survey to municipalities nationwide. An additional aim is to study the content and rationalities in sub-categories of foster care by interviewing key informants in a sample of 8-10 municipalities (about 60 interviews) of different size, location and with a varying supply of foster homes.

Project members

Project managers

Stefan Viklund

Professor, Prefekt

Department of Social Work
Stefan Wiklund. Foto: Eva Dalin