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Carmen Hofer-Temmel & Christina Rothdeutsch-Granzer, Karl-Franzens-University Graz

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Bridges between Families. Contact and its meaning for foster children, foster parents and birth families

Contact between foster children and their birth families are an essential element of a foster care relationship. (Direct) contacts create a connection between the children and their birth families and are often a challenge for all involved. There are differing expert opinions on how to shape these contacts. The researchers investigate how direct contacts in foster care are seen by the involved parties: foster children, foster parents and birth parents. To this end, they carried out a multi-perspective qualitative investigation based on grounded theory. The resulting theoretical model („Kreiselmodell“) based on prior research and own results illustrates the processuality of the direct contact. It also makes the relevance of subjectively felt security and stability for all involved parties clear and shows the composition of and interaction between the relevant factors.


voice oft he child, voice of parents and foster parents ,contact in foster care, grounded theory