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About usFaculty of Behavioural and Social SciencesPedOnResearchFoster Care Research Centre GroningenProjectsHistoric abuse of children in foster care

Method and participants

The research consists of several studies in which mainly qualitative methods are used and both verbal and non-verbal data are collected.

Verbal data


There will be ‘oral history’ interviews with ex-foster children from different time periods who were victims of violence. With these interviews we want to gain insight in the violence that occurred, the emergence and maintenance of violence and the impact violence had during childhood. In addition, interviews will be held with key figures and foster parents, to gain further insight in violence in foster care and to clarify the dynamics and processes behind violence.

Non-verbal data


In archives of foster care institutions and central/regional/private archives, we expect to find information that can help us to answer the three main questions of this study. We will investigate files (random sampling) from different time periods, as well as annual reports, internal policy documents, notes on professionalization of employees and foster parents, and so on. We will also study official policy documents to learn about the policy, vision and general pedagogical culture with regard to foster children over time. In these documents, we explicitly focus on what is written about violence and violence-related themes (e.g. safety, care, self-determination, autonomy) in order to learn about the context within which violence occurred to foster children. Furthermore, the professional literature will be studied and an analysis will be made of incidents of violence that have been reported in the media.

Last modified:05 April 2019 11.18 a.m.
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