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Participation of children, birth parents and foster carers in the matching decision: Paternalism or partnership?

Zeijlmans, K., López López, M., Grietens, H. & Knorth, E. J., Mar-2019, In : Child Abuse Review. 28, 2, p. 139-151 13 p., 5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Participation of children, birth parents and foster carers in matching decision-making has the potential to improve the outcomes of a foster care placement. When practitioners choose which foster family is the best fit for a foster child, those affected by the foster care placement should be involved in decision-making when possible. This research paper examined the influence of children, birth parents and foster carers in the matching decision from a practitioners’ perspective. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 practitioners from 17 of the 28 foster care organisations in the Netherlands responsible for matching children with foster families. The analysis identified three themes that diminished the influence of children, birth parents and foster carers on the matching decision: assumptions, timing and feasibility. The findings emphasize that the influence of stakeholders on the matching decision is highly contextual. In the matching process, practitioners can be seen as key figures in facilitating the influence of stakeholders; yet, are also confronted with the difficulty of dealing with more than one stakeholder, who can have opposing interests, in an – often – compromised setting with limited choices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse Review
Volume28
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019

    Keywords

  • PROTECTION WORKERS, YOUNG PEOPLES, PERSPECTIVES, EXPERIENCES, PLACEMENT

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