Continuity around schooling for children placed away from home: about consistency between educators in Children’s villages

Helene Join-Lambert, Researcher, Université Paris Nanterre, France 

Benjamin Denecheau, Researcher, Université Paris Est Créteil, France 

Pierrine Robin, Researcher, Université Paris Est Créteil, France 

Sandrine Dottori, Chargée de mission, SOS Village d’Enfants, France

Our presentation draws from a research conducted in 2016-2017 on Children’s Villages in France, which have implemented a program for better supporting children’s school education. Children’s Villages are specialized in looking after brothers and sisters in ‘houses’ that are run by ‘family educators’ together with multidisciplinary teams. Our study has focused on how each category of stakeholders is involved in children’s education. This includes children, parents, family educators and family assistants, specialized educators and school tutors, voluntary tutors as well as school teachers.  Continuity in child protection is often thought of in terms of children’s pathways with several stages through time. Here we suggest an analysis in terms of cohesion between different stakeholders’ practices and values, with a synchronic approach. The study highlights how continuity can be achieved through regular dialogue between schools and children’s villages, between the villages’ practitioners and through increased interactions with the parents. It builds on specific tools, including standardized actions and informal dimensions. Furthermore, it depends on representations about ‘these children’ and shared values regarding care and support. Often, solidarity among practitioners of different institutions helps making decisions about schooling (follow-up, support, orientation…) Without this continuity, children could be perceived as being unable to learn because of their personal issues. Our research shows how regular dialogue between all stakeholders can enhance support children’s learning.

Références : 

Berridge, D. (2007). Theory and explanation in child welfare: education and looked-after children. Child & Family Social Work, 12, 1–10.

Jackson, S., & Cameron, C. (2011). Young people from a public care background: pathways to further and higher education in five European countries. Thomas Coram Research Unit Institute of Education, University of London

SOS Villages d’enfants (2014) PYGMALION- Programme pour la réussite scolaire des enfants en village d’enfants SOS. Guide en ligne

Key-words: children’s villages; France; practices; values; coherence between stakeholders.

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