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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

“If I’m Here, It’s Because I Do Not Have Anyone”: Social Support for the Biological Family during the Foster Care Process

1
Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Social Work, University of Lleida, Av. Estudi General 4, 25001 Lleida, Spain
2
Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Education Sciences and Psychology, University Rovira i Virgili, Carretera de Valls, s/n Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
3
Department of Educational Theory and Social Pedagogy, Faculty of Education Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Campus de la UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9030031
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Social support is a crucial element for families in vulnerable situations, especially for those with children in foster care processes. This support is key to the acceptance of the protection measure in the initial moments and to laying the foundations for collaboration towards reunification. However, the social support of these families is limited, and families’ use of support elements is strongly related to their attitude towards them. The aims of this article were to identify the types and characteristics of social support and to analyze what elements influence families’ attitudes towards these supports. The qualitative study research was carried out in Spain through focus groups and interviews with 135 participants: 63 professionals from child protection services, 42 parents, and 30 children and adolescents who had been in foster care measures. Results show the diversity of social support resources available to families and demonstrate that families make unequal use of such resources depending on factors such as their experiences in the process of formalization and communication of the protection measure or their predisposition to receive support, among others. The important role played by social support resources in the promotion of factors that allow for successful reception and reunification is highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: social support; foster care; child welfare; family needs; content analysis social support; foster care; child welfare; family needs; content analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Vaquero, E.; Balsells, M.À.; Ponce, C.; Urrea, A.; Navajas, A. “If I’m Here, It’s Because I Do Not Have Anyone”: Social Support for the Biological Family during the Foster Care Process. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 31.

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