Practices of foster care regulation to promote continuity in care

Ludovic Jamet, IDEFHI, France 

Anne Oui, ONPE France 

From 2013 to 2015, the French observatory of child protection (ONPE) has conducted a study on foster care as it is organized by French counties. This study combines a survey about foster carers’  working   conditions   in   different   French  counties  and   interviews   with   social   and administrative actors. This   study   had   two   purposes:   taking   stock   of   the   diverse   realities   of   foster   care,   and understanding how this diversity impacts foster carers in their job as well as children and young people in their lives. The study’s findings shed light on foster care practices and tools designed to improve reception and to overcome daily difficulties. A key issue in foster care is to combine two aspects of collective work: tailoring intervention to the child’s personal life trajectory, and using the therapeutic potential of the foster care system as a whole (David, 2000). Building the child social care pathway requires the whole team including the  carers to take into account three stages: the child’s arrival, relationships with the family and other services, transition from care. The healing capacity of foster care must be promoted through the establishment of a strong attachment bond between child and carer,   and   through   mediated   visits   with   the   parents.   Teamwork   mechanisms   must   be considered   too (Ravon,  2012).  The   presentation   will  detail the  regulation   and   reflexivity practices developed by some French counties to this end.

Key-words: Foster care, practices, regulation, tools

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