About the project
The PhD project concerns professional understandings- and practices of care for children in public custody, based on a model of public care that combine’s institutional- and family-based care. The focus is on the experiences of children, professionals and others involved, with public care, how ideals and dilemmas of care unfold and are negotiated and manifested in everyday tasks and events, as well as on the more overarching perspectives on care, as expressed in institutional plans, public documents and policy guidelines. The project is a practice research project with an exploratory qualitative design, where several methodological approaches are combined.
Central to the project's justification is the objective of contributing to the (knowledge) development of public child care, with an emphasis on a holistic understanding of children's lives and care conditions. The objective is related to the shift in the organization of public childcare since the welfare reform in 2004. The authorities give directions that foster care should be the preferred option if removal of a child from its parents is considered necessary. A number of child welfare institutions (residential care) have downsized since the reform and, at the same time, there is an increasing concern in the field that too many children with complex difficulties are moved into foster care, and that this can lead to the children having to move too often thus causing them further strain. In research reports and government publications it is pointed out that there is a need to develop more comprehensive models of care for children and young people in public care.
A research project that is based on a care arrangement that attempts to exceed a dichotomous understanding of public child care services as either institutional- or foster care, can provide important knowledge of how holistic care can be understood and done in practice.
Master of social work, OsloMet