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Claire Cameron, University College London / Clara Bombach & Renate Stohler, Zurich University of Applied Science / Andy Jespersen, University of Siegen

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Processes leading to breakdown of foster care placements

Processes leading to breakdown of foster care placements International research indicates that foster care placements can break down. Unexpected termination of foster care placements can negatively impact the wellbeing of the affected child/juvenile. The workshop makes reference to an ongoing study (2014-2017) titled Foster Care Placement Breakdown realised by Universities in Switzerland, England and Germany in collaboration with practice partners.

At the heart of the study lies the assumption that the breakdown of foster care placement is not a static moment but a process which may be affected by the situation of the child prior to placement, the placement of the child, the dynamics of a crisis event and its consequences. Among others, the main research questions of the study are: What are the influences that increase or reduce the risk of foster care breakdowns, how do they interact? What are the different typologies of breakdown processes?

The research project is divided into three phases, from which the first phase (in Switzerland only) will be finalized when the workshop takes place. This involves the collection of quantitative and qualitative data: file cases will be analyzed and interviews will be conducted. Besides presenting the background and concept of the study, different processes of breakdown will be shown and discussed. Although the presentation focuses mainly on the results from Switzerland, research partners from England and Germany will reflect on their research in the study and highlight possible similarities and country-specific differences when studying processes leading to unexpected foster care placement breakdown.

For further information concerning the research project:

Research partners present at the workshop:

  • Claire Cameron, Prof. Dr., University of London
  • Clara Bombach, MA, Zurich University of Applied Sciences
  • Andy Jespersen, University of Siegen
  • Renate Stohler, lic.phil, Zurich University of Applied Sciences