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