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In and out of care. A profile and analysis of children in the out-of-home care system in Sweden

Author

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  • Khoo, Evelyn
  • Skoog, Viktoria
  • Dalin, Rolf

Abstract

In this paper we present a profile and analysis of children in the out-of-home care system in Sweden. We describe the conditions of three age groups of children and young people prior to their entry into care, the reasons for placement as given by social workers and documented in the children's case files, and analyze their movements in and out of care drawing attention to the issues of placement instability and breakdown. Our analyses reveal that there are important differences between age groups in rationales for placement, that a significant majority of children who returned home from care did so before social workers considered care no longer necessary, and that significant numbers of placements are notable in their instability. This study points to the need to develop participatory frameworks for practice beyond the rhetoric of solidarity and democracy that underlies Sweden's Social Services Act.

Suggested Citation

  • Khoo, Evelyn & Skoog, Viktoria & Dalin, Rolf, 2012. "In and out of care. A profile and analysis of children in the out-of-home care system in Sweden," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 900-907.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:5:p:900-907
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oosterman, Mirjam & Schuengel, Carlo & Wim Slot, N. & Bullens, Ruud A.R. & Doreleijers, Theo A.H., 2007. "Disruptions in foster care: A review and meta-analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 53-76, January.
    2. Ward, Harriet, 2009. "Patterns of instability: Moves within the care system, their reasons, contexts and consequences," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1113-1118, October.
    3. Stott, Tonia & Gustavsson, Nora, 2010. "Balancing permanency and stability for youth in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 619-625, April.
    4. Christiansen, Øivin & Havik, Toril & Anderssen, Norman, 2010. "Arranging stability for children in long-term out-of-home care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 913-921, July.
    5. Osborn, Alexandra L. & Delfabbro, Paul & Barber, James G., 2008. "The psychosocial functioning and family background of children experiencing significant placement instability in Australian out-of-home care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 847-860, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brännström, Lars & Vinnerljung, Bo & Hjern, Anders, 2015. "Risk factors for teenage childbirths among child welfare clients: Findings from Sweden," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 44-51.
    2. Strijbosch, E.L.L. & Huijs, J.A.M. & Stams, G.J.J.M. & Wissink, I.B. & van der Helm, G.H.P. & de Swart, J.J.W. & van der Veen, Z., 2015. "The outcome of institutional youth care compared to non-institutional youth care for children of primary school age and early adolescence: A multi-level meta-analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 208-218.

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